Filtration driven Cost Leadership in Automobile Industry

Industrial Manufacturing Outlook shows that Core Manufacturing companies have been able to just sustain the COVID times. Recent studies confirm that the automobile and ancillary business might hold off the slowdown for the next ~ 7 to 9 months (Accenture, March 2020). But not unless they reduce current costs to 50%-60% of the existing and leverage close to 90% of their free cash. It becomes imperative for Automobile Production Facilities to search for alternate modes of cash control and savings. Filtration and HVAC costs across automobile production facilities pose a credible opportunity in terms of minimizing unit contribution margins and maximizing plant operational efficiency. Not only filter selection, but also particulate testing, dirt analysis, draught balancing and humidity control in Paint Booths, Welding Lines, E-Coat Booths, Internal Assembly lines can offer viable means of cost control and resource management which can offer valuable returns in the long run.

Automobile Paint Booths as Center of Manufacturing Costs

Over the years surface finishing process for vehicle manufacturing has been identified as the most cost intensive process towards developing the finished product. And there lies the opportunity for automobile producers to optimize their operational, inventory and energy efficiency expenses all at once.

Successive studies have shown energy consumption of paint booths to account for 27-50% of plant consumption costs (Durham University Study 2020). The cost determinant between a perfectly pressurised air flow at the optimum energy levels is the filtration efficiency of 3 stage filters installed in common paint booths. MERV and ISO standards even mandate the filtration efficiency for particulate matter at 50% for sustainable industrial usage.

Image 1: Comparison of Electricity Consumption in Automobile Manufacturing Processes

Operational expenses do not merely come from inherent aspects of production processes but also from post-processing implications. Particle arrestment inefficiency and inappropriate humidity are second and third most prominent reasons after pressure drop for paint defects like blistering, checking and popping. End-to-end Filter Management can help reduce the rework risks of these defects by upto 10%-20%.

It is evident that only a manufacturing process that requires such a multi-pronged resource influx; can be the source of maximum productive optimization.

Need of One Stop Filtration Management in Automobile Paint Booths

Fiber bonding, lint contaminations, airflow leakage, inventory management, VOC (volatile organic compounds) removal, overspraying losses; an automobile paint booth requires 360 degree compliance and maintenance schedule. Need based redressal of these aspects only add to the CAPEX and related variable costs of production units.

Total Filtration Management allows plant managers and industry stakeholders to consolidate production objectives and channelize their resources through a centralized service channel.

It allows them to find a solution which accounts for holistic root cause analysis of contributing factors to a self-sustainable surface finishing manufacturing process. The performance model of Total Filtration Management Process includes services that monitor filtration, manufacturing processes (paint defects, humidification), non-manufacturing processes (inventory), compliance (paint booth certification) and ex-process factors (VOCs).

Service Model of Total Filtration Management
Facility SurveyFiltration Equipment Identification
 System Design Analysis
 Historical Filtration Data Review
Spray Booth CertificationAirflow Measurements
 Air Membrane Sampling
 Compressed Air Line Testing
 Temperature and Humidity Study
 Particle Counting and Analysis
Air Filtration MonitoringParticulate Collection Efficiency Analysis
 Dust Spot Efficiency Calculations
 Calibration of Magnehelic Gauges
 Filter Inspection and Frame Structural Integrity Analysis
Air Filter Validation CyclePressure Drop Testing
 Dirt Loading Review
 Particle Analysis (Captured vs. Deposited)
 Contamination Cause Analysis
Life Cycle Improvisation & Energy OptimizationLife Cycle Costing
 Operational and Non-Operational Costing
Inventory ManagementInventory Flow Analysis
 Optimal Inventory Level Management
 Rotational Stock Evaluation
Paint Process AnalysisEquipment Inspection
 Operations Analysis
 Defect Collection and Sampling
 Testing and Reporting
Table 1: Elements of Service for Total Filtration Management in Automobile Paint Shops

Key benefits of Unified Filtration Management Solution for Automobile Paint Booths

The end-to-end management process of surface finishing allows automobile manufacturing plants to leverage the standards set under ISO 16890 and ASHRAE 52.2. Not only do the vehicle manufacturers get to maintain procedural compliance for ventilation and air quality in paint booths but they also get to develop data driven insights from fractional efficiency reporting systems.

As filtration has a significant impact (71%, Durr Group 2018) in overall paint booth energy consumption costs, and one-stop air filtration solutions can single handedly achieve cost optimization targets for majority of organizations.

Benefits of Total Filtration Management also include consolidation of dynamic and on-demand lab tests, inventory control, risk evaluation and cross-functional reporting. As embedded technology partners, filtration teams deployed on-site, offer a collaborative filtration management approach which is able to minimize the delay in preventive actions.

The unified service solution of Total Filtration Management eliminates a multi vendor approach and minimizes the siloed communications between clients and filter suppliers. In times when recovery from slow markets is uncertain for numerous industries including and especially vehicle manufacturing; cost leadership is the only opportunity for companies to stay afloat until things get back to normal. Total Air Filtration Management offers a unique opportunity in this segment where manufacturers can not only save costs but also prepare for the post COVID load which will require more transformative approach

Filter Manufacturing Industries have a ripe opportunity in terms of providing a comprehensive product-driven Total Filtration Management (TFM) Service for Automobile Paint Booths of customizable capacities. With features like web enabled TFM software, 24×7 availability, globally accredited air filter products; they can ensure reduction in surface finishing costs, increase in FTT (first time through) production cycles, and sustainable inventory control for small to large manufacturing facilities.

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