Success Story: FTS Technologies

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FTS Technologies, a Michigan based supplier of environmentally friendly surface treatment processes, received the 2012 General Motors Environmental Excellence Award for introducing an energy-efficient flame treatment technology that lets paint adhere to plastic vehicle parts, such as instrument and door panels, without using traditional chemical adhesion systems.

FTS’ flame treatment technology is being used by General Motors on the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, and Volt.  FTS’ technology uses an energy-efficient, robotic system to create a molecular change to the surface of the plastic, making it bond with the paint. The process eliminates the need for an adhesion-promoting primer. By using FTS’ technology on the Cruze, for example, GM suppliers:

  • Reduced solid and liquid waste (filters, cleaners, solvents and coatings) from 48 tons a year to less than 1 ton.
  • Decreased air pollutants from 810 tons a year to 80 tons a year.
  • Eliminated landfill waste like paint sludge and painted scrap material from 25 tons to nearly zero.

GM evaluated the new technology as a total business case. Not only does it improve efficiency since it’s faster than spraying primer, but the capital expense pays for itself in less than four months.

“It was through our work with General Motors and the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment (SP), an innovative collaboration of automakers, their suppliers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that we had the opportunity to communicate the benefits of this technology and get connected with the right people within General Motors so that this technology could make a broader impact within the industry,” said Russell Brynolf, CEO, FTS Technologies.