Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, which was renovated recently to allow the facility to build the new generation 200 model, has now become more power and water efficient thanks to a $1-billion overhaul.
Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was first set up in 1953, building jet engines and was acquired by the US automaker from Volkswagen in the 1980s. Now, for example the plant has Chrysler’s first new paint shop in 13 years. Here, the biggest energy users are the spray booths – because they require for example several million cubic feet of air per minute.
But, Chrysler’s ultra-efficient paint process sees the use of recirculated air instead of fresh air, with robots – 68 of them spray a waterborne base coat of paint and a clear coat before precision robots spray powder through the three stage paint process.
“Whatever the over-spray is, we reclaim it, and then we clean it up and use it again,” said Faiz Yono, supervisor of Chrysler’s energy group.
Now, the paint-shop and body shop at the plant are 22% more energy efficient before the construction and renovations, with savings of $1.1 million annually on the power and water bill. For the 2015 Chrysler 200 paint process, 97% of the used powder hits the car, with the remaining 3% collected and reused.