The Chinese start-up Byton, which is developing fully networked and highly automated electric vehicles (earlier post) has commissioned Dürr to construct a complete paint shop. Distinguishing features are a 20% reduction in the facility’s physical footprint and the use of pioneering technologies such as the EcoInCure oven—which is highly suited for electric vehicles.
Byton is among the early adopters for this technology; Skoda will be the first automotive manufacturer using EcoInCure in its new paint shop in Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic). The first three paint shops with this technology will go into operation early 2019. Further projects are already being planned, according to Dürr.
In October 2019, the Chinese OEM Future Mobility Corporation (FMC) will begin production of electric vehicles under the Byton brand at its company site in Nanjing. The new paint shop is designed to initially handle 150,000 vehicles per year—equivalent to 30 units per hour. Growth has been factored in and the capacity can easily be doubled when demand requires.
Electric mobility is developing hand-in-hand with modified body concepts that use new materials or that combine materials in new ways. Conventional ovens reach their limits when steel, aluminum and composite materials are used together. This is because it is vital that all body parts are heated uniformly, otherwise thermal stresses occur.
To meet this challenge, Dürr developed a fundamentally new concept in vehicle drying with EcoInCure: bodies are heated from the inside out by two jet nozzles through the opening for the windshield and two nozzles directed into the engine compartment opening. This enables unprecedented uniformity of heating.
Compared with conventional ovens, there is also a significant improvement in top-coat quality and process performance because heating from the inside out reduces the risk of pinholing. In addition, minimized flow velocities along the freshly painted surfaces ensure a completely undisrupted top coat appearance.
Dürr’s scope of delivery for the new paint shop for Byton FMC includes the RoDip rotational dip process for pretreatment and electrocoating—already equipped for 60 units per hour—as well as all the robotic and application technology for the sealing and painting processes.
The electrocoating stage uses the energy-saving and fail-safe system EcoDC MACS. This technology uses its modular anode control to create a voltage profile in the tank that moves with the body.
The robots in the spray booths are equipped with the latest EcoBell 3 atomizer generation. The semi-automatic EcoDryX dry separation system, which separates the overspray in the paint booths for primer and top coat, requires no water or chemicals. This simple and robust technology works on the basis of cardboard filters.
In addition, Dürr is designing a downstream exhaust air purification system made up of the highly efficient Ecopure KPR VOC adsorptive concentration system with combined thermal exhaust air purification using the Ecopure RTO.
The scope of delivery of the order placed at the beginning of 2018 includes material feeding for PVC and paint, shop ventilation, fire protection for the process systems and a reverse-osmosis plant to reduce the water hardness. The exhaust air from the ovens is purified via the Ecopure TAR recuperative thermal process, which also provides all the heat for the oven in an energy-efficient way.
Despite the extensive equipment, the design of the plant will be compact and space saving – due in large part to EcoInCure. This is because the oven transports bodies transversely, halving its required length compared to conventional systems. In addition, a central high-bay warehouse saves the space required for multiple intermediate buffers and enables intelligent material flow control. All in all, this Eco+Layout from Dürr reduces the paint shop’s footprint by 20%.
The Dürr Group is one of the world’s leading mechanical and plant engineering firms with extensive expertise in automation and digitization/Industry 4.0. Products, systems and services offered by the Group enable highly efficient manufacturing processes in different industries. Dürr supplies sectors such as the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, chemical, pharmaceutical and woodworking industries. The company has 92 business locations in 31 countries. The Group generated sales of €3.71 billion in 2017.