HP in drive to help car manufacturers reduce waste

28 Jan 2013

Hewlett-Packard is getting involved in a shared service to help 34 of the world’s leading car manufacturers wipe out harmful substances from the automotive sector supply chain, as the technology giant is set to host the International Material Data System (IMDS) for the next five years.

The IMDS is a global data repository for product content used by the automotive industry and more than 100,000 companies in the vehicle supply chain to meet regulations on hazardous substances.

Under the contract, HP will develop, maintain and host the IMDS global data repository.

The system is primarily used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as a standard system to report on the different parts used in vehicles.

The IMDS was originally developed in response to the EU’s End-Of-Life Vehicles Directive, but has since become the global standard for reporting material content across the automotive industry.

The system supplies more than 40m data sheets that list the details of every substance involved in the manufacturing of all components used in cars.

The aim is to help prevent the use of heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, as well as making sure that reportable substances are declared for recycling.

OEMs from around the world have joined original members such as BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Porsche, Volvo and Volkswagen to take part in the initiative.

“Previously, OEMs all had their own lists of prohibited and reportable substances, which made it difficult to identify them in the supply chain,” said Matthew Griffin, representative, Jaguar Land Rover.

“The IMDS provides a standardised format for exchanging material information throughout the manufacturing process, making it easier for the automotive industry to comply with legal requirements in a cost-efficient manner,” he said.

The goal is to help car manufacturers meet their commitment to recycle 95pc of the mass of each vehicle sold by 2015.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic