Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the introduction of its unique Aqua-tech Paint System at Changan Mazda Automobile (CMA), the company’s joint venture vehicle production facility in Jiangsu, China.
The technology was first introduced at the Ujina Plant No. 1 in Japan, where installation of the system was completed in 2012. CMA becomes the company’s second plant and first overseas facility to feature the innovative low-impact paint technology.
Reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from vehicle body paint shops is a long-standing issue for the automobile industry, which has traditionally favoured VOC-heavy oil-based paints and thinners. Automakers moved toward water-based paints in an effort to reduce VOC emissions, but the energy-intensive evaporative drying process required for these paints resulted in increased CO2 emissions. Mazda’s unique Aqua-tech Paint System overcomes this trade-off by simultaneously reducing emissions of VOC and CO2, and makes far more efficient use of energy and paint materials than traditional paint systems.
After completing installation of the Aqua-tech Paint System at Ujina Plant No. 1 in 2012, Mazda continued to develop the technology to enhance system performance and usability. The company is aiming to achieve high-quality and efficient vehicle manufacturing at its global production bases by developing technologies such as Aqua-tech in Japan before rolling them out at overseas facilities. Mazda worked with CMA to efficiently introduce the Aqua-tech Paint System at Japanese standards, and minimised installation work and paint development in China. The transition was achieved quickly and without stopping the line or interrupting production of vehicles using traditional oil-based paints.
The system at CMA is used for all body colours, and the quality of the finish is claimed to be as high as that of vehicles painted in Japan, even for ‘designer’ colours such as Soul Red.
“As an automaker, we have an obligation to not only make high-quality cars, but also reduce our impact on the environment,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, senior managing executive officer. “We’ll continue to develop innovative technologies at our parent factories in Japan before introducing them at the same high standards overseas.”