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Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturing

FDP Friction Science Goes Green

CEO Jack Carney showcases the company’s environmental improvements for Earth Day 2021 on April 22.


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

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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.”

They have improved their energy rating from GS3 to GS2, which represents savings of $5,000 per month.

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 < 5 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 their formulas, which are a renewable component derived from cashew nuts. They 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 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.

They also added electric started motors to the mixers that create the proprietary FDP brake pad compounds. In addition, they upgraded their 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 work place clean and making a quality product.

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