8th February 2018
Working in the contamination control industry, we are used to working directly with Pharma companies, Healthcare companies, labs, controlled environments and drug processing facilities.
When ‘controlled environments’ are discussed, for most people a Hazmat suit and air looks will spring to mind; brightly lit facilities with strict SOPs and rigorous cleaning schedules to stop the pollution of sensitive products.
So it may come as a surprise to many that auto manufacture facilities can also be classed as controlled environments, and that the same SOPs that apply to clinical trials or drug processing are often applied to building and spraying cars.
There are two main contaminant factors at play in vehicle manufacture:
Firstly, particulate contamination – such as dust and debris reaching the spray painting area and areas where parts are prepared for painting.
When a consumer spends thousands of pounds on a brand new car, the finished result is expected to be perfect. Dust and particles getting into the paintwork may not only damage the aesthetics, but can also cause gaps in the paintwork which would eventually lead to water reaching the chassis/body underneath and rusting to take place. Great lengths are gone to by auto manufacture companies to make sure that these pollutants, which are often air bound or are bought in on the feet and wheels of employees/trolleys, can be removed from the environment in much the same way as a laboratory or other sterile zone. You can see an example of SAAB, a major player in the auto manufacture industry, using a floor level solution to reduce air borne contaminates here.
The second issue is electrostatic discharge, a problem that has been prevalent in the technology industry, as the development of electrical items has rendered them more prone to damage by electro-static. If you want to find out about ESD in detail, please check out our other blog post here, which is a comprehensive overview of ESD in electronics manufacturing.
Electrostatic can cause issues with car electronics in the same ways as for the manufacture of mobile phones, computers, radios and more. Check out our Continental case study here, and see how we have helped global brands to combat ESD.
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