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Our journey to a zero CO2 paint shop

Toyota Global Paint Line concept as a global first
Paint Shop processes are responsible for over 65% of CO2 emissions coming from a plant. Thanks to an innovative combination of well-known technologies like heat recovery and heat pump, TME has established a new standard for its paint booth air supply systems now having a zero-carbon footprint. 

From carbon reduction to carbon neutral

At Toyota, we have a clear vision towards the decarbonization of our manufacturing plants. While reducing energy usage and energy waste are logical steps, we also focus on carbon neutrality through technology development and innovation. Recently, our Production Engineering teams from the Paint department and Plant & Environmental Engineering group, introduced the Toyota Global Paint Line (GPL) concept. This zero CO2 Air Make-up Unit is a Toyota global first and was initially set up at the TMMF (France) Plastic shop. Following its success in CO2  emissions reduction it is now being considered by our other manufacturing plants around the globe.
  • Traditional paint booth

    A traditional paint booth is quite large and requires manual application of the paint, with low transfer efficiency. The system uses natural gas to filter and condition the air to minimise temperature variations and remove particles that could compromise the finished quality. 

  • Innovative paint booth - Reducing 1000 tons of CO2 annually

    In the new fully automated compact paint booth, with high transfer efficiency, the air is filtered and conditioned through an ‘Air Make Up Unit’  It uses a heat recovery system and heat pumps, greatly reducing the demand of renewable energy and allowing us to eliminate natural gas use altogether. 

How does it work?

4 separate Air Makeup Units (AMU) provide air to the paint application spray booths. The air needs to be conditioned to match the operating parameters of the paint. The required range is 19⁰C to 26⁰C and 61%rH* to 75%rH.

Each unit has an integrated exhaust fan that pulls the air from the booth and into the AMU. The waste warm air is passed through a rotary heat exchanger recovering the energy from the exhaust stream.

*Relative Humidity (the humidity of the air supplied in the paint booth by the AMU).

The air flow

The air which is supplied to the spray booth is 100% fresh air and collects the energy from the heat exchanger on its way to the booth.

Depending on the external weather condition the air needs to be adjusted for its temperature and humidity. These two functions are performed by an integrated electric heat pump and water spray humidifier. 

“We are proud that our members challenge conventional thinking. Thanks to their Kaizen mindset and creative thinking, they are able to not only significantly reduce environmental impact, but also contribute to cost reduction, even if the proposed solution may carry a slightly higher initial investment.”
Marvin Cooke, Executive Vice President TME - Manufacturing

On our way to carbon zero

The journey to a zero CO2 Paint shop is still far from complete as there are several processes with high temperature requirements. These include paint curing ovens or toxic VOC (volatile organic compounds) abatement, requiring further technology and paint material development. We are committed to achieve carbon neutrality in manufacturing by 2030, five years ahead of the global Toyota target. Additionally, we have a Manufacturing Carbon Zero* objective by 2040; 10 years ahead of the global Toyota target. Given the challenge we’ve set ourselves, we are constantly investigating new innovations and initiatives for further carbon reduction.

*no carbon emissions produced

TME Production Engineering wins CARES Audience Award

During the first European CARES conference in Paris last November, our Production Engineering team presented TME’s decarbonisation strategy, as well as our practical experience on process modification for carbon neutrality in manufacturing plants. In recognition of TME’s advances in this field,  they were awarded with the Audience Choice Award. CARES Congress engages thought leaders, automotive industry frontrunners, and other social, cultural leaders of society to shape global and regional automotive industry agendas. The Global Transdisciplinary Forum gathered the main OEMs, paint equipment suppliers, paint suppliers and several other part suppliers around the critical topic of sustainability in automotive manufacturing.