EcoBlue production to dramatically slash energy consumption

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Ford’s all-new EcoBlue diesel engine production line at Dagenham Engine Plant is said to reduce water and energy consumption by over 50% at the site compared with its predecessor.

Dagenham Engine Plant is Ford’s largest diesel engine production facility globally, and produced the first EcoBlue diesel engine in April this year. Water usage per engine will be among the lowest at any Ford manufacturing facility worldwide, delivering an anticipated annual saving of 17.5m liters of water compared with 2011.

EcoBlue engine production capacity will initially be up to 350,000 units per year – one engine produced every 30sec. The second phase of engine production is scheduled to start in 2017, with the first installation in Ford cars planned for 2018. The added capacity of up to 150,000 units for this phase brings the total annual capacity for the all-new engine range to half a million units.

The all-new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel engine debuts in the new Ford Transit and Transit Custom commercial vehicles. The engine’s clean-sheet design features friction-reducing innovations that contribute to a 13% improvement in fuel efficiency.

The reduction in the volume of coolant pumped around the facility also helps to significantly reduce energy usage. Three smaller coolant systems require around 70% less energy, and contribute to reducing energy use per engine from 188kWh in 2011 to 92kWh in 2016.

Minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) machining tools – which replace high volumes of coolant with fine mists of oil to cool, lubricate and clean during the metal working process – use 99.8% less water than the machining tools they replace, and alone are expected to account for an annual water saving of almost 16m liters.

“Ever since Henry Ford first introduced the moving assembly line Ford has been at the forefront of manufacturing innovation, and our new Dagenham facility is no exception,” said Linda Cash, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. “Ford is using the latest technologies to ensure our all-new EcoBlue diesel engine production meets the highest standards for sustainability and makes a significant contribution to our global environmental targets.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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