Paint & Coatings Manufacturer News

Moving Closer to Color-on-Demand for Auto OEMs

August 9, 2005

l PPG and Behr Systems. Inc. have joined forces to make mass customization and faster color changes a reality for OEM car manufacturers. Dynamic FlexColors is a new system that enables coatings components and application technologies to work in conjunction to deliver color-on-demand for five-day car and mass customization concepts. The patent-pending system operates on the same premise as a computer printer, adding pigment to coating materials at the paint atomizer. The system can be used to apply colored primer, basecoats or tinted clearcoats.
“The automotive industry is using e-commerce to strive for the build-to-order or five-day car, but offering a large color palette is still one of the major obstacles to achieving this goal because it is difficult to provide in a flexible manufacturing environment,” said Vincent P. Dattilo, manager, global applications technology, PPG. “By reinventing the coatings technology and process, the Dynamic FlexColors systems enables us to change vehicle colors on the fly to introduce specialized colors or replace less popular colors.”
Tests show that coatings produced by the Dynamic FlexColors system substantially improve metallic colors and the overall appearance of the vehicle body, according to PPG.
A prototype of the system is being tested at Behr’s Auburn Hills, MI facility. The companies are working to enable existing higher volume production plants to benefit from flexible vehicle painting with the development of the Dynamic MiniBlend system. This system mixes colors in tanks on a just-in-time basis, according to PPG.