DuPont Aids Sustainable Growth; Earns Kudos

CP 50 company's technology could eliminate the need for 3 million barrels of crude oil.

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When it comes to sustainability, collaborations are essential to fuel innovation in the automotive industry and accelerate the green car evolution, according to DuPont Performance Polymers President Diane H. Gulyas.

During the World Knowledge Forum 2010 in Seoul, Korea, earlier this month, Gulyas noted that the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels is spurring innovation in materials for lightweight cars to cut fuel consumption.  For example, DuPont Zytel PLUS nylon was invented in response to industry demand for long-term heat and chemically resistant plastics.

“Using Zytel PLUS nylon to replace metal in the targeted applications will eliminate 11 kilograms (kg) per vehicle,” says Gulyas.  “Apply that to the 72 million engines scheduled for 2011 and we can eliminate the need for 144 million gallons of gas – or 3 million barrels of crude oil.”

Gulyas highlighted other examples of collaborations that reduce dependence on fossil fuels -- including the first use of renewably sourced plastic in an under-hood mechanical component and the world’s first use of thermoplastic in an oil pan module, saving 1kg.  Other DuPont automotive collaborative-based programs include advanced materials to help develop safer, lighter, more powerful electric vehicles that can go further on a charge, improve safety and ensure performance in downsized engines.

Meanwhile, According to DuPont Executive Vice President Jeffrey L. Keefer, the company continues to achieve strong productivity gains and expects $600 million in savings between fixed-cost productivity and restructuring benefits in 2010. Keefer also said DuPont remains well-positioned for continued global growth, with about 60% of sales coming from outside the United States during the first half of 2010 and emerging markets sales up 32% compared to the first half of 2009.

“Our productivity improvements and disciplined cost management are real, sustainable, and will help deliver future growth and profitability,” Keefer told analysts at the Oppenheimer 5th Annual Industrials Conference held Sept. 30.

Keefer explained that the company will achieve additional productivity gains using DuPont Integrated Business Management, which analyzes the business supply chain to maximize efficiency in working capital; DuPont Production System, which improves operations to gain fixed-cost productivity benefits at manufacturing sites; and Six Sigma processes, which help improve and streamline functions across the company.

In other news, out of nearly 600 entries, DuPont was one of just 49 winners in the Wall Street Journal 2010 Technology Innovation Awards. DuPont Qualicon’s BAX system was named as a runner-up in the Medicine-Biotech category for two pathogen detection tests that were introduced in 2009. As a way to address food safety issues, the BAX system is used to detect pathogens or other organisms in raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples.

The automated system uses polymerase chain reaction assays, tableted reagents and optimized media to detect Salmonella, Listeria species, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, Enterobacter sakazakii, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio, yeast and mold.

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