Ten years as a system supplier at the Rastatt site
Nine BASF Coatings employees on site at DaimlerChrysler in Rastatt – BASF Coatings’ global network also benefits the customer
Münster/Rastatt. This year BASF Coatings and its customer DaimlerChrysler are celebrating a special anniversary at the Rastatt site. BASF Coatings is marking exactly 10 years as the carmaker’s system suppler. The run-up to the partnership was marked by close cooperation for the new paint shop design between DaimlerChrysler, BASF Coatings, and Dürr, the paint shop manufacturer. 1996 saw the official start of the new center for surface coating. The first OEM bodies of the first A-Class generation left the assembly line in June 1997.
Currently nine BASF Coatings’ employees are working at the customer directly on site, ensuring perfect application of the A-Class and B-Class vehicles coated at the Rastatt site in 13 different OEM colors. This makes BASF Coatings more than “just” a paint supplier. Peter Bäumer is the BASF Coatings Process Manager (CPM) and contact person in charge of business and technical issues arising at the Rastatt site. Joining him are the head of a laboratory for the pre-treatment, cathodic electrodeposition, sealing, and cavity preservation units (also deputy CPM), a TotalCARE manager (TCM), four field technicians for shift support, a materials manager for the disposition of all OEM materials, and a start-up coordinator.
The system partnership principle is simple: “Only the result counts!” While that sounds simple, implementing it in day-to-day business is tough. BASF uses the “cost per unit” (CPU) system rather than the usual weight-based system for invoicing. This means that it is only paid for OEM bodies that leave the line with a flawless paint job. The supplier and producer thus represent the same interests, resulting in a partnership that is closer and based on trust. “At BASF Coatings, we cover the risk of a defective paint job and share the profits from efficient and high-quality production,” explains Boris Müller, Customer Management DaimlerChrysler Europe, BASF Coatings. He adds, “The concept is a plus for both partners, because it enhances performance.”
So what does the day-to-day work look like? For one thing, there are the important quality rounds. They include twice-daily production rounds, meetings where the paint shop manager, his responsible employees, and BASF meet to monitor current quality and exchange ideas about new topics. “This group works together very efficiently using measurable data. There are statistics and charts, and logical explanations must be provided,” says Müller. In addition, master rounds take place four times a day. Constant quality control is also the focus here. BASF’s ideal connection to the Coatings Division’s network is constantly benefiting it at the Rastatt site, since quick solutions can be provided by the research labs and Analytical Services in Münster, as well as at other customer sites.
At the Rastatt plant, the second generation of Slurry clearcoat is applied. The application process involves the “Integrated Process I”, in which the application is carried out “wet on wet” with integrated intermediate drying.
By the way, there is a great deal of interest in the system partnership concept on the part of the automotive industry. Currently BASF Coatings is involved with some 30 system partnerships, making it the global leader in this area. System partnerships also exist with companies including Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Magna Steyr.
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