Lower Consumption and Higher Quality
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Surface treatment in the automotive industry is still a resource-intensive process. System suppliers are focusing all their efforts on reducing energy, water and paint consumption. This article highlights the progress that has been made towards developing resource-efficient automotive finishing processes, the challenges that still lie ahead and the areas with potential for improvement.
Not too long ago, the surface treatment process was responsible for half the total energy consumption of the automotive industry. Nowadays, a medium-sized paint shop still uses a large amount of energy to heat the two million or so cubic metres of air needed every hour for the painting process. And depending on the type of process used, the vehicle bodies may have to be heated two or three times to a temperature between 130 and 180°C. With vehicle bodies weighing between 400 and 600 kilograms, the megawatts mount up very quickly.