Audi’s Precision Painting
The tests are being run on vehicles that have a contrasting black roof.
Before the body is painted, a measuring instrument on the end effector of a robot measures the laser-brazed seam between the roof and the side-panel frame, thereby determining location. Then the black paint is applied in individual strips on the roof with a specially developed application device. Each strip has a sharp border and there is no overspray. According to Audi, the strips are applied with “millimeter accuracy.”
Not only does this precise paint placement mean that masking and the related materials aren’t needed (it is worth noting that masking tape was developed in 1925 by 3M for auto shop painting applications), but as there is no overspray, there is less paint waste involved in the process.
Audi plans to put the painting process into production in 2019.
Great material savings can be achieved when high temperature-resistant bags are used for reverse masking in paint shops for getting two-tone paint jobs done. Here's how it is done.
I'm not talking about a plastic Revell model of a '57 Chevy, but a real vehicle, one that rolls off an assembly line in 1999 with another 99,999 just like it right behind. Is it possible, or is this just a fantasy of the marketing department at Elmer's?
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.