Dürr to supply automated top coat line to sports car manufacturer Lotus

  • Modernization of paint shop at British headquarters
  • Exterior body painting with four painting robots
  • Pigging paint supply system instead of conventional ring line

The British sports car manufacturer Lotus has contracted the German company Dürr to install an automated, high-efficiency top coat line at its British headquarters in Hethel. Currently all Lotus cars are painted manually. High process efficiency while maintaining the high quality of the current manual spraying process have been the main requirements for the new paint shop. The modernization includes an automated application line including a special paint supply and conveyor systems. The contract was awarded in 2019. The German engineering company previously delivered one of its largest paint robot orders to Tesla.

Exterior body painting with four painting robots

The new paint shop will include automated exterior painting with four ‘EcoRP E133’ painting robots featuring six axes and rail. In the first booth, one pair of robots apply conductive primer and clear coat to the composite body panels. In another booth, a second pair of robots apply the color coat. Due to their modular design, the robots can also open the body doors and hoods.

Special pigging paint supply system instead of conventional ring line

All Lotus cars are built to order. Each vehicle is carefully finished according to individual requirements including a choice of a wide range of colors. In order to provide such a variety of colors in low quantities, special pipping paint supply systems ‘EcoSupply P’ will be installed. These units pump the various coatings to the painting booth with almost zero losses reducing paint waste to a minimum. EcoSupply P also minimizes color change times and cleaning material consumption compared with conventional ring line systems. Individualization including stripes and highlights will continue to be painted manually.

60% less energy consumption

The multi-stage overspray filter system ‘EcoDry Rack’ also helps to increase efficiency. It is extremely compact due to its permanently installed filter walls, offers all the advantages of dry separation. It needs neither water nor chemicals, which keeps running costs low and has a positive effect on the environment. Once the filters are saturated, they can be replaced during the production breaks or at weekends.

Up to 95 percent of the supply air can be recycled as recirculated air using this technology, which reduces energy consumption in the paint booth by more than 60 percent compared with a classic wet scrubbing system.

The new Lotus body painting facility is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021.

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