August 2, 2005

Ford developing more efficient painting systems

Dearborn, Michigan – Ford has been engaged in a multi-year project to reshape the financial and environmental costs of vehicle painting, as reported by the Green Car Congress. The new painting process reduces VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and CO2 emissions as compared to other current processes, and also reduces the cost per vehicle.

Ford has also developed a fumes-to-fuel system that captures and condenses the VOCs emissions from painting and uses them as fuel to produce electricity to help power the paint shop.

Ford is working on what it calls the 3-Wet SSS system, a process that removes one of the main paint-baking sequences and allows for wet-on-wet application of the primer, solvent and clearcoat. Ford estimates that the process will reduce the cost per vehicle by more than US$10 relative to a standard SSS process. The 3-Wet SSS system has yet to be deployed in North America, but is in initial use in Japan.

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