Automotive painting application
Automotive Manufacturing: Paint Shop

Automotive Manufacturing: Paint Shop

  • The most critical and often most expensive stage in the assembly process, the paint shop is the one area where you can’t afford any downtime. A vehicle’s paint is often the first thing a customer notices and must look flawless. That’s why you need the right products and the right support to help optimize your paint shop regardless of challenges thrown your way.

    From pre-treat to e-coat, from primer prep to clearcoat application and everything in between, 3M’s automotive manufacturing solutions and application expertise can help deliver results for each station of the process.

Typical Process Steps

  • Employees inspecting automotive paint
  • 1. Pre-Treat
    The first station in the painting process, vehicle bodies are cleaned prior to E-coat and primer application

    2. Electrocoat Dip
    Vehicle bodies are electrocoated to help give bare metal surfaces corrosion protection performance and prep for optimal paint adhesion

    3. Primer Preparation
    E-coat defects are corrected prior to primer application
    (Some OEM’s have adopted a primer-less system)

    4. Sealing
    Panel overlaps and seams are then sealed to protect against air and water leaks

    5. Primer Application
    Primer is then applied which helps provide a level and uniform surface for the color and clear coats and helps protect vehicle from corrosion, chips, etc. during use

    6. Basecoat & Clearcoat Application
    Basecoat paint layers and clearcoats are applied giving the vehicle body the desired aesthetic treatment as well as scratch/mar resistance, and weathering capabilities

    7. Finesse Deck
    One of the last stations within the paint process where small imperfections in the clearcoat layers are inspected and corrected

Featured Paint Shop Applications

  • Vehicle in e-coat application
  • E-coat and Primer preparation/finishing

    E-coat and primer preparation processes remove defects including contamination, inclusions and runs prior to the application of the next paint layer. 3M sanding discs get the job done with speed and precision.

  • 3M Xtract Pneumatic Random Orbital Sander
    Coming Soon: 3M Xtract™ Pneumatic Random Orbital Sander
  • Superior dust extraction and load-resistance makes this innovative Net Disc ideal for large-area prep work.

  • Choose from our broad range of film sanding discs in grades P220-P800 to suit your specific application needs.

  • Masking application on vehicle door
  • Two-tone Masking

    Painting vehicles multiple colors requires additional steps in the paint process. 3M Masking Tapes help ensure sharp color lines, no paint bleed and adjacent surface protection.

  • Masking to the right depth can mean the difference between a perfect paint job and one that needs rework. 3M™ Adjustable Paint Masking Applicator is a robust masking tape application tool used to apply Scotch® Fine Line and 3M™ High Performance tapes (up to 0.75 inch/19 mm) on complex surfaces, such as the roofline or rear hatch of a vehicle.

  • This smooth, strong, mini-crepe paper masking tape holds fast, removes easily and will give you great performance for most paint masking applications.

  • Scotch® High Temperature Fine Line Tape 4737 features a natural rubber, pressure sensitive adhesive that holds reliably to surface contours. Its smooth, vinyl backing provides conformability for working with complex shapes and curved surfaces. Due to its specially developed backing, this tape resists lifting around corners or in depressed areas.

  • Films are designed to protect in paint applications involving temperatures up to 360°F or where bleed-through of solvents and paints may occur. It is excellent for two-tone, blackout and repair painting to match OEM finishes.

Two workers on automotive assembly floor
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