BMW Smooth Auto Paint Process May Save Energy, CO2

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The BMW Group reportedly saves 12,000 tons of CO2 annually during automotive production at its Munich plant by eliminating one step from its paint process.

In conventional automotive paint systems, a primer smooths surface irregularities and protects the cathodic e-coat, the undermost paint layer, from ultraviolet radiation. BASF substituted the primer by integrating its protective properties into a newly developed waterborne base coat layer.

BASF’s process cut energy consumption and CO2 emissions by around 20%. Credit: PixabayA study conducted by BMW, mechanical and plant engineering firm Dürr, and BASF’s coatings experts—and certified by TÜV, Germany’s technical inspection and certification organization—compared two primer-based coating processes to the integrated paint process developed by BASF. Compared to conventional primers, the integrated process reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions by around 20%. it also resulted in lower costs.

“The paint process is one of the most energy-intensive process steps involved in industrial automotive manufacturing,” says Dr. Hans Schumacher, head of Dürr’s Application Technology division.

The study was based on data from 2014 that was evaluated using a BASF method intended to help determine which products and processes may be the best choices for a defined benefit, both ecologically and economically.