CHICAGO Nissan North America Inc. has started up a new 250,000-square-foot paint line in Smyrna, Tenn.
The facility, which launched Jan. 31, is capable of reducing energy consumption by 30 percent, carbon emissions by 30 percent and volatile organic compound emissions by 70 percent by using a "three wet" paint process that applies all three layers in succession, requiring the vehicle to go through the bake oven just once. Previous processes required the vehicle to bake in between the primer application and the topcoat layers.
The facility, which replaced a paint line that had been in service for nearly 30 years, is a "showcase project" under the U.S. Department of Energys Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge. Under the program, Franklin, Tenn.-based Nissan committed to a 25-percent reduction in energy intensity in its three U.S. plants by 2020.
The automaker recently added production of the Infiniti JX and Nissan Leaf models to its adjacent vehicle assembly lines at the Smyrna site, with future plans to add the Nissan Rogue to production at Smyrna.