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Dürr builds scalable paint shop for Enovate

AGVs for flexible capacity expansion

Bietigheim-Bissingen, 5 March 2021 – Enovate is a high-end travel technology enterprise integrating R&D, production, sales and service of new energy vehicles. The new e-car factory currently being built by the Chinese manufacturer is scheduled to start production this year. It includes a scalable paint shop built by Dürr, which will grow flexibly with demand. An important building block for this are the EcoProFleet automated guided vehicles (AGV).

Enovate’s brand concept focuses on design, top quality and intelligent connectivity. Following this concept, the company aims to rethink intelligent and green mobility and implement its ideas with the help of innovative technology. The first ME7 model has been officially available since last fall. The new plant in Changsha, one of China's major cities, is designed for an initial annual capacity of 60,000 units. To enable Enovate to quickly expand its production in response to rising demand, Enovate opted to use AGVs around its manual workstations. AGVs are a flexible conveyor technology that is not bound to cycle times and can be easily extended as production figures grow. 

Investment as and when needed

Unlike conventional in-floor conveyor technology, more AGVs can simply be added as additional workstations are built. This is economically attractive, especially for newcomers to e-mobility; they can begin with small quantities and gradually expand as demand increases. Driverless transport vehicles offer the flexibility to postpone expansion until as and when the manufacturer actually needs it.   

Ready for use around the clock

Resistant to paint and solvent, equipped with an integrated laser scanner and a safety speed limit for utmost safety, EcoProFleet by Dürr is the first AGV specifically for paint shops. Four of the autonomous transport vehicles will be used at Enovate over an area of 60 meter by 36 meter to convey bodies between the manual workstations and the intermediate storage area. AGVs do not require breaks for charging, therefore they are ready for use around the clock. Charging points are installed at those points in the plant layout where the AGVs are stopping anyway to hand over or pick up bodies. In just 90 seconds 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 smoothly between the AGVs and other conveyor technology, for example from a roller track to an AGV. With the right adapter solution the AGVs can be used both with skids, as at Enovate, and without skids.

Complete flexibility, even in the PT/EC area  

Enovate’s new paint shop is also the first in China to rely on the RoDip® E rotational dip process in pretreatment with a thin-film process and in cathodic electrocoating. Unlike the RoDip® M product variant established in many plants in China, RoDip® E is electric. This means that each trolley can be individually programmed for a car body. This opens up the flexibility to define an optimized immersion curve in terms of turning and travel speeds for each body type, resulting in the best possible draining and minimal carryover. All RoDip® variants have a comparatively short immersion tank with a small tank volume to keep consumption of water, chemicals, and energy as low as possible.

Environmentally friendly overspray separation

Dürr’s EcoDry X system is installed for the topcoat spray booth. It uses cardboard filter boxes as a separating agent for overspray, and is therefore more environmentally friendly than processes that use a mixture of water and chemicals. The process air is redirected to the air recirculation system for greater energy efficiency. This reduces the total energy consumption of a paint shop by around 30 percent compared with a conventional wet scrubbing system that is operated without air recirculation. EcoDry X also scores when it comes to handling since the disposable cardboard filters can be easily replaced, if necessary even while production is still underway.

Flexible transport of the car bodies by EcoProFleet AGVs from Dürr.

After drying of the car bodies, the EcoProFleet AGVs take over their transport.

The rotational dip process RoDip® E by Dürr is used at Enovate for pretreatment and cathodic electrocoating.