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Toyota is Now Manufacturing Engine Blocks and Transmission Housings From Recycled Aluminum at its Plant in Tennessee

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【Summary】The engine block in your Toyota vehicle may contain recycled beverage cans and other repurposed aluminum. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee (TMMTN), the factory that builds engine blocks and transmission housings for every Toyota vehicle sold in the U.S., is using recycled aluminum to create thousands of them each day.

Eric Walz    Aug 19, 2021 12:35 PM PT
Toyota is Now Manufacturing Engine Blocks and Transmission Housings From Recycled Aluminum at its Plant in Tennessee
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee sits on a 200 acre campus in the city of Jackson.

The engine block in your Toyota vehicle may contain recycled beverage cans and other repurposed aluminum materials.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Tennessee (TMMTN), the factory that builds engine blocks for every Toyota vehicle sold in the U.S., is using recycled aluminum to create thousands of engine blocks and transmission housings every day, the automaker announced.

Toyota said an increase in customer demand for its vehicles prompted the expansion of its Bodine Aluminum plant to Jackson, Tennessee in 2003. Toyota later changed the name to "Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Tennessee."

Bodine Aluminum was founded in 1912 as the "Bodine Pattern Company" in St. Louis, Missouri. Over the years, it became known as a quality aluminum casting facility.

As Toyota began expanding its manufacturing presence in the U.S., the automaker needed a trusted partner to build high- quality aluminum parts and tapped Bodine as its supplier. Totyota acquired Bodine in 1990.

Employees at TMMTN work with the latest advanced technologies including robots and hybrid 3D printers to develop high-quality materials efficiently. The plant can produce up to 1.6 million engine blocks and 778,000 transmission cases per year.

The engine blocks and transmission housings are pressure casted from molten aluminum that is heated and stored at 1500 degrees fahrenheit. The liquid aluminum is then fed into dies that create the engine and transmission parts. After the aluminum has solidified in the die, a robot removes the freshly minted casting. It's then cooled in a tank of water. Toyota uses recycled water for many of the manufacturing processes.

Toyota said it can produce 1.6 million engine blocks and 870,000 transmission housings and cases each year at the plant. The automaker assembled 1.13 million vehicles in North America in the first seven months of this year and all of the engine blocks came from TMMTN.

In addition to using recycled aluminum, TMMTN is reducing carbon at the facility by replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED lighting as well as limiting unnecessary equipment operation. Toyota said that these small changes lessen carbon emissions by hundreds of metric tons every year.

As part of Toyota's commitment to the environment, the 450,000-square-foot manufacturing facility sits on a 200 acre campus that includes native wildflowers and 100 Yoshino blossom and fruit-bearing cherry trees planted by Toyota. These trees and flowers help aid migrant and resident songbirds and a host of other pollinators, the automaker said. 

The Wildlife Habitat Council certified the facility in 2015 and recognized Toyota for its biodiversity efforts to help the environment around the plant.


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