SOUTHFIELD, MI – Dürr has built a high-tech paint shop for Ford in Hermosillo, Mexico, in order to accommodate a new vehicle that Ford will be producing. The new replacement paint shop is located next to the existing stamping and assembly plant. It makes clever use of local climatic conditions and targets modern technology, the latest digital solutions, and high painting quality.

The mechanical and plant engineering company, Dürr, constructed the entire paint shop for Ford Motor Co., which included low- and high-viscosity material supply systems, robotic paint and sealer application equipment, and other process automation technology. In addition to two painting booths for a three-wet process, Ford uses a dedicated booth for two-tone painting by masking. Arranging the two-tone coating separately creates flexibility and ensures highest efficiency of the conventional coating line.

Dürr’s EcoRP E033i painting robots perform the automatic exterior coating of primer, base and clear coat in all painting booths. The approx. 2.5-meter-long interior cargo areas are base-coated with Dürr’s EcoRP S153i swing-arm robots. These are specially designed for painting commercial vehicles. With its highly mobile swing-arm, the robot can easily reach surfaces several meters away as well as hard-to-reach areas in the interior. The modularity of this newest generation of robots allows for high flexibility and improved robustness.

As for the two main 3-wet topcoat painting booths, the customer has opted for the EcoEnvirojet wet scrubber technology with its easy cleaning access and maintenance. The two-tone booth includes the semi-automatic EcoDry X overspray dry separation technology. The system allows for paint separation without the use of water or chemicals. Filter trolleys with easy-to-replace disposable cardboard filters permit quick replacement, even during production.

Outside Ovens Take Advantage of High Temperatures

Another distinctive detail of the plant takes advantage of Hermosillo’s high temperatures and dry weather during most of the year. Installed outdoors, the e-coat, sealing, two-tone and topcoat Dürr Ecopaint ovens utilize the high ambient air temperature for a more energy efficient heating. The ovens are equipped with Dürr’s recuperative thermal oxidizer Oxi.X TR, which is an elimination system for VOCs and is the most efficient, cost-effective method of air purification. Designed as a U-turn layout, the modular ovens are located outside so the car bodies can leave the building, go through the ovens, and then return indoors.

Digital Solutions Increase Transparency

Dürr's scope of supply also included the digital solutions DXQplant.monitoring and, providing greater visibility of factory and equipment data, while achieving significant downtime reduction. The analysis software, for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), evaluates all robot and process data; traceable down to the millisecond, faults are quickly identified and rectified. The technological highlight is a streaming analytics application for real-time data analysis.

Before Color Comes into Play

Dürr installed the phosphate and electro dipcoating tanks equipped with Ecopaint PT/EC pendulum system as well as the modular anode control EcoDC MACS. The modular design of this anode control protects the system from failures. Due to multiple rectifiers, the system allows for an individual setting of voltage, or current profiles, for each car body type, thus providing for a maximum impact to the coating process.

The sealing line includes manual and automated zones. Four EcoRS 30 L16 sealing robots, and two EcoRS 16 overhead handling robots are installed in the liquid-applied sound deadener (LASD) zone, while the underbody sealing (UBS) zone is equipped with two EcoRS 16. The robots ensure a safe, reliable performance achieved through strategically located sensors that help to avoid errors and collisions.

The project in Hermosillo represents the largest order that Ford has given to Dürr in Mexico. “We are proud that Ford has given us the opportunity to realize highly efficient concepts, and cutting-edge technologies from Dürr,” said Sandro Picchio, CEO of Dürr Mexico. “We support Ford’s production process with the highest quality standards, the most cost-effective units, and lowest environmental impact.”

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