Ford in South Africa has refurbished its paint shop with new technology, which it says reduces repair time and improves gloss and smoothness, with greater resistance to chipping and corrosion on its vehicles.

Ford in South Africa has refurbished its paint shop with new technology, which it says reduces repair time and improves gloss and smoothness, with greater resistance to chipping and corrosion on its vehicles.

A new five-year plan for the Paint Shop began in January 2002 with the ultimate goal of reaching 80 000 units per shift per annum at export quality requirements. The new technology will help the manufacturer ensure that the paint quality of all the vehicles in its model lineup is of world quality and improve its chances of winning new export business.

Ford said “radiant ovens” for spot repairs had been especially designed by local contractors. "In the past, vehicle bodies requiring spot repairs were operated on by a series of lamps which cured repairs in a localised way," said Kobus Jansen, launch manager for the FMCSA. "This was time-consuming and inefficient. The new radiant ovens allow for the curing of repairs by baking the entire body at a lower temperature. This is quicker, much more efficient and provides superior quality spot repairs."

The ovens, installed by Haden Dryses, operate between 80 and 125 degree Celsius and have ceramic-coated radiant panels with turbulator assistance to ensure efficient heat transfer to all areas of the vehicle. Ford said the advantage is mainly in reducing repair time and dirt and accommodating multiple repairs. The system consists of two preparation booths, three spray booths and three radiant ovens that cycles every 15 minutes. The capacity is 12 units per hour

In its journey through the Paint Shop, a vehicle passes through a number of stages, namely pre-clean, phosphating, e-coating, sealer deck, primer, scuff deck, colour booths and spill out for finessing.