• Madani Sahari

Transforming automotive environmental management

Automotive pollution began when the auto manufacturers and the various associated industries producing parts, components and other consumable items working with one other to manufacture the vehicles.

The industrial polluting than further extended by the aftermarket sector as the vehicle are sold and are running on the road burning fuel, while release pollutants and accumulate wastes during services and maintenance work throughout the vehicles life spans.

A study has claimed that the total number of vehicles running on the road worldwide have surpassed the one billion-unit mark since 2010. The vehicles include; passenger cars, light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks, and buses, but not including the off-road or heavy construction vehicles.

The report has also postulated that the world vehicles population will hit 2.5 billion mark by 2050.

Henceforth to mitigate the enormous environmental polluting impact of such a large vehicles population now and the future will be a great challenge.

The current initiatives to promote the introduction of EEV, the use of higher Euro standard fuels and bio-fuels in the country is paramount towards reducing the environmental atmospheric pollution by the fossil fuel driven vehicles.

However automotive industrial production and vehicles services and maintenance wastes pollutions are deem equally important in which efforts are now focused on the introduction of 4R2S initiative to transform the local automotive ecosystem towards becoming more environmental friendly.

4R2S is an abbreviation to represent; Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Remanufacture and Service and Spare parts.

“Reuse” is aimed at encouraging the services and maintenance community to employ good “used” or “returned” parts and components extracted from damaged or end-of-life of vehicles for the same functions for which they were previously installed.

Whilst “Repair” is to restore these used parts and components to a functional condition after worn out or damages are remedied prior to reinstallation into the vehicles.

“Recycling” is aimed at promoting automotive manufacturers and vendors, both upstream and downstream activities, to segregate and to reprocess non-reusable parts and components from damaged and end-of-life vehicles as inputs into their production line to produce new components, vis-à-vis material recovery.

On the other hand “Remanufacturing” is aimed at encouraging industry players to selvage parts and components to be reconditioned to as good as new using a standardized industrial process in line with specific technical specifications for further use on vehicles.

Educating and transforming the aftermarket services and maintenance community towards best practice and safe use of reused, repaired or remanufactured parts is abbreviated by the “2S” of the 4R2S initiative.

“Services” are sets of standardised actions or solutions adopted by workshop operators to provide repeatable and consistent maintenance works on various vehicles for the benefit of the customers, inclusive of safety and economical use of vehicles parts and components.

Whilst “Spare parts” is a methodological inventory of interchangeable parts for use in repair or replacement work of worn or failed parts and components. The “Spare Parts” include those that are new, used, repaired and remanufactured.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), working closely with standardisation authority and motor vehicles regulators, is currently formulating the industry specifications for both the 4R and 2S respectively of the 4R2S automotive environmental management initiative.

The documents, once publicly accepted, shall be the guidelines for industry players and aftermarket operators to put into good practices in helping the nation towards a cleaner environment from automotive related pollutants.

Public education and promotion of the 4R2S concept will commence this year.

It is hopeful that the concept will be widely practiced by the industry players and the aftermarket community next year once the said 4R and 2S documents are made available.

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