cens logo

Ford and Heinz Collaborate on Turning Tomato into Green Vehicle Parts

Jun 20, 2014 | By Quincy Liang

The concept of turning tomato into auto parts. (photo from Ford)The concept of turning tomato into auto parts. (photo from Ford)

American automaker Ford Motor Co. recently said that it and H.J. Heinz Co. are exploring the use of tomato fiber to develop a more sustainable bio-plastic material for vehicles.

Ford researchers are testing the material's durability for potential use in vehicle wiring brackets and storage bins, the company says, while success in developing a new, more sustainable composite could reduce the use of petrochemicals in manufacturing and ease the impact of vehicles on the environment. Specifically, dried tomato skins could become wiring brackets in a Ford or storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects.

“We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford. “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”

Nearly two years ago, Ford began collaborating with Heinz, The Coca-Cola Co., Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble to accelerate development of a 100% plant-based plastic to make everything from fabric to packaging and with a lower environmental impact than petroleum-based packaging materials currently in use.

At Heinz, researchers were looking for innovative ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than two million tons of tomatoes the company uses annually to produce its best-selling product: Heinz Ketchup.

“We are delighted that the technology has been validated,” said Vidhu Nagpal, associate director, packaging R&D for Heinz. “Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”

Ford claims that its commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling is part of the company's global sustainability strategy to lessen its environmental footprint while accelerating development of fuel-efficient vehicle technology worldwide. In recent years, Ford has increased its use of recycled nonmetal and bio-based materials. With cellulose fiber-reinforced console components and rice hull-filled electrical cowl brackets introduced in the last year, Ford's bio-based portfolio now includes eight materials in production. Other examples are coconut-based composite materials, recycled cotton material for carpeting and seat fabrics, and soy foam seat cushions and head restraints.


Industry In-Focus

Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach</h2>

Latest PCB Industry Report NTI-100 Shows Growing Asian Reach

Sep 23, 2020

Global PCB NTI-100 2019 Fabricators report from the research agency heavyweight N.T.Information showed companies with over USD$1 billion revenue have increased compared to 2018. The report, annually compiled by Dr. Hayao Nakahar, showed in 2019, 122 fabricators were listed reporting revenue over USD$1 billion, an increase of four companies compared to the 2018 list. The report also found more ...


Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry</h2>

Surgical Masks: the New Battleground for Textile Industry

Sep 22, 2020

With most of society worldwide becoming more and more accustomed to wearing masks in the post-pandemic era, it has become a must-have accessory, attracting domestic textile firms into production. Traditional textile firms, such as Eclat Textile, Makalot, Far Eastern New Century, Everest, Roo Hsing, and QVE, have begun making masks, reports say. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to fewer consumers ...


Minth Group Chairman Jong-Hwa Ching. (UDN File Photo)

Leading Auto Parts Supplier Minth Group Eyes Investing in Taiwan Next Year

Sep 21, 2020

The world's leading auto parts and battery housing maker Minth Group's Chairman Jong-Hwa Ching revealed on Sunday that it would launch M&A investment plans into Taiwan next year, focusing on auto parts, vehicle batteries, and the semiconductor industries. Ching named investing in Taiwan as an advantage highlighted amid the trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and expressed optimism in de...



Industry Reports

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms</h2>

Samsung's Potential Mini/Micro LED Partnership with Taiwanese Firms

Sep 28, 2020

The world's leading memory chip and smartphone maker Samsung Electronics is looking for potential display technology partnerships in Taiwan, specifically for mini/micro-LED industry applications. Local media Economic Daily News reported Samsung was partaking in a private project with LED driver IC supplier Macroblock Inc., a move signaling the Korean group's further ambition in the mini/micro-...


Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB</h2>

Strong Global Trade Rebound for Two-Consecutive Months: CPB

Sep 28, 2020

Since July, global trade volume continues to rebound, signaling economies' restarting in a bid to make up the worldwide lockdown this spring due to the pandemic. In a report released by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the CPB World Trade Monitor in July grew 4.8% compared to June, the largest increase since the bureau began compiling statistics in 2000. This is slightl...


Digitalization Essential for Business Survival: APEC Finance Ministers</h2>

Digitalization Essential for Business Survival: APEC Finance Ministers

Sep 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of membership economies, which has become an essential factor in a company's survival, reported in a unified statement released by finance ministers of representing APEC member countries. Convened under the chairmanship of Malaysian Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, APEC finance ministers assembled over a virtual confe...



Supplier News

Sheh Fung owns three factories, one of which located in Mituo District, KaoHsiung primarily focuses on packaging and heading.

Sheh Fung Screws' Profitable Q3 Prompts Goal for NT$2 Billion Sales by Year-End

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Sheh Fung Screws Co., Ltd focuses on manufacturing three categories of screws: self-drilling screws, painted screws, and wood screws, often found in wood construction, sheet metal roofs, wood footpath, and DIY home decor applications. Currently, the U.S. is the firm's primary market, making up 64% of sales, 7% for Europe, 6% for Asia, and 12% for...

SHEH FUNG SCREWS CO., LTD.


Chipboard Screw, Special Wood Screw, provided by Shuenn Chang Fa

Quality Fastener Maker Shuenn Chang Fa Shows Resilience with Sales Boost

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Taiwanese quality fastener manufacturer Shuenn Chang Fa Enterprise Co., Ltd.'s (SCF) presented exceptional ability to adapt to challenging times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other firms, SCF leveraged its production strategy with its new plant, and even saw sales performing better than expected. SCF’s newest factory expands the original 10,000-square meters factory g...

SHUENN CHANG FA ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.


Stainless Steel Screws, provides by Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Ray Fu's Reliable Fastener Quality for Clients Bolsters Q4 Sales

Sep 24, 2020

■ Huang Chih-ming Ray Fu Enterprise Co., Ltd. is a Taiwanese professional exporter for various fasteners and steel wires. Along with its parent company Chen Nan Iron Wire, both firms are located in Kaohsiung City of southern Taiwan. Ray Fu manages a wire rod storage, spheroidizing annealing furnace, pickling surface equipment, wiring drawing machinery, and fastener forming machine. While the C...

RAY FU ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...


Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...



Exhibition Highlights

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China</h2>

Stable Development and Popular Fastener Show in China

Sep 11, 2020

Driven by market prospects, domestic and international exhibitors actively prepare International Fastener Show China in Shanghai on November 3-5, 2020. Suffering from global epidemic and quarantine nearly half year, exhibitions are hot and popular in mainland China. Thousands of visitors join and visit the exhibitions with inquiries, and are eager to know new technology. Domestic and inter...


2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events</h2>

2020 Medical Taiwan to Host In-Person and Virtual Events

Sep 10, 2020

2020 Medical Taiwan is slated to kick off on Oct. 15 to Oct 17 at Nangang Exhibition Hall 2. Aside from events at the show, show organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is also hosting the “Medical Taiwan Virtual” online edition at the same time due to travel restrictions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual edition will present 200 exhibitors and over 700 medic...


Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 reveals online tools to navigate current trends and post-pandemic opportunities

Sep 01, 2020

Ms Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, reflected that: “As the industry starts to spring back from the effects of COVID-19, we believe that highly influential platforms like Automechanika Shanghai play a crucial role rejuvenating the market. It is our mission to help players unlock their potential. Therefore, we are continuing to realign our resources by utilising new d...