Dearborn, Michigan – Ford is expanding the use of its exclusive, environmentally-friendly paint system to its shops in India, Romania, Mexico and China, along with a launch in its assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan.
“Our 3-Wet paint technology is cost-efficient,” said Bruce Hettle, executive director of global manufacturing engineering. “It’s environmentally sound. And it produces durable, high-quality painted vehicles. It’s another example of how we are implementing world-class manufacturing both in North America and around the world.”
The technology uses a high-solids, solvent-borne paint formulation, developed by Ford and its suppliers, that produces fewer emissions than current water- and solvent-borne paints, but with long-term paint durability. An automated application process allows three layers of primer, base and enamel to be applied one after another, without manual intervention, and while each layer is still wet. The system produces a 20 to 25 per cent reduction in process time.
Because of the differences in technique, the system produces 6,000 metric tons fewer CO2 emissions per year compared to water-borne systems, and 8,000 metric tons fewer than conventional high-solvent-borne systems. There is also a Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions savings of five per cent related to processing.
Ford launched the system at its Ohio plant, painting 200 Econoline vehicles that logged 400,000 miles (643,737 km) in their first month on the road as U-Haul trucks as a test.
The system will launch at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, now being retooled for small car production, along with Ford paint facilities in India, Romania, Mexico and China.