Every precious drop
Audi’s Mission:Zero initiative takes in multiple strategies to achieve its ultimate goal.
Audi Mexico is demonstrating its commitment to the Audi Mission:Zero strategy, with state-of-the-art recycling technology creating a closed water loop at its San José Chiapa facility.
28 January, 2021
Audi México is responsible for producing the Q5 in all its derivatives
The term ‘sustainability’ is bandied around a lot these days, but often with little or no explanation. Audi though is very specific in its stated aim of seeing all of its plants worldwide become carbon neutral by 2025. Its Mission:Zero strategy looks at all aspects of operations and ways of reducing the impact of each step in its vehicle design and manufacture, whether that be closed loop manufacturing processes, use of green energy only or advanced recycling techniques or even the use of virtual planning at its facilities to reduce the use of materials. The brand also expects a similar commitment from suppliers, all of which have to demonstrate their own green credentials.
At Audi México, ever since the plant in San José Chiapa was designed, reducing environmental impact in all facets of its operations has been a central pillar. From greening the area around the plant, to advanced painting techniques to conserve water, Audi México has been a leading light, constantly seeking out the latest technologies in all areas of production.
Audi México is responsible for producing one of the most important models in the Audi Group's Q category, producing the Audi Q5 in all its derivatives for the whole world except China. All the manufacturing processes of this vehicle are carried out with due respect for the environment – a perfect example of which is the Reverse Osmosis plant which which has managed to return 100,000m3 to production, equivalent to 100 million litres of water in just over two years.
Water is a vital element in the manufacture of a car and in the production of the Audi Q5, it is used in a variety of different processes, including the corrosion protection of the body, and in the hermetic tests of the finished vehicles, as well as the aforementioned Paint Shop.
But regardless of the process, all of the water used in the factory areas is combined with the rest of the liquid from the other processes and social uses such as toilets or kitchens for recycling and reuse. Every drop used goes through a biological treatment process and at he end of this, the quality values are monitored to ensure legal and regulatory compliance.
The Reverse Osmosis plant has two main treatment phases, ultrafiltration and then the reverse osmosis stage where all the impurities and minerals are removed for reuse in production.
Water for industrial use and water with a high concentration of impurities is obtained from the reverse osmosis treatment. These are reduced through the evaporation ponds built at the side
of the plant in order to solidify the remains and manage them as waste in compliance with the applicable regulations. In this way, Audi México avoids the discharge of wastewater to the outside and guarantees the correct use of water by closing the cycle within the plant.
It’s a complicated process, but one which is delivering real results that help create a much lighter ‘footprint’ on the environment – at at its present rate of 50 million litres of water each year, it’s no drop in the ocean.
Water is a vital element in the manufacture of a car and is used in a variety of different processes
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