PPG (NYSE:PPG) today announced that it will introduce a low-energy paint process for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) during the inaugural SURCAR North American Congress, June 13-14, 2018, at Detroit’s Roostertail event complex. SURCAR is a series of regional technical conferences for the automotive finishing industry, with participants including vehicle OEMs and paint materials and equipment manufacturers.

PPG representatives will introduce a low-energy paint system developed through Project LEAPP™, the company’s global initiative to help OEMs reduce paint shop capital requirements and operating costs. Approximately 70 percent of total energy consumption at an automotive assembly facility currently takes place in the paint shop.

The new paint process, which was developed in collaboration with Dürr Systems, Inc., can help reduce energy consumption by up to 39 percent by permitting a significantly lower curing temperature and faster flash and dehydration times. The process features a next-generation PPG waterborne crosslinking chemistry that cures at 80 degrees Celsius – compared to 140 degrees Celsius for current systems – and can reduce flash and dehydration requirements by several minutes per vehicle.

The new system can enable OEMs to reduce the physical footprint of their paint shop operations because fewer ovens are needed and cure temperatures are lower. In addition, the ability to coat metal and heat-sensitive parts such as plastics and composites at the same time can simplify the manufacturing process.

“Project LEAPP focuses on technology initiatives that can have a transformative effect on paint shop operations, sustainability and vehicle appearance,” said David Fenn, PPG research manager, automotive OEM coatings. “We are eager to share the results of this important project during SURCAR and begin the process of commercializing the technology.”

The Project LEAPP presentation will take place during the event’s “Paint Shop Innovation” technical session on Thursday afternoon, June 14. Presenters will include Fenn and Jim Pakkala, Dürr Systems, Inc. senior engineering manager.

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