Volkswagen, Audi Approve Pro Spot’s SP-5.3 MIG/MAG Welder

Pro Spot International has announced that its SP-5.3 MIG/MAG welder has been approved by Volkswagen and Audi globally for repairs on their vehicles. The welder passed tough tests for aluminum, CuSi (silicon bronze) and steel.

“On behalf of the Pro Spot team, I am very satisfied getting this approval from VW/Audi,” said Ron Olsson, President, Pro Spot International.

Volkswagen Developing 3D Printing Process For Mass Production

Volkswagen is working on a new process for 3D printing to be used in mass production. The company says the new Metal Jet process by printer manufacturer HP simplifies and speeds up metallic 3D printing, improving productivity by up to 50 times faster compared to other 3D printing methods.

With the announcement, Volkswagen is declaring 3D printing as mass-production ready in automotive industry. Together with printer manufacturer HP and component manufacturer GKN Powder Metallurgy, the German marque is pressing ahead with the development of the technology for mass production. The partners presented the new process for the first time at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago this week.

Dr Martin Goede, Head of Technology Planning and Development, Volkswagen, said: “Automotive production is facing major challenges: our customers are increasingly expecting more personalisation options. At the same time, complexity is increasing with the number of new models. That’s why we are relying on state-of-the-art technologies to ensure a smooth and fast production. 3D printing plays a particularly important role in manufacturing of individual parts.”

Volkswagen says one of its vehicles is manufactured from 6000 to 8000 different parts. While previous 3D printing processes can only be used for the special production of individual parts or prototypes, the additive 3D Metal Jet technology from HP enables the production of a large number of parts using 3D printing without having to develop and manufacture the corresponding tools. This significantly reduces the time required to manufacture parts, making the process a serious consideration for the production of large quantities of parts in a short period of time.

“That’s why the new HP Metal Jet platform is an important step into the future for us as an automotive manufacturer, but also for the entire industry, and we look forward to helping shape this development and thus creating further added value for our customers in the future,” Dr Goede continued.

In collaboration with HP and GKN, Volkswagen is further developing the technology so that design elements can be printed in a small series at first. This will be required to produce individualised design parts such as tailgate lettering, special gear knobs or keys with personalised lettering for customers without a great deal of effort. Volkswagen say the plan is to be capable of offering this type of individualisation proposition to customers as soon as possible.

As early as next year, GKN says it intends to establish a process chain geared toward automotive production in collaboration with Volkswagen. The first small (design) components will be used to further develop the technology so that the first structural components for mass-production vehicles can be printed within two to three years.

“A complete vehicle will probably not be manufactured by a 3D printer any time soon, but the number and size of parts from the 3D printer will increase significantly,” explained Dr Goede. “Our goal is to integrate printed structural parts into the next generation of vehicles as quickly as possible. In the long term, we expect a continuous increase in unit numbers, part sizes and technical requirements – right up to soccer-size parts of over 100,000 units per year.”

According to Volkswagen, the new 3D printing process using the HP Metal Jet process is an additive process in which parts are produced layer by layer using a powder and binder. The component is then ‘baked’ into a metallic component using a sintering process. This differs from previous processes in which powder is melted by means of a laser.

Mercedes-Benz Australia Approves Glasurit As Preferred Supplier

Glasurit, BASF’s premium automotive refinishing brand, has been named the preferred supplier for refinishing paint for all Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers in Australia and New Zealand.

Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers say they operate under the commitment to return cars to their pre-accident condition and ensure the original safety and quality of the vehicle is not compromised. BASF says the Glasurit brand is known worldwide for its innovative premium refinish products and its extensive portfolio of services, in addition to offering an extensive training programme and diverse range of instruments for developing body shops.

“Our partnership with Mercedes-Benz in Australia and New Zealand is about more than just delivering high-quality refinishing paint. It also offers Mercedes-Benz Autobody Repairers with access to our leading training programmes and expert know-how required to implement the most efficient work processes in the body shop,” explained Paul Hooper, Senior Key Account Manager BASF.

BASF and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, have a long-standing partnership across production and supplier networks throughout the world.

As a global vehicle manufacturer renowned for cutting edge design and technology and superb build quality, Mercedes-Benz says it only endorses products that meet its stringent quality and performance requirements.

“Being elevated to preferred supplier status with Mercedes-Benz enables us to build on our existing partnership and deliver premium products and services, including training, business consultancy and colour support to the authorised repairers,” added Hooper.

Baslac Introduces 25-35 and 25-95 Primer Filler Wet-On-Wet

BASF brand baslac has introduced two new wet-on-wet primer fillers to its range of refinish products.

BASF says baslac 25-35 white and 25-95 black primer fillers will provide a high solids non sanding primer that has great coverage, even when straight black is used.

Benefits include:

  • No sanding needed before topcoat or basecoat application
  • Only 20 minutes drying time required before applying the topcoat or basecoat
  • Good adhesion – can be applied directly on e-coat without sanding
  • Can be overcoated up to five days away without intermediate sanding
  • Both products can be mixed to create the appropriate grey shade for topcoat / basecoat colour – refer to the baslac grey shade chart

BASF says baslac products offer a profitable, easy-to-use refinish solution in the body shop. For more information contact 02 8787 0100 or visit

Tander To Launch At Automechanika Frankfurt

A new internationally-distributed brand for automotive paint professionals, Tander, will be launched at Automechanika in Frankfurt, Germany next month.

Tander’s wide range of products will cover the complete paint process, from personal and spray booth protection to paint application products. The company says it aims to deliver innovative high-quality products that are affordable and convenient to use.

