Cutting fuel emissions is a sure way to green our cars, but cutting emissions while producing said car is also needed.

With this in mind, Ford is expanding its 3-Wet paint capacity by 50 percent this year, adding the environmentally friendly process to four more plants on three continents.

The actions will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 15-25 percent at those facilities.

Ford said it was the first automaker to implement the 3-Wet high-solids solvent-borne technology in 2007; it now has eight plants in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe equipped to use the process to paint vehicles.

High-solids solvent-borne technology refers to a paint formulated to minimize solvents, resulting in a concentrated pigment and resin mixture with fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released. The technology will be in place in 12 plants in 2013 then expand to additional facilities worldwide over the next four years.

“The 3-Wet paint process is significantly more advanced than conventional technologies in applying durable paints in a high-quality, environmentally sound and cost-efficient manner,” said Bruce Hettle, director of manufacturing engineering.

The 3-Wet process derives its name from three layers of paint applied one after the other prior to earlier coats having cured. The process eliminates stand-alone primer application and a dedicated oven required in the conventional process that was used before.

Advanced chemical composition of 3-Wet paint materials allows for the three layers of paint – primer, base coat and clear coat – to be applied while each layer is still wet.

Since the pilot launch at Ohio Assembly Plant five years ago, Ford’s global 3-Wet paint process has reduced CO2 emissions by 15-25 percent and VOC emissions by 10 percent compared to either conventional high-solids solvent-borne or waterborne systems.

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Ford provided a list of plants with or soon to have 3-Wet capabilities:

Locations where Ford is installing the 3-Wet process in 2013:

  • Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Flat Rock, Mich.
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant, Claycomo, Mo.
  • Jiangling Motors Co. Ltd., Jiangxi/Nanchang, China
  • Valencia Assembly Plant, Valencia, Spain


Locations with 3-Wet capability in North America:

  • Ohio Assembly Plant, Avon Lake, Ohio
  • Cuautitlán Assembly Plant, Cuautitlán, Mexico
  • Michigan Assembly Plant, Wayne, Mich.
  • Louisville Assembly Plant, Louisville, Ky.


Locations with 3-Wet capability in Asia Pacific:

  • Chennai Assembly, Tamil Nadu, India
  • CAF 2, Chongqing, China
  • Ford Thailand Manufacturing, Rayong, Thailand


Location with 3-Wet capability in Europe:

  • Craiova Assembly Plant, Craiova, Romania