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Ford sets new benchmark in paint

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The new Ford Motor Company paint shop in India can be regarded as the current benchmark on the Indian market in terms of energy consumption, paint finish quality and cost per unit.

The core components in the new paint shop are, along with pretreatment, cathodic electrocoating and fully automatic paint application, a high-performance pollution control system for reducing VOC emissions, a heat recovery system for oven heating and highly efficient electrical pumps for paint circulation. Established by Dürr, the shop uses process and application equipment combined with the car maker’s specific standards. For example, the paint line in Sanand was conceptualized by Ford, according to the so-called 3-wet-paint technology. Three paint layers (primer, base coat and clear coat) are applied one after the other in this paint process, then dried together in a subsequent step. This not only saves space because complete drying can be forgone after the primer painting, but is also highly energy efficient.

Right from the beginning, the paint process by Ford Sanand is about quality and performance: In pretreatment the white body is initially cleaned, phosphated and provided with a first even coating during the subsequent cathodic electrocoating (EC). Dürr applies its proven Ecopaint RoDip M process here. In this process, the car body is dipped into the dip tank and conveyed through the tank, rotating on its transverse axis. The car body is initially cleaned evenly by this rotation. Subsequently, a high-quality corrosion protection treatment is performed in the EC process, in which primer paint is applied. In the RoDip dip tank, immersion and removal sections standing at steep angles shorten the dip tank by several meters, thus conserving space and resources.

After the EC, the individual spot-welded seams of the primed car body are sealed in a sealing plant. An underbody sealant that protects the vehicle from stone-chipping and corrosion is applied here simultaneously.

Following this, the cleaning system Ecopaint Clean removes loose dirt particles from the car bodies. Rotating feathers swipe over the car body’s outer skin, gathering and removing the dust lying on it.

For the 3-wet-paint process specific to Ford, the car bodies branch into two lines. A total of 32 paint robots of the type EcoRP L033 apply the primer paint, as well as the base coat and clear coat, in three directly consecutive steps. All robots are equipped for this task with the proven high speed rotating atomizer EcoBell2. The innovative air conditioning EcoSmart AC ensures optimum air management and thus contributes additionally to the high paint finish quality at Ford in Sanand. Even with the climatic challenges typical for India, such as high temperatures and humidity, the air conditioning performs precisely and is stable long-term. This reduces energy consumption significantly by up to 30% and simultaneously lowers the production costs.

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july 2020
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