ABB paint solutions for electric vehicle factory in China

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Monday, 06 May, 2019

ABB paint solutions for electric vehicle factory in China

ABB has signed a formal agreement with SAIC Volkswagen to provide robotic painting solutions for the first New Energy Vehicle (NEV) factory of the Volkswagen Group based on the Modular Electric Driver Kit (MEB), an automotive platform specifically designed for the mass production of electric vehicles.

The new 610,000 m2 NEV factory will be in Shanghai, opening in 2020 with an annual capacity of 300,000 pure electric vehicles from the Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda brands.

This is the first large automated painting project provided by ABB for SAIC Volkswagen. ABB will install approximately 300 robots to provide painting and sealing solutions on three automated painting production lines. These solutions involve automobile exterior and interior painting, underbody painting, interior cosmetic seam sealing and interior plate wax-spraying.

“We are delighted to support China’s rapidly growing electric vehicle industry and to extend our partnership with Volkswagen as the company expands its electric vehicle manufacturing capabilities,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business.

Chen Hong, President of SAIC Group, said: “Unprecedented changes are taking place in the automobile industry, and electrification and digitalisation are inevitable trends. SAIC Volkswagen is actively participating in this change. The NEV plant is an important part of completing SAIC Volkswagen’s strategic layout for the future. The NEV plant will become an intelligent, flexible and agile electric vehicle production base of SAIC Volkswagen, helping the company to become the leader in the electric vehicle market in terms of technology and sales volume. It will bring diversified choices with advanced technology and reliable performance to Chinese consumers.”

The RMB17 billion factory is a modern green benchmark factory combining intelligent manufacturing and environmentally friendly technologies with a special focus on water preservation, energy savings and the reduction of carbon dioxide.

Environmentally friendly solutions are at the heart of the ABB installation. The painting solutions ABB provides will meet Volkswagen’s 2010v environmental standards, the world’s leading waterborne painting process. The primerless painting technology employed in the process can improve paint utilisation rates and reduce waste.

Compared with the traditional painting process, it adopts a dry spray absorption system instead of a water circulation system, which can circulate air and use limestone to absorb the spray, so the use of water is no longer necessary. Some 95% of the air can be re-used and the limestone can be recycled, resulting in energy savings of up to 60%. The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also be reduced by 63%.

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