SAE Award Engineers from Delphi, GM for Environmental Excellence

Warren, MI - Delphi Automotive Systems and General Motors have earned national recognition with the Society of Automotive Engineers' first ever Environmental Excellence Award.

Delphi had two engineers and GM had six engineers receive recognition at the SAE Environmental Excellence in Transportation Awards ceremony held at the SAE Government/Industry Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Brian Spuck, Delphi Interior Systems product engineer, won in the materials development and usage category. Cesar Gonzalez, Delphi Interior Systems environmental engineering general supervisor, was a finalist in the recycling, reuse and remanufacturing category.

Mr. Spuck's project is titled "Instrument panel skin manufactured with 100 percent recycled TPO material," and was implemented at Delphi's Componentes Mecanicos de Matamoros (CMM) plant in Mexico.

An industry first, Delphi utilized 100 percent recycled offal from the manufacturing process in the manufacture of the skin, while still meeting strict durability and physical property performance criteria.

Both cost and environmental savings have been achieved as a result of implementing this process. "Not only were we able to meet our customers' expectations and specifications, we were able to reduce virgin material usage, thus creating a greener product to benefit the environment," Spuck said.

Mr. Gonzalez's project is titled "Recycling of vinyl and TPO from instrument panel offal." Advancing to the finals in the recycling, reuse and remanufacturing category, the purpose of the project was to improve the handling method and disposal costs associated with the instrument panel offal (trimmings) waste stream. This project was also implemented at Delphi's CMM facility.

The implementation of this project resulted in the reuse of more than 786 tons of material, diverting it from landfills and reducing the amount of raw material used.

"Currently, the instrument panel offal that is generated during the trim process is transported to an outside company that recycles it for use in the production of shoe soles for the Mexican market," Gonzalez said. "While this recycling does minimize the negative environmental impact by avoiding landfill space use, our ultimate goal is to be able to reuse the recycled vinyl and TPO for our own instrument panel production process. We are working with the recycling company to make that happen."

SAE awarded GM's innovative Oil Life System, a device that will give consumers an accurate and reliable way to monitor engine oil life. The Oil Life System will help reduce consumers' appetite for oil, protect the environment and save consumers money while still ensuring that engines are properly maintained. The system is scheduled to be on all new North American vehicles by model year 2003.

GM engineers honored were Karl Gilgenbach, Bob Krokosky, Tiny Traylor, Leonard Sackett, Shirley Schwartz and Donald Smolenski. The Oil Life System was recognized in the Service, Maintenance and Logistics category of the E2T Awards.

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