Ford is rolling out its 3-Wet paint technology in its paint shops in India, Romania, Mexico and China. The high-solids paint technology eliminates the need for process stages, replacing energy-consuming equipment with a simple, integrated booth. (Earlier post.)
Ford is also readying its launch of the process at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.
The 3-Wet paint technology is a combination of process and product that has allowed Ford to restructure its paint shops on a global scale. It is based on a high-solids, solvent-borne paint formulation developed by Ford and its suppliers that produces fewer emissions than current waterborne and solvent-borne paints, yet allows Ford to maintain its industry-leading long-term paint durability.
An automated application process eliminates the prep stage in a paint shop, allowing the three layers of paint—primer, base and —to be applied one after another without manual intervention and while each layer is still wet. The result is a superior product that offers a savings in time—specifically, about a 20 to 25% reduction in process time.
Because of the differences in technique—including robotic processing, elimination of equipment and associated pollutants, and increased line speed—there are 6,000 metric tons fewer CO2 emissions per year compared to waterborne systems and 8,000 metric tons fewer CO2 emissions per year compared to conventional high-solvent-borne systems. There also is a Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions savings of 5% related to processing.