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Tuesday July 31

PPG Launches New E-coat Application Center in Flint, Mich.

FLINT, Mich. -- PPG Industries has begun operations at its new $6 million electrodeposition coating (e-coat) application center, which was recently added to the company's automotive Application Development Center here. The only one of its kind, the e-coat application facility contains two full-size dip tanks, which allow PPG and its customers to test and evaluate various vehicle primer products and processes.

PPG is the only global automotive coatings supplier that has two e-coat tanks and the ability to dip full vehicle bodies up to 8 feet wide by 8 feet tall by 25 feet long.

"PPG has been the leader in automotive electrodeposition coatings for more than three decades, and we've gone to great lengths to bring new e-coat technologies to our customers on a continuous basis,'' said Luke M. Scrivanich, director, substrate protection systems for PPG. "The addition of our new application center reinforces our leadership in automotive coatings, expands our ability to serve our customers and demonstrates our commitment to create more effective, efficient and environmentally friendly products."

To provide corrosion protection and a smooth surface for paints, the e-coat process dips negatively charged vehicle bodies into baths of positively charged primer. This method is proven to be less costly, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than traditional spray booth technologies.

The new facility spans 15,500 square feet and houses two 28,000-gallon e-coat tanks with temperature controls and filtration equipment; two 30,000- gallon product storage tanks; an indirect-fired gas oven; and an automated crane system used for dipping and removing the vehicle bodies from the tanks.

According to Scrivanich, this facility enables PPG to simulate any assembly plant's environment to help automakers implement new products and processes more quickly and easily.

To launch the e-coat tanks, PPG began coating 36 DaimlerChrysler truck cabs in mid-June, Scrivanich said.

With the addition of the new lab, the Flint Application Development Center has the unique capability to simulate the entire coating process -- from e- coat to clear coat -- using a wide range of technologies, including powder and waterborne coatings.

One of five PPG coatings application labs around the world, the Flint Application Development Center, situated on 23 acres, is equipped with temperature and humidity-controlled spray booths that can be used to spray water-based or solvent-based basecoats and clearcoats. The lab also features prep booths, robot modules, conveyors and ovens. Its mission is to assist in the development of new coatings processes, technologies and applications; reduce launch time of technologies and applications in automaker assembly plants; and conduct coatings training courses.

PPG has invented a number of new electrodeposition technologies. Two of its latest products -- which earned the company R&D 100 awards from R&D Magazine -- are:

  • Power-Prime coating system - The two-step process applies corrosion protection and anti-chip primers to vehicle bodies and features the world's first commercial primer-surfacer to be applied via electrodeposition; and
  • Enviro-Prime 2000 electrodeposition coatings - This lead-free product features advanced resin technology that provides superior corrosion protection while offering the inherent advantages of previous generations.

PPG is also a pioneer in other corrosion protection products, including:

  • Bonazinc weldable primer - This is applied before galvanized steel vehicle bodies and their components are stamped and assembled, achieving enhanced resistance to corrosion.

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