ABB’s ‘PixelPaint’ technology has been selected by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) for its new electric vehicle paint facility. The technology, which uses a paint head similar to an inkjet printer, will begin series production in 2025.

PixelPaint consists of a paint head with more than 1,000 tiny, individually controlled nozzles, mounted on an ABB robot such as the IRB 5500 paint series. Combined with ABB’s 3D vision system and coordinated by ABB’s RobotStudio planning and programming software, the head tracks very closely to the vehicle body to ensure that ‘100 percent of the paint is applied to the car with no overspray or airborne misting’. This, it is claimed, eliminates the need for labour-intensive masking and repeat trips through the paint shop; ABB says it also results in zero waste while ensuring faithful reproduction of precise details.

“Our revolutionary PixelPaint technology can apply large areas of uniform color as well as the tiniest details with complete accuracy, without delaying the production line or the need for manual intervention,” said Joerg Reger, Managing Director of ABB Robotics Automotive Business Line. “By deploying PixelPaint-equipped robots in dedicated cells, Mahindra’s paint shop will be able to apply finishes such as contrasting roof and pillar treatments on its new line of EVs in a completely automated process.”

ABB says PixelPaint is an example of how ABB’s transformative technologies are helping to establish Mahindra’s products within luxury segments.

The deployment, which builds on ABB and Mahindra’s existing relationship, also includes 42 robots from the IRB 5500 family making M&M the first OEM in India to use PixelPaint technology for the painting of contrasting roofs and pillars.

Complex and time-consuming operations such as interior painting and sealing are performed entirely autonomously.

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ABB says its RB1000i digitally-enabled paint atomizers improve transfer efficiency by 10 percent and reduce waste by more than 30 percent, ensuring less paint is lost to the air.