The Ford Motor Company of South Africa recently made history when it invested more than $1 billion to upgrade its manufacturing operations at the Silverton Assembly Plant. This represents the largest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa and one of the largest ever in the country’s automotive industry.
New technologies and equipment were installed at the plant, including utilizing the coatings services division at PPG (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) to operate and maintain electrocoat lines that are instrumental in the company’s plans to expand on-site production of the new Ranger pick-up truck.
PPG now runs an on-site system specifically designed for Ford that unites all the benefits of a dedicated in-house coatings system without any of the challenges associated with managing one.
“We can design, engineer, and integrate a plan for a customer,” says Rodolfo Ramirez, PPG’s global general manager for coatings services. “Then deliver it as a turnkey solution, or operate it for them, as is the case with Ford Motor Company of South Africa.”
When it comes to the coatings themselves, Ford uses low temperatures due to the introduction of PPG’s POWERCRON 6200HE technology—which cures at 15-to-20 °C lower metal temperatures than the previous fourth and fifth generation electrocoat products. According to PPG, this technology also works to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds.
PPG also introduced low-temperature chemicals for the degreasing tanks, such as PPG ULTRAX 94D, a liquid alkaline cleaner developed for use in low-temperature cleaning. For phosphate application on multi-metal substrates, PPG is using its Chemfos 700AW and 700RW products.
Source: PPG, www.ppgpmc.com.