In early October, at the Paris Motor Show, VinFast, Vietnam’s first automobile brand, had the global premieres for its LUX A2.0 sedan and the LUX SA2.0 SUV. The concept models have been designed by Pininfarina, the Mahindra Group-owned Italian coachbuilder.
VinFast is a subsidiary of Vingroup, and is the first volume automotive manufacturer from Vietnam with a particular ambition: a smart factory where 250,000 cars per year in the first phase, initially with conventional drives and in the future also with electric drives, will roll off the production line.
Deliveries of the LUX A2.0 and LUX SA2.0 will commence in Vietnam from June 2019. These will be followed by further vehicles, including a city car, a battery electric car, and an electric bus – all of which are already in development. Shipments to export markets are planned to begin in 2020, less than a year after domestic sales.
All VinFast cars will be manufactured at an all-new, purpose-built, state-of-the-art 335-hectare plant in Hai Phong, northern Vietnam. It is one of Vietnam’s biggest industrial projects ever, delivering a facility that is among the most advanced automotive production complexes in the world.
The paint shop in the factory in Haiphongis currently being installed by Dürr. It is highly automated and features integrated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. In addition, an innovative layout concept permits a building design that dramatically reduces the space required and costs involved.
In line with its aim to deliver best-in-class quality and produced in a factory equipped with state-of-the-art technology that enables transparent, lean processes VinFast commissioned Dürr to set up the paint shop.
“Our paint shop will be the biggest in Vietnam, and highly automated through the integration of numerous IIoT applications. This makes it the benchmark for outstanding quality combined with the best operating costs, the highest ecological standards, and a high level of occupational safety,” explains James Deluca, CEO of VinFast Trading and Production Company.
Patented layout concept for a lean building
The VinGroup constructed the building for the paint shop based on the patented layout concept developed by Dürr in a record time of just short of eight months. The layout minimises the investment and operating costs, not least since it only needs two levels and no so-called penthouse. The compact design enabled the concreted area to be reduced by approximately 15,000 square metres. This corresponds to a saving of more than 20% compared with a conventional concept.
VinFast’s requirement of maximum automation of production processes and logistics is met with IIoT-capable machines from end to end. They are comprehensively controlled, monitored, and supervised in real time using control technology from Dürr. This makes it possible to test and optimize the overall equipment efficiency (OEE), for example.
Flexible technology for future targets
Just how precisely the paint shop technology meets the requirements of VinFast while remaining flexible for changes in the future is demonstrated by the oven. The EcoInCure oven achieves the best possible quality when it comes to the top coat appearance thanks its heating process from the inside out and optimized air flow. Each body gets a digital quality certificate for the drying process. The data from the IIoT-capable oven is collected and evaluated by the control technology for this. In addition, EcoInCure’s innovative, space-saving transverse mode of operation in combination with a central high-bay warehouse makes it ideal for the compact building concept.
The principle of heating from the inside is particularly beneficial for bodies with different material thicknesses (a perfect example is electric vehicles with their reinforced frame on the underbody). The innovative EcoInCure drying method significantly reduces thermal component stresses compared with conventional ovens. VinFast is therefore well prepared technically for the future expansion of the model range to include electric vehicles.
The new VinFast paint shop will also be equipped with the latest generation of the fully automatic EcoPaint robot. This includes the extremely mobile painting robots with seven-axis kinematics, which do not need a rail. This saves space and investment costs. Equipped with a whole range of sensors, they are prepared for the requirements of an Industry 4.0 environment. The robots supply real-time data that is analyzed and evaluated using the latest software products from Dürr.
In addition to the EcoInCure innovations and seven-axis robots described, Dürr will also be installing further technical highlights in the VinFast paint shop: the RoDip rotational dip process and EcoDry X dry separation.