Efficiency is as important as ever in the automotive sector these days, and that extends well beyond fuel mileage. Efficiency in the manufacturing process can be just as important, and now, General Motors is adopting new paint shop technology at the GM Factory Zero plant to maximize paint quality while minimizing waste and touch-ups.
According to a recent post from Automotive News, General Motors is currently installing something called a Kaiser Compact Eliminator at the GM Factory Zero Facility. Developed by paint finishing supplier Gallagher-Kaiser, the Kaiser Compact Eliminator is designed to eliminate overspray and ensure that paint colors don’t mix as freshly manufactured vehicles roll through.
The Kaiser Compact Eliminator is a patent-pending technology that works by mixing water into the air stream in the paint spray booth, taking out lingering paint particles and improving overall efficiency in the process.
“It’s all about getting first-time quality,” said GM’s senior project manager for sustainable workplaces, Alonso De Avila Jr. “Any time we can produce a product that’s of top quality the first time around, that avoids rework, avoids waste – that’s a lean manufacturing idea.”
Gallagher-Kaiser has constructed nine paint programs for General Motors, including this new project at Factory Zero. According to director of construction operations Shannon Watts, Gallagher-Kaiser raised the Factory Zero roofline by 20 feet across 90,000 square feet of the paint shop to accommodate the new equipment.
“This is a significant upgrade to a longstanding facility,” Watts told Automotive News. “This is all state-of-the-art, world-class equipment, and GM will really benefit from it over the long haul.”
The GM Factory Zero facility has been under construction since last year. Previously known as Detroit-Hamtramck, Factory Zero will now become the automaker’s first dedicated all-electric vehicle production facility. So far, the plant has had a few GMC Hummer EV prototypes roll through for painting simulations and equipment calibration.