As part of its ongoing modernisation at its Zuffenhausen manufacturing complex, Porsche has opened a new paint shop.

The new plant was officially commissioned today in the presence of the Baden-Württemberg Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, Dr. Wolfgang Schuster and Supervisory Board Chairman, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche.

The new workshop area, which was completed on time to coincide with the beginning of production of the new Porsche 911, is where the body shells are painted inside and out.

Porsche says that this takes place in a totally dust-free environment, thanks to the plant being completely enclosed. At the same time, a new electrostatic paint droplet removal system and a wet-chemical exhaust air purification plant cut solvent and particulate emissions to a minimum, Porsche claims.

That means that Porsche can dispense with the otherwise obligatory 60 metre high paint exhaust air collecting stack on the new building. It also says that the very efficient operation, with 70 per cent air recirculation, makes for ‘especially economical energy consumption’. The environmentally-friendly technology enables Porsche to undershoot the statutory limits by orders of magnitude, the firm claims.

“The new paint shop is typically Porsche: As is so often the case, we are pushing back the previously prevailing technological boundaries, breaking new scientific ground and pioneering inventions that subsequently serve the common good”, said Matthias Müller, Porsche AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management. But at the same time he sounded a reminder of the challenge involved in operating and maintaining over the long-term a sustainable industry in a densely populated area such as Zuffenhausen: “What Porsche is doing here is reconciling economy and ecology, creating leading-edge jobs for specialist experts, thereby bolstering this world-famous location over the long-term.”

The 192 metre long and 52 metre wide paint shop building is where the body shells of the Porsche 911 and Boxster/Cayman model lines receive their anti-corrosion protection, are painted and surface-sealed in a multistage process. This is performed precisely in sync with the sports car production process as a whole.

In building the plant, in which approximately 200 million euro were invested, Porsche called on specialists, also located in Baden- Württemberg. These included the Stuttgart-based machinery and plant engineering group Dürr AG. As the prime contractor, it equipped the paint lines with ultramodern application technology, dryers for hardening the paint as well as control and conveyor technology. Böblingen-based system supplier Eisenmann provided the pre-treatment system and the cathodic dipcoating plant, together with new conveyor technology and the electrostatic paint droplet removal system.

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister President Winfried Kretschmann paid tribute to Porsche AG’s commitment at the inaugural ceremony: “It is our goal to promote sustainability while at the same time ensuring that the domestic economy remains internationally competitive at a high technological level. Porsche is on the right track in this regard. The new paint shop complies with stringent ecological standards and is the fruit of collaboration between companies here in Baden-Württemberg. On the one hand, industry in this state is underlining its capacity for innovation. On the other hand, industry is demonstrating that high technological standards and the goal of protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive.”

Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor Dr. Wolfgang Schuster emphasised the development of the headquarters location: “The fact that Porsche is investing a lot of money in a new paint shop enhances Stuttgart as a location and is at the same time a statement of faith in Stuttgart, where the Porsche success story began. The company is already present in numerous locations throughout Stuttgart and its engagement is exemplary. As a city, we wish to support Porsche if, for example, the company is thinking about expanding its location.”

Uwe Hück, Chairman of the Group Works Council, saw long-term prospects and an additional source of motivation for the workforce: “The new paint shop is proof that co-determination in Germany works. It is precisely the top-quality craftsmanship of our colleagues that contributes to Porsche’s long-term success. They require the best tools for the job – such as this paint shop. This is how we can not just secure jobs in Zuffenhausen but create even more of them.”