PPG, a company that has been developing and delivering paints, coatings, and materials for more than 135 years, has been named a finalist for the 2021 Automotive News PACEpilot Award for precision application automotive coatings technology. The PACEpilot Awards recognize pre-commercial, post-pilot innovations in the automotive or future mobility category. PPG is one of 23 companies, and the only vehicle coatings supplier, represented among the award finalists.

The precision application technology is a zero-overspray coating system that greatly streamlines the painting of two-tone vehicles. The system produces crisp paint edges without the use of masking and other time-intensive steps currently required to achieve a two-tone finish.

The process, which applies a specially designed PPG decorative coating using innovative application heads, reduces paint shop time by approximately 50 minutes per two-tone vehicle. The new process also eliminates the need for extra cleaning and de-tackification. Additionally, this process advances customer sustainability goals by reducing CO2 emissions and eliminating energy-intensive air filtering systems that handle overspray from the paint application process, further reducing costs and improving efficiency without compromising quality.

The conventional process for achieving a two-tone finish requires that a vehicle be fully coated with primer, up to two basecoats, and a clearcoat before paint shop personnel mask off areas that will not receive the second colour. The vehicle must then be run a second time through the paint line or a repair line, where the contrasting colour and an additional clear coat are applied. In addition to reducing paint shop capacity, this second run can add significant material, labour, and energy costs to the total unit cost of the vehicle.

While two-tone vehicles are gaining favour, PPG’s new application technology comes into the market. First popularized in the U.S. in the 1950s, these contrasting colour schemes can now be found on dozens of models sold in Europe and North America.

Wolfgang Klaeger, PPG global manager said, “One day, complete cars might be painted using precision application technology, offering OEMs even more options for enhancing the appeal of their vehicle models. The success of this technology in the automotive space, with its stringent performance requirements, could lead to opportunities in other transportation categories such as aerospace, motorcycles, buses, and trains. Recipients of the 2021 PACEpilot Awards will be announced on September 30 at a ceremony in Detroit.