Source: FDP Friction Science announcement

TAPPAHANNOCK, VA — FDP Friction Science, headquartered in Tappahannock, Va., has been manufacturing brake pads in the United States for 50 years, and during the past decade, has re-invented the traditional brake manufacturing process to improve product quality, environmental impact and team member satisfaction.

“We want to be good stewards of the environment as well as leaders for the brake manufacturing industry,” said Jack Carney, CEO of FDP Friction Science. “Our engineering and management teams have done tremendous research into how we can reduce waste, improve air quality, enhance ergonomics and decrease energy use throughout our facility. Through that, we’ve championed environmental changes that are paying off tremendous dividends in our quality products, our team members performance and our cost savings.”

The company has improved its energy rating from GS3 to GS2, which represents savings of $5,000 per month.

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Improved Product Quality

One of the key changes in the product manufacturing process was to remove copper from the FDP brake pad compound in advance of the EPA Copper-Free Initiative that calls for reducing copper in brake pads to less than five percent by weight in 2021 and 0.5 percent by 2025.  FDP offered copper-free prior to 2010, helping reduce the impact on copper levels in bodies of water.

FDP Friction Science has also increased the use of cashew-based products in its formulas, which are a renewable component derived from cashew nuts. The company also changed the painting operation for brake pad backing to a low-heat powder coating to reduce energy use.

More Efficient Facility Management

Throughout the Virginia facility, FDP Friction Science changed out all of the lights to energy efficient LED fixtures and added skylights to allow more natural light. The overhaul included some 4,000 fixtures and 16,000 bulbs.

The firm also added electric started motors to the mixers that create the proprietary FDP brake pad compounds. In addition, it upgraded the air-handling systems reduce the particle size filtered, creating a cleaner work environment and better working conditions for their team members.

Enhanced Morale

With brighter lighting and a cleaner working environment, the team members say they feel better when they come to work. And they take pride in keeping their workplace clean and making a quality product.