Dürr is building a scalable paint shop for e-car manufacturer Enovate, a high-end travel technology enterprise integrating R&D, production and the sales and service of electric vehicles.
Currently under construction by the Chinese manufacturer, the new e-car factory is scheduled to commence production this year.
It includes a scalable paint shop built by Dürr, which can increase its capacities to meet demand. An important building block for the plant is the EcoProFleet of automated guided vehicles (AGV).
The brand concept of Enovate concentrates on design, quality and intelligent connectivity. The firm aims to rethink smart design and green mobility and implement its ideas with innovative technology.
The maiden ME7 model has been officially available since last fall. The new facility in Changsha, one of major cities of China, is designed for an initial annual capacity of 60,000 units.
In a bid to enable Enovate to expand its production in response to rising demand, Enovate opted to use AGVs around its manual workstations. The AGVs are a flexible conveyor technology that is not restrained by cycle times and can be easily extended as production figures grow.
When compared to conventional in-floor conveyor technology, more AGVs can be added as additional workstations are built. This is economically viable, especially for newcomers to e-mobility.
They can start with small quantities and gradually expand as demand increases. Driverless transport vehicles offer the flexibility to postpone expansion until it becomes a requirement for the manufacturer.
Equipped with an integrated laser scanner and a speed limit for the utmost safety and resistant to paint and solvents, EcoProFleet by Dürr is the first AGV designed specifically for paint shops.
Four of the autonomous transport vehicles will be used at Enovate on an area of 60 by 36 meters to convey bodies between the manual workstations and the intermediate storage area.
AGVs don’t need breaks for charging; therefore they are ready for use around the clock. The charging stations where the AGVs hand over or pick up bodies enable a consistent energy source without interrupting the manufacturing process.
In 1.5 minutes, they draw enough power to cover the next section. Dürr developed different adapter solutions for transporting the bodies to the AGVs and handing them off to other conveyor technology.
For instance, from a roller track to an AGV. With the right adapter solution, the AGVs can be used with skids, as at Enovate, and without skids.
The new paint shop of Enovate is also the first in China to rely on the RoDip E rotational dip process in pretreatment with a thin-film process and cathodic electrocoating.
As against the RoDip M product variant established in many plants in China, RoDip E is electric. The electric power source permits Enovate to program each trolley to manage a specific car body’s requirement.
This enables the flexibility to define an optimised immersion curve in terms of turning and travel speeds for each body type, resulting in the best possible draining and minimal carryover.
All variants of RoDip have a comparatively short immersion tank with a small tank volume to keep consumption of water, chemicals, and lowest possible energy.
EcoDry X system of Dürr is installed for the topcoat spray booth. It makes use of cardboard filter boxes as a separating agent for overspray and is more environmentally friendly than processes that use a mixture of water and chemicals.
For better energy efficiency, the process air is redirected to the air recirculation system. This brings down a paint shop’s total energy consumption by around 30 percent compared with a conventional wet scrubbing system operated without air recirculation.
EcoDry X also shines since the disposable cardboard filters can easily be replaced, even while production is happening.
(With inputs from Automotive Lead Research Team)
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