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.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.