Skip to main content

Exploding paint!

Inspired carbon reduction in automotive paint shops


Professor Gordon Smith is pioneering CO2 emissions reduction in the car industry by eliminating the biggest single process responsible for emissions - the plastic paint shop.

In 2005 Mitsubishi reported the paint plant to account for 60 per cent of the entire vehicle production energy usage. Ford reported this value as 70 per cent and Daimler Chrysler 50 per cent.

It has been estimated the CO2 emissions saved by the elimination of an automotive paint shop would be 455 tonnes per day.

With such potential carbon savings to be made, it is not surprising that The Carbon Trust is supporting Professor Smith in his programme ‘Eliminate Paint Shops’. This has resulted in the development of a new patented processing system called In-spire whereby plastic injection mouldings are painted while they are being produced. The result is a car ready component entirely eliminating the need for paint shops.

The project is currently half way through its development and researchers and collaborators are hopeful that this is a system that will be able to deliver the required carbon savings for UK industry helping us to move towards a low carbon society.