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Re: [T3] Production lines, was: T3PBO ... take 2

>They still could have been painted on dedicated color lines and then merged 
>into a single line.
>> I also talked with some manufacturing and paint guys at work (Ford Motor
>> Company).  Batch processing of paint was proposed and tried several times
>> and was never successful.  Too much inventory sitting around if the batch
>> sizes were big enough for it to make sense.  The solution, at Ford at least,
>> was to have a paint kitchen separate from the spray booth.  The paint
>> kitchen had tanks of paint that were kept full by the employees in the
>> kitchen.  Separate lines for each color ran from the kitchen to the booth. 
>> The painter in the booth would hook his spray gun to the appropriate line
>> for the color of the car that was in his booth.  Spray away.  When he was
>> done, he simply purged the gun and hooked it up to the next line for the
>> next color of car.  This way the colors were sprayed in the same sequence as
>> the body and chassis builds and the trim and final assembly.
>Sure seems like this would waste a fair amount of paint. I assume Ford would 
>have had quite a number of paint booths running in parallel, so they could 
>afford to keep each booth running a single color, at least MOST of the time.

Another point against dedicated color booths is the "take rate" for each
color.  For example in 1968 the Type 3 was available in 9 different colors
according to Dave Hall's website.  

L41     Black
L633    VW Blue
L650    Granada Red
L50B    Diamond Blue
L50F    Regatta Blue
L60B    Peru Green
L66B    Deep Sea Green
L282    Lotus White
L620    Savanna Beige

If you look at data for the most popular colors for cars you, get a range
from around 15-20% for the most popular color to around for 5% for the 10th
most popular color.  In 2001, the most popular color was silver with 25% and
the 10th most popular was Bright Red with only 3%.  See:


for more data.

With 235,000 or so Type 3 built in 1968, lets make a few assumptions.  Black
and white each got 20% of the market.  They have historically been very
popular colors.  Dark Blue and Dark Green and Beige each got 10% and the
remaining 4 colors each got 5% of the market.  For those last four colors
you are only looking at a bit over 11,000 cars a year.  You could never
justify the investment cost of a dedicated paint both for that few cars.
Even if you threw in 5% of the 1,000,000 or so beetles made in 1968, you are
only talking about 61,000 cars a year.  That works out to on the order of 10
jobs an hour if running 3 shifts.  I would expect that they are running at
least twice that.  We run something like 40-45 jobs an hour today.  No way
could they justify a dedicated paint booth for a color if it was only
getting 50% utilization.

As for the waste of paint, The hose disconnects from the gun and only the
tiny bit in the gun head itself gets purged.  This is probably less than
they lost in overspray in the old days.  I suspect too that frequent color
changes and the necessary purges also ensured that the operator cleaned the
gun regularly.  If you are always spraying the same color, you would be far
less likely to clean the gun regularly, probably not until it actually clogs
up and stops working . <G>

John Jaranson
'71 FI AT Fasty (Jane - Darkside Project)
'66 Square (Sophy - Daily Driver)
About Half a Late Square (Organ Donor)

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