Porsche officially opens new paint shop in Zuffenhausen

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 20, 2011

What used to be a quaint work facility in Zuffenhausen has now turned into the most modern paint factory for Porsche automobiles. Porsche AG once again unfolds a new chapter with the opening of its new paint shop.

Several guests from the car industry attended Porsche’s momentous event. Included in the list of big names is of course, the Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Porsche himself. The Lord Mayor of Stuttgart (Dr. Wolfgang Schuster) also graced the event along with Winfried Kretschmann (Baden-Württemberg Minister President).

The modern work facility was completed just in time for the newest Porsche 911’s scheduled production. Porsche will be using its new technology in body painting to make sure that the colours come out exactly the way they want. It only means that the new 911’s body shell will be painted underneath as well.

Even though the new paint shop is a dust-free environment, Porsche is bent on using the wet-chemical exhaust air purification system and also the latest electrostatic paint droplet technology for fewer emissions. Besides, it is required that the building has to have at least 60 metres paint exhaust installed. In fact, the highly efficient exhaust system allows 70% air recirculation around the area to save more energy.

Porsche AG Chairman of the Board Matthias Müller also deemed that the new paint shop embodies Porsche’s spirit in terms of pioneering inventions, pushing the boundaries and breaking a new ground. In other words, they have created an environment-friendly facility in their own terms. Still, running the facility is a great challenge for all of them especially in a crowded place like Zuffenhausen. That’s why they are also doing whatever it takes to successfully combine ecological perspectives with their business goals.

Meanwhile, Porsche will be using its new paint factory for the first time with the new Boxster and 911 series. The 192 metres x 52-metre paint shop is said to have its own anti-corrosion facility with multiple stages to be tried and tested on the latest Porsche models.

The same facility is responsible for the Porsche’s improved standard of quality and efficiency. That’s because sealing off the car’s surfaces is performed at the same time with the production procedure.

Porsche relied on the experts in machinery and plant engineering from Stuttgart and Böblingen to build the most modern dryers and conveyors for the new paint shop. Eissenmann supplied the plant’s electrostatic droplet removal system, conveyor technology, cathodic dipcoating and pre-treatment machinery. The total investment for the construction of the whole facility had cost Porsche AG around 200 million euros.

At the opening ceremony, the Minister President of Baden-Wurttemberg talked about Porsche’s commitment and said that it is their objective to promote sustainability while making sure that the domestic economy maintains its global competitiveness. Porsche is headed this way, for sure. The new paint facility adhered to the strictest ecological standards along with its generous role in taking care of the environment.

Press Release

Porsche inaugurates new paint shop in Zuffenhausen

The opening of the new paint shop marks a new milestone for Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, in the modernisation of its traditional Zuffenhausen location. The innovative plant, organised on ecological lines, was officially commissioned today in the presence of the Baden-Württemberg Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann, Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, Supervisory Board Chairman, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, accompanied by numerous guests.

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 in the desired colour using cutting-edge technology. 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. That means that Porsche can dispense with the otherwise obligatory 60 metre high paint exhaust air collecting stack on the new building. What is more, 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 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. The plant makes Porsche even more efficient, increases the premium car manufacturer’s flexibility and underpins the achievement of the high quality standards the company sets itself.

In building the plant, in which approximately 200 million euro were invested, Porsche called on internationally acknowledged specialists, also located in Baden- Württemberg, renowned for its automotive industry. These include the Stuttgartbased 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.”

Topics: porsche

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