Mazda Motor Corp. has claimed the world’s first automated recycling technology that transforms recycled bumpers from end-of-life vehicles into raw plastic resin for use in new vehicle bumpers. The Japan-based car maker says the new technology is the first to enable recycling of used bumpers from different manufacturers at the same time.
Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and age of the vehicle, used bumpers vary significantly in terms of the composition of polypropylene plastic and the paint’s adhesive properties, which call for separate collection systems, said the car maker. Mazda developed a new process and equipment that enables all bumpers to be recycled together and combines all the recycling stages involved in crushing used bumpers through to raw materials into a single automated process.
A key improvement in the recycling system was the automation of processes to remove metal attachments, which significantly increased recycling efficiency. Until now, unwanted materials such as metal attachments had to be removed by hand before the bumpers were visually inspected, said Mazda. The car company eliminated this step by developing technologies to automate the processes in collaboration with Japan-based Satake Corporation.
Mazda plans further advancements in the development of recycling technologies including bumper-to-bumper recycling as part of its goal of achieving a sustainable future. The car company also plans to increase fuel efficiency of its vehicles by 30 percent over the next seven years through new engine technology and lighter materials. Mazda offered its first hybrid vehicle in 2007 for the U.S. market.