Kansas City, Missouri – Ford Motor Co. announced that its Transit commercial van will feature more durable paint, thanks to a new coating technologies added to its Kansas City Assembly Plant.
Transit production began April 30, and vans will be available on U.S. and Canadian dealer lots this summer. The Transit vans are the first to use the new two-wet monocoat paint process developed by Ford and its paint suppliers. The technology results in more durable paint, uses less energy and water, and reduces carbon dioxide and particulate emissions compared with conventional paint processes.
“Durability was a critical consideration when we initiated this project,” says Dennis Havlin, Ford global paint engineering development and launch supervisor. “The advancements in paint chemistry enable us to deliver the appearance, performance and durability our customers demand.”
In addition to making paint tougher, the process reduces painting time and energy use by cutting the number of paint applications from three to two and the number of drying procedures from two to one.
The two-wet monocoat process uses a primer coat that requires only a few minutes of open-air drying time before the color coat is applied. The color coat is formulated with the same appearance and protection properties of the clear coat, which eliminates the need for a separate clear coat. The painted body is fully cured in an enamel oven after the color coat is applied. The total process removes one paint application step and one oven drying step when compared to conventional paint processes.
The new paint procedure is being used for white-colored vehicles, which account for 80% of Ford Transit production. As each color must be developed uniquely for the two-wet monocoat process, other colors will be considered based on demand. A conventional three-wet process – primer, base coat, clear coat – remains in use for metallic-colored vehicles.
“The two-wet monocoat process allows us to design a system considerably smaller than a conventional paint shop, especially with regard to a vehicle of this size and complexity,” says Havlin. “Because painting time is cut down, the technology enables greater productivity using less equipment.”
Source: Ford Motor Co.