Winnebago Installs $7 Million E-Coat Paint System
Winnebago has installed a $7 million electro-deposition (e-coat) paint system in the Company’s motorhome chassis prep facility in Forest City, Ind.
“This new system is unique to Winnebago and keeps us ‘best in class’ among motorhome manufacturers,” says Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “We use an extensive amount of steel in our motorhomes for strength and durability and we find it vitally important to protect the steel through an e-coat process to help reduce corrosion. We take pride in going above and beyond to deliver a true quality advantage that helps extend the life of our motorhomes. No one else in the industry has this capability.”
The new e-coat system processes piece parts and assemblies through a 10-stage, full-immersion electro-coating system capable of accepting loads 5′ wide x 16′ long x 6′ high. The first seven stages are used for pre-treatment and involve cleaning, treating with a nano-ceramic conversion coating and deionized water rinse for good conductivity. The final three stages are used for the e-coat and rinse cycles. Electro-deposition is accomplished by charging the components with electricity, and then paint film is bonded to the body to a desired thickness. Similar to automotive companies, Winnebago uses the e-coat process to provide corrosion protection.
“This new state-of-the-art system provides increased capacity and improved efficiency compared to our previous system, which has been in place since the early 80’s,” says Potts, “In addition to providing a higher quality e-coat process, the new system has lower operating costs, less waste and fewer personnel will be needed to operate the system, freeing them up for other manufacturing operations.”