It's a first look inside the working Volkswagen plant. Members of the media took a tour of the paint shop to see why this state-of-the-art facility helped earn Volkswagen LEED certification.
Assistant Paint Shop Manager Leslie Williams explained the process. She said, "In our pre-treat system we have a rotational dip system. And one of the reasons for this is to reduce the size of the tanks and this helps us reduce our chemical and water usage."
This is a first of its kind operation. Williams added, "And in this booth, in our paint booth, we use a dry-scrubber system. And the dry-scrubber system eliminates a water-scrubbing system. The dry-scrubber system also allows us to very efficiently re-use our booth air, which drastically reduces our energy usage for our booth."
Maintenance Manager Mike Johnston added, "We save somewhere in the range of 75,000 liters of water per day."
Another feather in VW's cap is the elimination of the primer step. Williams explained, "We've been able to eliminate a whole paint booth and a whole paint oven."
So how does it all work? The first of the five stops in the paint shop is pre-treatment. Williams said, "We put a zinc phosphate coating on the car, E-coat where we out electro-deposition on the car."
Then the paint coats get completely sealed from the elements to make sure corrosion doesn't happen. Next stop: top-coat. Williams said, "Right now we're in the top-coat booth where we base coat and clear coat the car."
The last step is wax, but that wasn't a stop on this tour. Williams explained why. She said, "It's very hot and dirty over in wax."