7. At this point, the "closure panels" are added to the vehicle. The doors are installed on the body using bolt-on hinges as opposed to weld-on hinges. These hinges are more expensive, but give the installers the ability to easily fine-tune door fitment to exacting specifications. After the closure panels are added, the body is inspected to make sure it is in perfect condition before it goes to paint.7. At this point, the "closure panels" are added to the vehicle. The doors are installed o 8. Paint Area Manager and 25-year veteran of GM, Paul Durant, walked us through the processes of the paint area. This amazing area takes the raw metal truck and applies the many coatings that give it the right appearance and corrosion protection. The major processes include clean and prep (phosphate), electro-deposition (ELPO), sealer, prime and bake, liquid applied sound deadener (LASD), main color, clearcoat, and finesse (inspection, polishing, and so on). Here you can see a body being rinsed after it has exited the first tank of ELPO.8. Paint Area Manager and 25-year veteran of GM, Paul Durant, walked us through the proces 9. Here, a body travels through a part of the line that completes the sealing process as well as a few other miscellaneous operations. When the body leaves here it will be ready for primer.9. Here, a body travels through a part of the line that completes the sealing process as w 10. After the body is primed, robots apply the LASD. Here you can clearly see the sound deadener (black material) after it has been added to the floor and dash area. Tim Herrick, Assistant Chief Engineer, explained that this noise-abatement material is applied to very specific areas to significantly eliminate sound generation from under the vehicle; be it from the road or powertrain. This material is one of the reasons why the cabin area of the GMT900 SUV is so quiet.10. After the body is primed, robots apply the LASD. Here you can clearly see the sound de 11. Before the body is painted it is meticulously cleaned with tack rags and this ostrich-feather duster. This process is electrostatic so the feathers collect even the tiniest particles of dirt.11. Before the body is painted it is meticulously cleaned with tack rags and this ostrich- 12. All interior and exterior body painting is done via robotics, and most of the time it's done with the lights off. After all, the robots don't need light to see what they're doing, and eliminating them helps reduce GM's energy bills. Here you can see a body entering the main color booth. The GM team turned the lights on for us so we could get a photo. One of the main benefits of robots in painting is that they apply the paint the same way to every vehicle, thus the finish is impeccable and consistent. From here, the bodies travel through a few more processes including baking and clearcoat.12. All interior and exterior body painting is done via robotics, and most of the time it' 13. Here, the author and Durant check out a painted GMT 900 body. This area, called the strip bank, is a holding area of sorts. This area is used to store the painted bodies overnight when the line is not operating. We're wearing a variety of mandatory protective clothing designed to ensure that the paint area remains dirt- and dust-free. « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!