Efficiently Painting Bytons
A paint shop being built by Dürr Group in Nanjing for the Future Mobility Corp. is being setup for an initial run of 150,000 vehicles per year (30 per hour) and for the potential of doubling that number.
What makes this notable is that the footprint of the paint shop is, according to Dürr, 20 percent smaller than it would traditionally be, with a large part of this size reduction being accounted for by the use of a new type of oven, the EcoInCure.
This oven makes use of two jet nozzles that go through the windshield opening and two more that go into the front compartment (were these not electric vehicles, this would be the engine bay). These heat the vehicles from the inside out.
According to Dürr, one of the issues that faces structures that are produced with multi-materials, such as steel, aluminum and composites, is that uniformity of heating is difficult to achieve as each of the materials has its own thermal profile. Through the use of the heating via the nozzle approach, there is more uniformity of heating. What’s more, by heating from the inside out, there is less effect on the exterior surface of the body, thereby helping provide a better top coat surface.
In addition to the oven, Dürr is deploying its RoDip pretreatment and electrocoating system (where the body is literally rotated in the liquid), as well as the EcoDC MACS system, which uses modular anode control to create a voltage profile in the tank so that the electrocoating is performed completely but with only the necessary amount of energy.
There are robots equipped with EcoBell 3 atomizers; overspray in the booths of primer and top coat will be addressed with the semi-automatic EcoDryX dry separation system (which makes use of cardboard filters); and Dürr is putting in place a downstream exhaust air purification system that uses both the Ecopure KPR VOC adsorptive concentration system and the Ecopure RTO thermal exhaust air purification system.
The paint shop, which was ordered earlier this year, is expected to go into production in October 2019.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is just one manufacturing method that drives advanced mobility forward and also has a history of embracing the digital connectivity demanded by this trend.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)