First bodies coated with BASF Coatings’ paints at VW plant in Kaluga, Russia
Kaluga / Münster. The BASF Coatings’ team has achieved an important milestone with its VW colleagues in its new system partnership with Volkswagen in Kaluga, Russia. The production kick-off was marked by the coating of the first vehicle body with cathodic e-coat paints. “This was a red-letter day for VW and BASF in Russia,” said Thomas Kreienbaum of BASF Coatings’ Technical Customer Service. In mid-2008, BASF Coatings reinforced its presence in Russia with the opening of the new production site in Pavlovski Posad, around 70 kilometers east of Moscow.
The cathodic e-coating process is based on BASF’s own technology, CathoGuard 520®, one of the newest and most environmentally friendly e-coating systems on the market. “With CathoGuard 520®, we achieve outstanding corrosion protection and adhesion properties for following material layers, such as primers and topcoats,” explained Dr. Siegfried Riediger, head of BASF Coatings’ Global Account Management Volkswagen Group. In addition, the system’s efficiency and environmental compatibility are impressive. “We achieve a nearly 100-percent exploitation of material with low-solvent and tin-free technology" added Ralph Elstermeier of BASF Coatings’ E-Coat & Primer Competence Center.
The preparations for the production start had been working at full speed in the run-up to the launch. The new paintline, which was installed by Stuttgart-based machine manufacturer Dürr AG, had to be thoroughly cleaned before it could be put into operation and filled with the electrocoat paint. Once the Volkswagen employees had been briefed on how to operate the paintline and were familiarized with the details of the e-coating process, the paintline was successfully put into operation.
This year, the first 10,000 vehicles are to be produced at the Kaluga site. Afterward, production will be expanded to the planned 150,000 units per year. Long-term plans call for the production volume to double in the following years starting in 2011 after the plant is expanded.
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