The BMW Group is saving 12,000 tonnes of co2 annually during automotive production at its Munich plant by eliminating one step from the paint process.

Compared to a conventionally coated vehicle, a car coated with the shortened process can drive the first 420km with a net zero carbon footprint. Also, the process saves as much energy as the amount needed by 250,000 Munich residents to wash one load of laundry every week.

These are the findings of a new tÜV-certified study conducted by the BMW Group together with the mechanical and plant engineering firm dürr and BASF’s coatings experts.

They aimed to find out how the eco-efficiency of the oeM coating process can be improved, allowing resources to be conserved at the same time. “the paint process is one of the most energy-intensive process steps involved in industrial automotive manufacturing,” said Dr Hans Schumacher, head of dürr’s application technology division.

“we have consolidated the expertise of three companies in order to make paint processes even more environmentally friendly in the future,” said Lars Nigge, account manager BMW at BASF’s coatings division.

The study specifically compared two primer-based coating processes to the integrated paint process without primer. In conventional systems, the primer smooths surface irregularities and protects the cathodic e-coat, the undermost paint layer, from UV radiation.

BASF was able to substitute the primer by integrating its protective properties into a newly developed waterborne basecoat layer. In all categories included in the study, the integrated process proved to be the most beneficial and, compared to the current primer process, reduces energy consumption and co2 emissions by around 20% and saves costs.

The study was based on real-life data from 2014 evaluated with the eco-efficiency analysis developed by BASF. The analysis will help BASF and its customers decide which products and processes are the best choice for a defined benefit, both ecologically and economically.

The study has been validated by tÜV (German technical inspection and certification organisation) and NSF (National Sanitation Foundation).

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