Jun 20, 2013

Mitsubishi Motors improved productivity, energy efficiency and reduced costs with E-DIP the world’s first and original automobile electro-deposition system

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In January 2011, Mitsubishi Motors (headquartered in Tokyo) built a cutting-edge coating facility at its Nagoya plant, the main production site for passenger vehicles. The company introduced the electro-deposition system “E-DIP” and many other new technologies. This resulted in environmental improvements, such as significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOC), as well as cost reduction and increased productivity by reducing coating time.

Mitsubishi Motors is an environment-minded company that not only takes the lead with mass production in electric vehicles and manufacturing compact SUV vehicles, but also performs diverse environmental activities on manufacturing sites. The new coating facility helped the company achieve Mitsubishi Motor’s “Environmental Vision 2020.”

Fully upgraded the aging facility to correspond with the environmental control

The Nagoya plant, built in 1977, manufactures the “COLT” and “RVR” with production capacity of 210,000 vehicles annually. The equipment in the previous coating facility was aging and it was difficult to correspond to the recent environmental control.

To address these challenges, the company fully upgraded the equipment by adopting new technologies such as, 1) E-DIP electro-deposition system with 37 dipping carriers. By increasing the vehicle body angle when it is lowered into the tank, the undercoat process could be significantly shortened and 2) a unit load AS/RS (with two stacker cranes, 108 vehicles capacity) that puts vehicles in assembly order in the multi-model mixed production.

The system shortened the length of the line in the undercoat process by 30 percent, which equaled 270 m (886 ft) compared to the conventional line. The unit load AS/RS improved accuracy by putting vehicles in the correct order. As an open facility, Mitsubishi Motors has visitor’s route where the media and public can view its state-of-the-art technologies in action.

Additionally, Mitsubishi Motors established “Action Plan 2015” as a mid-term goal of Environmental Vision 2020. This plan states the company aims at reducing carbon dioxide by 15% per vehicle by 2015.

“E-DIP is now being programmed to adjust optimal dipping angle and time for each tank. In the future it should improve further productivity by switching the program, such as ‘shallow and short’ or ‘deep and long’ depending on type of vehicle”, said Mr. Kazuhiko Yashiro, paint manufacturing technology/production engineering director.