Audi experiments with overspray-free painting method

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 29 Jun 2018

Audi applies contrasting paintwork in a single spray process

Audi is expanding the spectrum of its painting methods with the addition of overspray‑free painting. This technology allows specific surfaces of a car body to be painted in a different colour – all in one spraying process.

Audi claims that this is economical and very resource friendly. In a pilot paint shop at the plant in Ingolstadt, Audi is testing a method that is claimed to be unique in the industry with car roofs in contrasting black. 

Audi is convinced that time‑consuming and material‑intensive masking off is no longer necessary when painting without overspray. Previously, when spraying a contrasting colour, employees had to mask off the relevant part of the car body and then paint it separately with a second spray process.

With overspray‑free painting, a robot‑controlled high‑precision instrument measures the laser‑brazed seam between the roof and the side‑panel frame before each car is painted. A special applicator then applies the black paint directly to the car body in individual strips with millimetre accuracy. The applicator places the strips of paint with sharp borders and without any spray mist – that is, without any overspray.

Audi asserts that this method could save time and money, and the environment could also benefit. Audi plans to put the innovative process into series production already next year. In this way, the automobile manufacturer will offer its customers even more possibilities for individualization.