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.
PPG's Application Development Center has cooked up a number of new recipes for powder coating, from changing color on the fly to cutting drying time. The company hopes the new processes will drop more than over spray to the bottom line.
Imagine a paint job—and “job” is a rather pedestrian word in this context—for a vehicle that is 10 layers thick and which uses 250 percent more paint than the standard, a standard which is already superlative.
Mazda North American Designers revealed four concept vehicles at SEMA this week.