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Volkswagen starts up a modern topcoat paint line in Hanover, Germany

By REGINE KRÜGER

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is continuing its modernization program at the Hanover plant: at the end of November, the carmaker launched one of the most modern top coat lines within the Volkswagen Group at the Stöcken site for around 70 million euros. The new paint shop replaces equipments that were in some cases over 30 years old. According to company spokesman Tobias Salzmann, there had previously been a capacity constraint, which could be resolved with the new facility. Planning had already begun in 2016, and within 18 months the paint shop was built, and test runs were carried out. According to the company, construction and commissioning were fully on schedule. The topcoat line is supplied by Dürr, while the paint supply technology is from Lactec. The dimensions of the new topcoat line are impressive: with a length of 280 m, 27 m width and 25 m height it has the dimensions of a city block. Despite its gigantic dimensions, no new hall had to be built on site in Stöcken. The main challenge for the plant designers and mechanics was to integrate it into the existing hall structure.  

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The dimensions of the new topcoat line are impressive: with a length of 280 m, 27 m width and 25 m height it has the dimensions of a city block. Despite its gigantic dimensions, no new hall had to be built on site in Stöcken. The main challenge for the plant designers and mechanics was to integrate it into the existing hall structure.
 

Flexible concept

Up to 490 vehicles are painted with a colored basecoat and the final clearcoat every day on two parallel paint lines - the T6.1 and the Amarok are currently running through the new paint shop. The lines are so flexible that other models can also be painted here in the future: "The new topcoat line is also designed for future vehicle models, ensuring that the site and jobs are fully utilized," emphasizes Thomas Hahlbohm, head of the Hanover plant.
 





One of the control centers of the new topcoat line: the controls are height-adjustable and can therefore also be operated by wheelchair users.

Barrier-free and efficient

In the future, the T7 and ID.BUZZ will also be painted here. The paint shop concept also foresees an increase in painting capacity. According to Volkswagen, the new paint shop consumes significantly fewer resources: New process technologies are expected to save more than 25 000 MW of energy and a large amount of material each year. "Modern production techniques further increase the quality of our vehicles and at the same time save resources. We now have one of the most modern paint shops in the Volkswagen Group in Hanover," says Torsten Cordes, Head of the Hanover paint shop.The ergonomics of the workstations were further optimized in the new building. The Dürr system is designed to be barrier-free, so that people in wheelchairs can now also work in the facility. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is responsible for the development, construction and sale of light commercial vehicles. These include the Transporter, Caddy, Crafter and Amarok series, which are produced in Hanover, Poznań and Września in Poland and in Pacheco (Argentina).

 

Cleaning preparation: Rotating brushes remove smallest particles of dirt from the car body before the basecoat is applied.                                        Pictures: VW
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THE NEW PAINT SHOP AT A GLANCE:

 
  • New painting process saves material: Bell applicators on robots distribute the paint in all coating processes using the electrostatic high rotation process with up to 65 000 rpm.
  • Savings: 60 t paint per year.
  • Air circulation technology: In the past, 100% fresh air was fed into the system and released outside again after cleaning. From now on about 80% circulated air is used.
  • Savings: up to 25 000 MW of energy per year
  • Dry paint overspray removal: Conventionally, paint particles are separated of the air with water and chemicals. In the new topcoat line, overspray is collected by a filter separation system.
  • Savings: 3400 m3 fresh water per year; no chemicals are used any more.
  • "Primer-less painting": Innovative technologies enable a new structure of the paint layers on the car body. Thus, the so-called "primer-filler" is no longer required.
  • Savings: up to 600 kg primer-filler per working day.
  • Efficient automated measurement cell: Sensitive sensors measure film thickness, color and orange peel. Up to now, the values were manually collected with handheld instruments.

Networking:

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft,
Hannover,
Tobias Salzmann,
Tel. +49 511 798-2914,
info@volkswagen-nutzfahrzeuge.de,
www.volkswagen-nutzfahrzeuge.de

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