Faster car production with HICOM Automotive's new paint shop

By CARSIFU | 17 July 2017

PEKAN: HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (HA) has launched its high-tech paint shop.

HA, a fully-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Bhd, has been operating in Pekan for the last 30 years.

HA has assembled close to 500,000 passenger and commercial vehicles including the C class, E class, S class and GLC class, FUSO and MB Actros under the Mercedes-Benz banner.

The paint shop was launched in conjunction with the Aidilfitri celebration which was attended by Pahang Chief Minister Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

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“This high-tech paint facility will enhance our standing as one of the region’s most prefered component assemblers in the automotive industry”, said DRB-HICOM group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

The facility will allow HA to increase its production capacity from 25,000 units to 50,000 units annually.

“The new paint shop features a robotic paint system for the primer and top coating application; the feature that has allowed us to decrease production time by as much as 50 percent, compared to the manual application method previously employed”, said Ismail Pandak, CEO of HA.

The paint shop also includes a 360-degree rotating Pre-treatment Electro Dipping (PTED) shuttle bay which allows the body-in-white to be fully submerged in the coating bath.

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This ensures a more efficient surface-material contact and minimises paint wastage, which is a typical problem faced by the traditional vertical dipping process.

Syed Faisal said in his speech that the latest facility was to ensure the company’s readiness to face the Industry 4.0 evolution.

Industry 4.0 has seen the development of “smart factories” around the world, as industry players innovate and improve their business processes to minimise cost without compromising development of the human capital.

“Industry 4.0 requires us to develop a knowledge-based economy in our efforts to become a high-income nation. By increasing the technology involved in the production line, we are encouraging DRB-HICOM staff to increase their technical knowledge and ensure their skills are at par with their international counterparts”, he added.