An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988

Technology Reflecting Real-World Experience

An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988

Exciting Results from the Coating-Line System

Suzuka Factory introduced its high-efficiency coating line system to mass production in May 1988, dramatically reducing the number of steps needed to complete a car body. In particular, the coating process for the outer panels, which formerly employed a combination of skilled operators and machines, underwent a significant streamlining.

Installed on the line at the intermediate coating and overcoat application stages were several outer-panel-top multicoat robots, which were used to apply coatings over horizontal surfaces, along with outer-panel multicoat robots for vertical surfaces. Of the two, the former solved longstanding problems in the conventional reciprocator by adopting a configuration featuring several sprayguns. This permitted the robot to coat sections at the front and rear of the body that earlier machines had failed to reach. Moreover, the added function of moving the gun arm up and down according to body orientation made it possible for the coating material to be sprayed onto the body surface at a constant right angle. To enhance coating efficiency on the side surfaces of the body, gun arms were installed on the right and left sides of the line. Thus, the new system allowed the distances between these guns to be changed according to the target model, achieving an optimal coating effect. With that, the outer-panel coating line became fully automated, removing the need for operators to work manually.

The multirobots then employed in the inner-panel coating process were equipped with slim arms offering smooth movement and the ability to perform precise, high-speed coating in tight spaces around the body. One of the more significant factors in the achievement of an effective new coating system was the development and installation of dedicated opener/closer robots designed to open and close the hood, trunk, and doors during the coating process.

"In the process of coating the inner panel we had always used door jigs to keep the door in a closed or opened position while the coating was being applied," said Arai. "The robot technology we introduced to the process was developed by combining the wisdom of people experienced on the line, including the use of coating jigs. I believe the total effect of all these efforts was a greater degree of support for Honda's production technology."

The new, high-efficiency coating line employed a number of cutting-edge technologies. By developing its own coating facilities and machines, Honda achieved a significant savings in labor across the entire line. The new system consolidated operations that used to require two lines, yet it still met the production requirement of 1,100 units per day. Furthermore, the overall length of the coating line was reduced by approximately 36 percent. And, because of the reduced line length the time needed to move a workpiece through the coating process was reduced to around 33 percent of what it had been, meaning less liquid inventory. These achievements led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of energy needed to operate the line.

The high-density, integrated body-painting system introduced to Suzuka Factory's third line received the Ohkouchi Memorial Award for Production in 1991.

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A System that Fosters Expertise
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  2. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
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  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
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  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
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  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
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  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
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  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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