HIROSHIMA: Mazda has announced the introduction of its unique Aqua-tech Paint System to its first overseas facility.
The technology was first introduced at Mazda's Ujina plant in Japan. Changan Mazda Automobile Co, Ltd in Jiangsu, China became the company’s second plant and first overseas facility to feature the environment-friendly paint technology.
Reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from vehicle body paint shops is a long-standing issue for the automobile industry, which has traditionally favoured VOC-heavy oil-based paints and thinners.
Automakers moved towards water-based paints in an effort to reduce VOC emissions, but the energy-intensive evaporative drying process required for these paints resulted in increased CO2 emissions.
Mazda’s Aqua-tech Paint System overcomes this trade-off by simultaneously reducing emissions of VOC and CO2, and makes more efficient use of energy and paint materials than traditional paint systems.
The company is aiming to achieve high-quality and efficient vehicle manufacturing at its global production bases by developing technologies such as Aqua-tech in Japan before rolling them out at overseas facilities.
Mazda said the installation of the new paint system in Changan Mazda was achieved without interrupting vehicle production.
It also said the quality of the finish is as high as that of vehicles painted in Japan, even for designer colours such as Soul Red.
“As an automaker, we have an obligation to not only make high-quality cars, but also reduce our impact on the environment,” said Mazda senior managing executive officer Kiyotaka Shobuda.