UK – The new e-coat line will enable the painting of more than 3.5m seat structures per year, according to Brose. The company invested £10m ($13.3m) and recruited an extra 30 personnel.
“We have grown significantly over the last five years and have now reached a position where an in-house paint plant improves competitiveness,” said Steve Bartholomew, technical director, Brose UK. “The e-coat line is one of the most advanced in the automotive sector and will immediately improve scheduling of production and ensure all structures are finished to the highest quality standards accepted by all of the major car manufacturers in the world.”
As well as creating in-house capacity and improving control, the new facility will cut production times. From loading to unloading, a rack of parts can now be processed in two hours compared between ten and 12 hours with components that are sent to a third party. The paint coating time has been reduced from three days to eight hours.
According to Brose, the system also enables a lean material flow and enhanced environmental performance. Each part rack undergoes a cleansing and preparation process before being electrically charged to ensure an even coating on the part; almost no paint is lost.
The first structures to be handled by the new facility will belong to four different Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models. Brose expects to paint over 2m seat structures in the first year of operation.
Juergen Zahl, managing director of Brose UK, commented: “This is a massive show of faith and confirms the group’s intention of giving us the technology and capability we need to take on and successfully deliver higher volumes for our local customers.”
Over the past 12 months, Brose UK sales have increased by 23% and have included contracts with JLR, Nissan and Toyota to supply seats and window regulators.