For the technical minded that have always wondered how their car was painted: It left the Body and Stamping Dept covered in a thin layer of OIL! The body then entered a very extensive PHOSPHATE BATH that cleaned and etched the metal. It was then rinsed in another cleaning and etching phase and then submersed in a Zinc rich primer bath at the tune of several thousand volts that when charged would remain on the car and not slide off. It then was baked at 400 degrees for 30 mins before going to a prep booth and defect sanded. After the car left E Coat scuff it was then sent to PRIME and primed inside and out and then baked again. After the 30 min ride through the Prime Oven it was defect sanded one more time, tacked off, and sent to MAIN ENAMEL, where in 1976 to 1981 it was painted by hand by 16 Spray Painters in one spray booth! As time went on Robotics took the place of PAINTERS( they did them a favor) and now the booth is fully automated. We now have WET on WET SYSTEMS where the prime and paint stages are all in one booth. Wet paint goes right on top of wet prime. Wet prime, Base Coat, Clear, all in one big ole booth! This process is repeated 80 times per hour 8 - 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. After the painted body exits the oven it is sent to a cooling tunnel, upon exiting it is swarmed by sand and polish techs looking for the smallest piece of dirt and after removal the car is simply sent to the TRIM DEPARTMENT for assembly! WHEW!!! Just another tidbit, for those wondering why cars are so expensive, our Lint Free Rag bill for the week is $6500.00. We use a minumum of 2000 sheets of sandpaper, 5 gallons of 3M Polish, a special Micron sanding disc that you wouldnt believe the price if I told you, Tack rags, more sandpaper, 5000 gallons of paint, 200 polish pads, Body Sealer brought here in 200 gallon tanks, and 50 Sealer Squeegees at the tune of about 10 bucks a crack! All this and much more each week , every week! The Paint Process is by far the most EXPENSIVE operation that a car company has to deal with and trust me, there are some real smart people trying to put an end to this with pigmented panels. We WILL see it in our lifetime. No more Paint Shops. I think I picked a great time to sneak out!!! I will always remember my first day here, walked in to a 200FT booth at the sight of 16 Spray Painters laying liquid plastic to GRANADA's as they were marching down the line. My jaw dropped watching these guys lay that paint, seeing that many spray guns in action at the same time, seeing those cars roll out of that booth, each one perfectly painted, that much overspray going straight down into the floor. It was like seeing my first Roostertail. It was Kool!
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