Bollig & Kemper, a German manufacturer of coatings for the European auto industry, has signed a license agreement for DuPont EcoConcept, a patented coatings technology that enables auto manufacturers to realize reductions in energy use, environmental emissions and capital costs. Under the license agreement, the Cologne-based paint maker will manufacture and sell water-based basecoats for use in the EcoConcept process at automotive manufacturing plants in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
DuPont EcoConcept is a patented finishing system that allows automotive manufacturers to eliminate an entire coat in the painting process. EcoConcept technology was recognized in 2007 when the auto industry publication Automotive News presented DuPont with a PACE Award, the highest honor in a competition staged annually by the publication.
“The global automotive industry has never been as competitive as it is today, so every cost advantage is vital,” said Marty McQuade, vice president and general manager, DuPont Automotive Systems. “This technology offers multiple benefits, providing auto manufacturers with a competitive advantage by delivering identifiable, measurable and meaningful cost and environmental savings.”
EcoConcept eliminates one complete coating layer, the primer-surfacer, and combines it into a single environmentally compliant water-based basecoat. As a result, a spray booth and curing oven are eliminated from the auto production line.
Specifically, the technology reduces energy consumption and solvent emissions related to the painting process by approximately 25%. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 45-50 kilograms per vehicle built. The combination of two coats into one reduces production time and saves on the cost of equipment needed for the conventional three-coat process.
DuPont EcoConcept technology currently is used at two Volkswagen plants in Mexico and Spain. Some 200,000 cars have been produced using the process.