The Dürr Group, manufacturer of machinery and plant engineering has established a modern painting shop at the new Ford India manufacturing facility at Sanand in Gujarat. The new paint shop becomes the benchmark for the Indian market in terms of energy consumption, paint finish quality and cost per unit. Outlining the automated paint process, Dr Hans Schumacher, Head of the Dürr Division Application Technology said that, “We not only achieve lower VOC and CO2 emissions but also ensuring highest paint quality finish.”

The core components in the new paint shop are, along with pretreatment, cathodic Electro Coating (EC) 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. The paint line in Sanand was conceptualised by Ford, according to the so-called 3-wet-paint technology which uses EC technology. The 3 paint layers (primer, base coat and clear coat) are applied one after the other in this paint process, then dried together as a subsequent step. This not only saves space because complete drying can be forgone after the primer painting, but it is also highly energy efficient. The white body is first cleaned phosphated and the first layer coating should be done. The proven Ecopaint RoDip M process is applied and the car is dipped into the dip tank and rotated on its transverse axis. Once the first stage of cleaning is done, a high-quality corrosion protection treatment is performed where the primer paint is applied. The immersion and removal sections are cross sectioned in such a manner that it conserves less space and resources.

After the EC, the individual spot-welded seams of the primed car body are sealed in a Dürr sealing plant. This process is fully automated with 8 EcoRS Dürr standard robots and can be reprogrammed flexibly for other cars. 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. The 3-wet-paint process is automated and taken care with EcoSmart AC installed for temperature management. With these kinds of innovations a new bench mark is set. The robots’ process will not be hindered during the down time but the other machines take over the painting scopes of the failed robot. Dürr air purification plant Ecopure TAR finally takes charge for purification of air and the CO2 emissions can be reduced.

The supervisory control system EcoEMOS from Dürr ensures the control and visual display of the entire production. Based on many years of experience in plant engineering, the software links the production’s control level with the plant’s job management and creates efficiency through transparency. The cars which are going to get rolled in an year’s time would have undergone resource-saving paint process of pretreatment, seam sealing, application technology and automation, right up to air pollution control. “By means of this efficient process, we have succeeded in lowering the consumption of materials and energy significantly, which further cascades to a lower Carbon footprint as compared to conventional painting processes,” concluded Girish kumar, Paint Area Manager, Ford Sanand. ACI

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