Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ford, GM use tech to pursue perfect paint job

  • Print

GENERAL Motors and Ford are touting the processes and efforts behind the perfect paint finish, which is the first thing to catch a prospective buyer's eye and a huge source of complaints if a defect is detected.

At GM, members of the Blue Suit Crew are trained experts in elaborate precautions to ensure that final vehicle paint finishes are pristine, while Ford is rolling out dirt-detection technology across its plants to find and fix imperfections.

Ford said its F-Series pickups are the latest to use the technology to ensure a perfect paint surface before the spray guns come out.

The system uses high-resolution cameras to take microscopic scans under special lighting that digitally identify surface imperfections finer than a grain of salt. In the past, automakers relied on the human eye to detect imperfections.

If a speck is found at the end of the final vehicle assembly line, workers will polish and buff out any imperfection.

Ford said the result is an 82-per-cent reduction in customer complaints about their vehicle's finish within a year, as measured by customer warranty data for F-Series models made at the Dearborn (Mich.) Truck Plant.

"This system ensures better paint jobs and surface finishes for Ford customers around the world," said Tom Dougan, project manager for Ford global paint applications.

Ford also is using the process at its Kentucky Truck Plant and the Valencia, Spain, plant that makes the Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max.

Later this year it also will be used at the Chicago (Ford Taurus, Ford Police Interceptor, Ford Explorer) and Louisville, Ky., (Escape) plants as well as the Oakville, Ontario, plant that makes the Edge and Flex.

The rollout continues in 2014 at the Flat Rock and Kansas City plants.

"This is one of the most exciting integrations of optical science and digital technology in the automotive industry," Dougan said. "By combining innovations in vision technology, processing speed and software, Ford continues to invent new technologies that give our customers better paint quality and surpass competitor offerings."

At GM, the Blue Suit Crew searches out potential paint contaminants including silicon and personal hygiene items such as lotion, cologne, hair spray and deodorant, all of which are prohibited in GM paint shops to prevent defects.

"The process of painting a vehicle properly is much harder than the average person would assume. We have many different factors that we have to be cognizant of at all times," said Anton Busuttil, manager at the Orion Assembly Paint Shop Area near Detroit. "The weather -- including temperature and humidity -- is one of those major factors which we have no control over."

-- Detroit Free Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 20, 2013 A1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Have a Cheapskate Halloween

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you in favour of the Harper government's new 'family tax cut'?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google