Wednesday, August 28, 2013

‘Blue Suit Crew’ Seeks Perfect Paint Finish

Defect contaminating lotions, cologne, hair spray, etc., 
forbidden in GM paint shops 

Paint shop team members put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) lint-free suits and hats that are required at all times in the paint facility, and are only to be worn in the paint facility Friday, March 1, 2013 at the General Motors Lake Orion Plant in Orion Township, Michigan. Each PPE is individually packaged and stored in a team members locker. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

DETROIT – Painting a new vehicle is not just part of the manufacturing process - it is an intricate chemical operation requiring constant scientific monitoring. Trained experts, members of General Motors’  “Blue Suit Crew” follow elaborate precautions to ensure that final vehicle paint finishes are pristine.

Many everyday personal hygiene items – such as lotion, cologne, hair spray, deodorant and silicon – are prohibited in GM paint shops because their mere presence can cause the new paint to contaminate the paint.

Paint shop employees are constantly seeking the sources of paint contamination, looking for clues and hunting down potential contaminants.

“The process of painting a vehicle properly is much harder than the average person would assume. We have many different factors that we have to be cognizant of at all times,” said Anton Busuttil, paint shop area manager at the Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Mich. “The weather – including temperature and humidity – is one of those major factors over which we have no control.”

The goal for the Blue Suit Crew is a perfect finish. 

“There are precise stages each vehicle goes through in order to leave GM’s paint shop with phenomenal colors,” Busuttil said. “The vehicles are prepped, dipped in treatment, and sprayed with PVC antichip material, primer, base coat and finally clear coat. The vehicles are then checked to ensure they are in compliance in terms of quality, if they meet expectations they are sent to General Assembly to continue the build process.”  

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at  

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