GM ‘Blue Suit Crew’ Seeks Perfect Paint Finish

Paint shop employees at General Motors' Lake Orion Plant in Michigan constantly look to root out potential sources of contaminants.

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.

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

According to Busuttil, there are precise stages each vehicle goes through. "The vehicles are prepped, dipped in treatment, and sprayed with PVC anti-chip material, primer, base coat and finally clear coat," he explained. "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.”

View more pictures of the "Blue Suit Crew" online or click here to get a glimpse of GM's Lordstown paint shop.

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Automotive  •  Cleaning, Pretreatment & Surface Preparation  •  Coating Systems & Equipment  •  Paint & Powder Coating Applications


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