July 11, 2006

BMW introduces new paint technology at Mini plant

Munich, Germany – BMW Group has introduced an innovative paint technology, known as IPP (Integrated Paint Process), at its Mini plant in Oxford, England. The system is expected to have a long-term impact on energy savings and emissions reductions, while meeting high quality standards for surfaces. The IPP introduction is a key factor in the expansion of the plant’s production capacity to a mid-term volume of up to 240,000 units.

Compared with previous technology, IPP completely eliminates the primer coat application and oven stage. Instead, the system uses a “wet on wet” application of two layers, the first integrating all the functions and qualities of a primer-surfacer, while the second base coat applies colour, effect and depth. A clear coat is applied on top of the base coat as before.

The system dispenses with a solvent-based primer-surfacer, which the company says supports its environmental objectives, and reduces energy costs and emissions in the paint shop by more than ten per cent. As well, the space and infrastructure previously used for primer coat application can be reallocated as an additional base coat line.

Plant Oxford, the sole production site for the Mini, is the first BMW Group manufacturing facility to use the new paint system. The introduction of IPP into other plants will be considered on a case-by-case basis when paint shops need replacing or refurbishing.

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