DETROIT — Leftover paint particles won't land on pickups, SUVs and vans built at General Motors' electric vehicle Factory Zero plant when robots switch from a pallet of red to blue.
Factory Zero is the first new GM plant in the U.S. to get a Kaiser Compact Eliminator, which is a technology from paint finishing supplier Gallagher-Kaiser that removes overspray. The compact eliminator helps with paint shop cleanliness. But more importantly, it ensures that paint colors do not mix. A white GMC Hummer won't have a speck of red, for example, that workers have to remove.
"It's all about getting first-time quality," Alonso De Avila Jr., GM's senior project manager for sustainable workplaces, said of the push behind the new technology. "Any time we can produce a product that's of top quality the first time around, that avoids rework, avoids waste — that's a lean manufacturing idea."
Factory Zero, formerly Detroit- Hamtramck, has been under construction since early last year after the last Chevrolet Impala rolled off its assembly line. Now the factory is preparing for a new electric vehicle lineup that includes the GMC Hummer pickup and Cruise Origin shared van.
The plant was mostly vacant early last month except for the paint shop, where GM and its contractors had installed booths and ovens and workers tested paint technology.