A painting process developed for the Mercedes A-Class passenger car is not only environmentally friendly but also quick and cost-efficient. The process, which is the result of a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz, BASF Lacke + Farben, and Durr Systems, involves new materials as well as optimized production systems. Like other state-of-the-art automotive paint systems, four coats are involved. The composition of the first coat on the Mercedes A-Class, however, is completely lead-free, and the second coat is less than half the thickness of conventional paint processes (15 micron instead of 40 micron). This, says Konrad Ortlieb, Durr R&D manager, "results from a special formulation of primer and by maintaining extreme control of the spray equipment to ensure an even application of paint." The third color coat is conventional but the fourth represents a world "first," according to Ortlieb. Composed of a powder slurry, this fourth clear coat is solvent-free. "Other companies have developed water-based clear coats, but there is always a small residue of solvent. Our slurry solution has none," he claims. An added advantage of the BASF/Durr process is that the three paint coats are applied wet-on-wet, eliminating the need for an inter-coat baking stage, thereby saving time. For more information call: Dr. Konrad Ortlieb at +49-711-136-1631.
On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
Advanced visualization can depict an entire plant in motion, while also detailing an individual workstation. Individual products can be rendered different for each discipline involved — marketing, engineering, or suppliers.
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