BANGKOK, Thailand – Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) reached an historic milestone when it became the first Ford plant globally to use rotational dipping technology with a phosphate and electro-coat system.
Under the technology, car bodies are rotated 360 degrees in dipping stages to ensure a uniform phosphate and electro coating, which also reduces water and chemical usage, further helping protect the environment.
The first trial of the phosphate and electro-coat system was inaugurated by Trevor Negus, director, Manufacturing, Ford Thailand, and Thawatchai Panwimol, welfare committee chairman, on August 22.
In addition to the new phosphate and electro-coat system, FTM is the only manufacturer in ASEAN to have a 3-Wet High-Solids paint facility, which can deliver 11 colours including a tinted clear-coat as a special option.
The 3-Wet High-Solids paint technology uses automated robots which apply three coats – primer, base coat and clear coat – on top of another before being cured in the oven.
The new paint line is more environmentally friendly, producing less carbon dioxide emissions and cutting volatile organic compound emissions by around 20 percent compared to conventional medium-solids solvent-borne paint systems. It also produces a high-gloss finish with excellent depth of colour, along with enhanced durability and resistance to scratches and stone chips.
The first electro-coated body was processed through FTM's 3-Wet High-Solids paint facility on August 25, inaugurated by Gary Johnson, executive director, Manufacturing, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, in attendance.
The new paint facilities at FTM are part of Ford's USD 450 million investment in its integrated manufacturing plant in Thailand, which will start with production of the All-New Focus.
| Robots paint the C346 car body.
||The C346 body is dipped into the E-coat tank and rotated 360 degress through the rotatational dipping conveyor.|
|Gary Johnson, executive director, addresses the team pripr to starting up the 3-Wet painting process.
||(From left) Gary Johnson, executive director, manufacturing, Kalyan Murugan, general manager, Paint and Trevor Negus director, Manufacturing press the button to start the 3-Wet paint process.|