Mahindra & Mahindra to use ABB’s PixelPaint technology on future EVs

M&M to deploy ABB Robotics’ PixelPaint at its new EV paint facility to deliver personalisation options for new line of EVs; will be the first OEM in India to use PixelPaint technology for automated painting of contrasting roofs and pillars.

By Ajit Dalvi & Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 04 Jul 2024 Views icon7652 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
M&M will be the first OEM in India to use ABB Robotics' PixelPaint technology for the painting of contrasting roofs and pillars.

M&M will be the first OEM in India to use ABB Robotics' PixelPaint technology for the painting of contrasting roofs and pillars.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has selected ABB’s innovative PixelPaint technology for its new electric vehicle paint facility. The technology, which uses an award-winning paint head similar to an inkjet printer, will begin serial production in 2025.

“Our revolutionary PixelPaint technology can apply large areas of uniform colour as well as the tiniest details with complete accuracy, without delaying the production line or the need for manual intervention,” said Joerg Reger, Managing Director of ABB Robotics Automotive Business Line. “By deploying PixelPaint-equipped robots in dedicated cells, Mahindra’s paint shop will be able to apply finishes such as contrasting roof and pillar treatments on its new line of EVs in a completely automated process.”

M&M is to use ABB Robotics’ PixelPaint tech, which improves quality and efficiency while reducing waste, to deliver personalisation options for its new line of EVs.

PixelPaint consists of a paint head with more than 1,000 tiny, individually controlled nozzles, mounted on an ABB robot such as the IRB 5500 paint series. Combined with ABB’s 3D vision system and coordinated by ABB’s RobotStudio planning and programming software, the head tracks very closely to the vehicle body to ensure that 100 percent of the paint is applied to the car with no overspray or airborne misting. This eliminates the need for labour-intensive masking and repeat trips through the paint shop, resulting in zero waste while ensuring faithful reproduction of precise details.

M&M: first OEM in India to use PixelPaint tech
Demand for personalisation options has been growing in recent years in the Indian automobile market. By using ABB’s PixelPaint transformative technology, M&M is looking to establish a new paradigm in the Indian passenger vehicle market, which scaled a new high of 4.2 million units, up 8% YoY, in FY2024. Of this SUVs accounted for 2.52 million units (up 26% YoY) and a best-ever 60% share. M&M with 459,864 units, up 29%, was the second largest contributor to SUV sales in FY2024.

The deployment, which builds on ABB and Mahindra’s existing relationship, also includes 42 robots from the IRB 5500 family making M&M the first OEM in India to use PixelPaint technology for the painting of contrasting roofs and pillars.

Complex and time-consuming operations such as interior painting and sealing are performed entirely autonomously, with the accuracy of ABB’s systems ensuring that paint is applied precisely and only where needed, eliminating the need to manually mask off areas, saving time and materials. Similarly, ABB’s RB1000i digitally-enabled paint atomizers improve transfer efficiency by 10 percent and reduce waste by more than 30 percent, ensuring less paint is lost to the air.

M&M is betting big on its upcoming EV programme, which will initially commence with the launch of the XUV700-based XUV.e8 around end-CY2024, followed by new ground-up EV products under its sub-brand – BE (Born Electric). The BE sub-brand will spawn three models – BE.05, BE.07, and BE.09 – the first of which is likely to be introduced by late CY2025. 

Last month, M&M revealed its future global growth strategy for EVs, which includes tapping new markets like the UK and Western Europe along with its existing overseas connect with the SAARC, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and Middle East, and Latin America. The new range of all-electric SUVs are designed to be high-on-performance products that draw discerning customers across diverse global markets with their strong appeal, innovation and democratisation of technology. The adoption of ABB Robotics’ PixelPaint technology is yet another tech-driven measure on this front.

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