Volvo AB

International Environmental Award To Volvo's



INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD TO VOLVO'S FOUNDRY

WFO, the World Foundrymen Organization, has chosen to present Volvo's
foundry in Skovde, Sweden with its newly instituted "Environmental Award
2002" for the development of a new casting process that contributes to a
reduced environmental impact from production as well as from the
completed truck engines.

"It is very gratifying that our environmental efforts, with extensive
investments in advanced technology, have been recognised in such a major
forum," says Leif Hultman, manager for Volvo Powertrain in Skovde.

Recycled energy
In the new casting method, FPC (Future Process for Casting), the
hardening process of the molten metal is accelerated by placing the
casting mould in a water-cooled steel container called a "chill mould."
Approximately half of the energy used in the casting process can thereby
be recycled. At the same time, the use of moulding sand is reduced,
since the moulds can be made smaller.

"The FPC method enables us to save moulding sand, in some cases up to
70%, depending on the casting. The new method also gives us the
technical capacity to eventually reduce the risk of odours in the area
around the foundry," says Sven-Erik Dahlberg, head of development at
Volvo Powertrain's foundry in Skovde, and the man who has led the work
in developing this patented process.

Meets environmental requirements
Casting with the FPC method makes it possible to raise the quality of
the castings, while reducing the weight of the cast components.
"This, in turn, results in lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions,
which naturally also strengthens Volvo's competitiveness," adds Sven-
Erik Dahlberg.

Technology of the future
The FPC method is currently being used to cast the cylinder heads for
Volvo's 9-litre engines and for some of the 12-litre engines. An initial
investment of SEK 100 million has been made in a new production line
with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes per year (which can be compared with a
total capacity of approximately 84,000 tonnes/year, making this foundry
the largest of its kind in northern Europe).

"The long-range objective is to cast a greater number of components
using this method, which will undoubtedly live up to its name," says
Sven-Erik Dahlberg. WFO's environmental prize will be awarded in Korea
on October 24.

Appendix: Background information

Goteborg, Sweden, June 2002

For additional information, please contact
Claes Claeson, Media Relations, Volvo Trucks,
phone: +4631 - 66 39 08 or +46708 - 36 39 08
E-mail: [email protected]

Background information:
Volvo Powertrain's foundry in Skovde is the largest one in northern
Europe. Half of all grey cast iron in Sweden is cast in this facility,
whose products primarily include cylinder blocks and cylinder heads,
brake drums and discs, and flywheels. The foundry also serves as a
competence centre for the Volvo Group's engine developers, and is an
active member in Svenska Gjuteriforeningen (Swedish Foundry
Association), which in turn is a member of WFO, World Foundrymen
Organization.

The WFO Environmental Award will be presented for the first time at the
WFO's 65th World Congress in Kyongju, South Korea on October 20-24,
2002. The organisation has members in 35 countries. The competition's
regulations state that the prize is to be awarded for exemplary
environmental efforts, and for setting a good example for other
foundries. A unanimous jury selected Volvo Powertrain as the recipient
of the award for "genuinely innovative efforts in the development of the
new casting process FPC."

At Volvo Powertrain's foundry in Skovde, work has been underway since
1995 toward developing new materials and methods which make it possible
to meet increasingly higher demands on the products' characteristics.
Traditional castings have insufficient structural strength to withstand
dramatically increased requisite combustion pressures. The FPC method
produces stronger material and new possibilities for development.

Many other engine manufacturers are working toward developing compacted
graphite iron that is stronger but more resource-intensive than common
grey cast iron. Volvo is also working with this material as an
alternative for development. The FPC process, with its stable form, is
also expected to provide manufacturing advantages in the production of
compacted graphite iron.

97 % of the raw material in the casting process consists of scrap iron.
Casting sand is used at least 10 times before it is disposed of. In
traditional casting, approximately 0.5 kg raw sand is consumed per kilo
of casting, compared with 0.15 kg in the FPC method.

A considerable amount of energy is conserved by using the new method.
The recycled energy from casting one single cylinder head is sufficient,
for example, to heat 400 litres of water from the freezing point to the
boiling point.

The new patented technology was brought on-line at the Skovde foundry in
late 1999. Capacity is currently 6,000 tonnes per year, but will
progressively be increased.

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