With over 100 global partnerships relevant to the automotive industry, the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) will now ally with a metal recycling company to help predict industry changes and design a more environmentally efficient product.
OmniSource, a full-service recycling company with a shredding facility in Spartanburg, is expected to provide the Clemson research facility with a unique view into the reprocessing of automotive materials.
The state-of-the-art facility will give students firsthand insight into how cars are currently disassembled and recycled, said Fred Cartwright, executive director of CU-ICAR.
CU-ICAR’s research into these critical technological areas of change is important to Omnisource’s future as well, he said. As the composition of the automobile changes, it becomes increasingly important to consider environmental and business impacts.
John Suchon, commercial manager for OmniSource’s Southeast region, said CU-ICAR offers an exciting concept to the recycling of automotive materials.
The combined efforts of the two entities will affect the future of recycling as automobiles incorporate more aluminum and carbon fiber materials, he said. “We need to stay in front of this to ensure an automobile can be 100 percent recycled and the process remain environmentally sound.”
As part of the synergy between the two companies, Suchon said Clemson researchers could build cars that are easily recycled by seeing how OmniSource reprocesses the materials.
A 6,000-horsepower shredder at the Spartanburg facility will cut an automobile into small pieces and can produce 150 tons of metal an hour, he said. “We are making a very efficient process out of total recycling with automobiles.”
Suchon said the collaboration between the two companies promotes forward thinking in the automotive industry.
The partnership will extend beyond the recycling and reproduction of automotive materials, he said. “We want to be a champion in civic and community areas.”
Cartwright said CU-ICAR is itself a partnership between industry, government and academia.
“We are collaborating with global OEMs such as GM, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and BMW; as well as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers,” he said. The Clemson incubation environment helps foster ideas and innovation that can more broadly impact the automotive sector in South Carolina and beyond.