Published on June 30th, 2018 | by Subhash Nair


Audi Tests Overspray-Free Painting

Two colours, one process: Audi is expanding the spectrum of its painting methods with the addition of overspray‑free painting. This technology allows specific surfaces of a car body to be painted in a different colour – all in one spraying process. This is economical and very resource friendly. In a pilot paint shop at the plant in Ingolstadt, Audi is testing a method that is unique in the industry with car roofs in contrasting black.

Time‑consuming and material‑intensive masking off is no longer necessary when painting without overspray. For spraying a contrasting colour, employees previously had to mask off the relevant part of the car body and then paint it separately with a second spray process.

With overspray‑free painting, a robot‑controlled high‑precision instrument now measures the laser‑brazed seam between the roof and the side‑panel frame before each car is painted. A special applicator then applies the black paint directly to the car body in individual strips with millimeter accuracy. The applicator places the strips of paint with sharp borders and without any spray mist – that is, without any overspray.

This method saves time and money, and the environment also benefits. On the one hand, no more masking material is needed; on the other hand, less paint is required. Audi plans to put the innovative process into series production already next year. In this way, the automobile manufacturer will offer its customers even more possibilities for individualization.

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