BASF Coatings’ world innovation successfully integrated in automotive OEM coating
Münster. A BASF Coatings’ world innovation has just been launched in automotive OEM coating. The company has developed “Integrated Process II”, a novel, highly efficient coating technology. For the new process, the specially formulated basecoats combine all the functions of the primer, such as stone chip protection and ultraviolet resistance. The new technology meets the high standards for automotive finishes with regard to appearance and functionality. For the automotive industry, this means that the coating process is shortened thanks to the elimination of the primer application section of the paint line and the primer oven. These primer application facilities that are no longer needed can be used to increase capacity. Reduced investment and operating costs, material and energy savings, improved productivity, and eco-efficiency are other advantages of the new BASF Coatings system technology.
The new system has been operating without a hitch, and was successfully integrated into the MINI production line at the BMW Group Oxford, UK plant. With this new system all of the basecoats used at the BMW Group Oxford plant can be applied.
BASF Coatings has been working and doing research on integrated processes for over ten years and has constantly fine-tuned them to meet the customers' needs. “With “Integrated Process II”, automotive paint lines can be streamlined, costs cut, and the overall process simplified, even at existing paint lines, and capacity can be expanded without complicated and costly construction projects,” Project Manager Dr. Wolfgang Duschek explains. At symposia and lectures that are attracting a great deal of attention, including the most recent event in Bad Nauheim, Germany, Dr. Duschek points out the significance of the innovation: “In the automotive industry, coatings that are carefully matched to each other are applied in order to accomplish various tasks based on the extremely wide range of specifications encountered in automotive surface finishing. Can such systems, which have proven themselves millions of times over and which are truly cutting-edge in economic and ecological terms, be perfected further, and can they comply with increasingly tight environmental regulations? BASF Coatings’ answer to these questions is an unequivocal, ‘Yes.’”
Close cooperation between BASF Coatings and the BMW Group
BASF Coatings and BMW Group employees worked together closely to realize the project at the MINI plant in Oxford. Dr. Duschek put together an international BASF Coatings team including Michael Richert (Material Development), Ralf Kebschull (Applications Specialist), Dr. Jorge Wellmann (Launch Leader), Dr. Achim Gast (Account Manager BMW Group), Paul Kelly (Technical Service Oxford plant), and Kevin Hayes (Account Manager BMW Group UK), which cooperated closely with the team at the Oxford plant. The development was kicked off in January 2004. By July 2005, the first paints with the unique properties described above were ready to go. The system was launched in what turned out to be a remarkably brief development period, and the project has now been successfully wrapped up.
Integrated Process II has provided the BMW Group with huge advantages. Using the infrastructure of the plant’s primer application area, which the new technology had rendered obsolete, the plant designers installed a second basecoat/clearcoat line. The goal was to increase production from 200,000 vehicles to 240,000 vehicles per year. Dr. Duschek praised the teamwork: "We worked with the BMW Group crew for many months, including many weekend and night shifts, in order to make this project successful. It attests to the fact that with the right ideas, perfect teamwork, and great partnership, great successes come about together."
BASF : A major international player in coatings
BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2005 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of about 2.2 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.de
BASF Automotive Solutions. Performance Passion Success
BASF – The Chemical Company – is a leading-edge source of intelligent sustainable solutions to automotive manufacturers and their suppliers worldwide. With a full portfolio of technologies that include coatings, catalysts, engineering thermoplastics, polyurethanes, pigments and colorants, coolants and brake fluids for a broad array of exterior, interior, chassis and under-the-hood applications, BASF – The Chemical Company - develops and delivers the innovations that help the automotive industry improve the quality, appearance, safety, cost competitiveness, performance, comfort, fuel efficiency, sustainability. Website: www.automotive.basf.com