Skoda Auto has laid the foundation for a new paint shop in Mlada Boleslav which will cost EUR214.5m (US$254m) and create up to 650 jobs. The shop is expected to be running by June 2019.

"The construction of the new paint shop in Mladá Boleslav is an important investment in the future of our company," said Production and logistics chief Michael Oeljeklaus said: "Demand for vehicles is increasing worldwide and we are working continuously on increasing production capacity in our existing plants."

Skoda said recently it would be building battery-powered models at Mlada Boleslav, its main plant from 2020.

The new shop will operate three shifts and paint 600 bodies a day. It will increase plant paint capacity to 2,700 bodies.

Numerous production steps will be undertaken or assisted by robots. The high level of automation means employees' workstations can be particularly ergonomic.

Skoda applies five paint coats in 15 colours including metallic and pearlescent.

A new order process will reduce material requirements. Paint residue is adsorbed by chalk products – no paint sludge is accumulated as a waste product as a result of this dry separation. In addition, a large proportion of the heat produced during the process is recaptured. An air-return pipe allows for energy savings of up to 80%.

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