Rüsselsheim/Eisenach. Customer demand for the chic urban Opel ADAM made in the German city of Eisenach is still very high. The stylish two-color finishes are so popular that they account for two-thirds of all ADAM orders. To meet customer demand even more quickly, the paint shop and other manufacturing areas are now being expanded and modernized. Opel is investing around eight million euros in the Eisenach plant for these modifications. This follows the investment of 190 million euros in buildings and production technology to get the facility ready for manufacturing the ADAM.
This makes Opel the only automaker that not only developed a small car in Germany, but that also builds it Germany.
„We continuously invest in the improvement of our super-efficient facilities here in Eisenach,” says Stefan Fesser, Plant Manager at Opel Eisenach, „to react even more quickly to the high demand for two-colored Opel ADAMs, in future 17 instead of 13 two-colored ADAMs will roll off the assembly line per hour in the paint shop.”
Increasing capacity with new masking line
Opel customers want a chic small car that stands out from the crowd with its design. So the ADAM is of course perfect, with its roof, grille bar and side mirrors in a contrasting color to the rest of the body. To produce the two-color city car in very high quality, it has to go through the painting process a second time, when selected body sections are lacquered with the second color. All parts that are to be painted with this second color are dismantled and the rest of the body is masked off. The latter takes place on the masking line. In order to increase capacity, a new masking line is being introduced in Eisenach. It will also create more space for the expansion of another production line, where the ADAM doors and tailgate are removed and then re-fitted.
This is just one measure to make production more efficient. In the base coat facility, six new paint-spraying robots are replacing their predecessors and the door-sill facility is being updated to latest technology standards with modern robot controls. And in August, a newly developed control system to manage the higher complexity of materials handling technology is being introduced. However, the largest and most comprehensive structural measure is the replacement of five thermal afterburners. The 13-ton, up to eight-meter long giants with a diameter of three meters serve to clean the paint shop’s exhaust air. This takes place at temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius. Modernization of the afterburners requires cutting off and purging gas lines, dismantling the technological equipment nearby, and opening the hall’s exterior walls. Once the machines are outside, the entire procedure is conducted in reverse order to install the new afterburners.
„This is exactly the right way to do things,” says Plant Manager Stefan Fesser, „because with the comprehensive modernization of our paint shop, we not only increase capacity, we also ensure that every car built in Eisenach continues to meet highest quality standards with state-of-the-art technology in the future. And our customers, the ADAM drivers, benefit from both of these aspects.”