Tander says its personal protection products are comfortable, convenient and guarantee personal safety throughout the working day.

To prevent paint contamination, the company’s spray booth coatings will feature a ‘tacky’ formula that makes dust and dirt cling to the booth’s walls and floor, while leak-free covering products protect parts and ensure a spotless surface.

Tander says its products are offered in manageable packing units to suit all sized businesses.

A new teaser website has been set up at, with the full site likely to go live once the brand launches.

AkzoNobel Puts The Blue Back Into Bluebird

The restoration of Donald Campbell’s record-breaking hydroplane, Bluebird, is complete thanks to AkzoNobel and its marine brand, International, which supplied the project with Perfection Pro paint in the vessel’s original shade of blue.

“We spent 10 years being supplied with samples of nearly, but not-quite versions of Bluebird blue, RAL 5009, however it wasn’t until we uncorked our tins of Perfection Pro that we actually clapped eyes on her true colour. Now that was impressive,” said Bluebird restoration project leader, Bill Smith.

Bluebird crashed on Coniston Water in 1967. Decades later, diver and enthusiast Smith took a keen interest in the story and conducted extensive searches over a period of four years. He located and salvaged the wreckage in 2001. Together with a team of volunteers, Smith restored Bluebird at a workshop in the northeast of England.

The hydroplane was blasted and coated with AkzoNobel’s International Interzinc 72 protective coating and Interpon 610 TGIC-free polyester powder coating. The bodywork was rebuilt and completed using Cromadex 903 Etch Primer, Cromadex 750 Grey Primer and International Perfection Pro yacht topcoat.

“I’m very proud that we’re able to be part of this incredible restoration project,” said Chris Panton, Area Sales Manager, AkzoNobel Cromadex Newcastle. “The Cromadex team has been a part of the project for several years, supplying various products from AkzoNobel’s extensive portfolio of liquid and powder coatings.”

Fifty years after Campbell died trying to break his own water speed record, Bluebird is making a return to the water this UK summer. The hydroplane will be taken to Loch Fad on the Isle of Bute in Scotland for personnel training in launching, landing, lifting, and piloting, as well as to check for hull leaks. Eventually the team hopes to display the boat at speed on Coniston Water in the Lake District.

PPG Introduces Next Generation Deltron Paint System

The transition to new global branding has provided PPG with the opportunity to introduce next-generation primers, clearcoats, thinners, hardeners and additives to the Deltron paint system.

While the tinter formulations and current tinter number system remain the same, PPG says the comprehensive update has added more flexibility, productivity and speed across the board.

Even though the updated Deltron paint system comes with global technology, PPG’s commitment to local manufacturing ensures the system continues to be made locally from high quality raw materials formulated by the R&D team within PPG’s Clayton headquarters.

As part of the process – which involved customer feedback – the products have been specifically tuned to meet local needs in terms of application, performance and long-term durability. For example, the clearcoats have been formulated with plenty of UV absorber to help them cope with harsh local conditions.

PPG says a lot of thought also went into the new global branding, declaring it logical, clear and convenient for painters. Each product type now uses a different colour, as well as product codes that feature two letters followed by three numbers. The first letter is ‘D’ for Deltron, while the second indicates the product type: C – Clearcoat, P – Primer, H – Hardener, T – Thinner, and A – Additive. This logical labelling continues for hardeners and thinners where the last two digits of the product code signify the temperature/speed that it’s intended to be used at. For example, ‘20’ is medium range designed for 20°C to 30°C, or spot repairs at high temperatures.

PPG says that more than ever, the new generation thinners and hardeners are a key feature of the Deltron paint system. Most of the thinners and hardeners (in a variety of temperature ranges) are shared across nearly all the primers and clearcoats. As well as being convenient, it also keeps the entire Deltron paint system compact and reduces customer stock holdings.

In addition, a specialised thinner now provides the option for an accelerated mode which can be used on all three clearcoats and some primers when a job needs to be pushed through quickly.

PPG says the new primer formulations give repairers the ability to tackle any job or substrate with speed and efficiency. As well as the convenience of sharing thinners and hardeners across most of the range, the products also provide excellent Wet-On-Wet (WOW) options and spectral grey shades to help improve topcoat coverage.

The primer range includes:

  • DP618 PrimaBUILD
  • DP602 PrimaPRIME
  • DP620 PrimaSEAL
  • DP612 EtchPRIME
  • DP614 EpoxyPRIME
  • DP616 EpoxyTHANE
  • PrimaGUARD (DP621 PrimaGUARD G1, DP625 PrimaGUARD G5, DP627 PrimaGUARD G7)

To provide the finishing touch, three new clear coats provide an option for every application. In addition to easily recognised naming, all these clearcoats share thinners, hardeners and mixing ratios. There is the option of an accelerated mode (down to as little as 15-minute bake time) by using a specific thinner.

The clearcoat range includes:

  • DC501 OptiCLEAR
  • DC516 GenCLEAR
  • DC527 SprintCLEAR

The new Deltron primers, clearcoats, hardeners, thinners and additives will be arriving soon and will be noticeable thanks to the fresh branding, while the tinter range will switch to new branding once existing stock runs out. While a new look is the giveaway, PPG says customers will quickly find that the updated Deltron paint system gives them everything they need in a proven solvent-borne solution that maximises performance, productivity, ease of use and dependability.

For further information contact your local PPG representative.

Ferrari Introduces The World’s First Low-Bake Paint Technology

Thanks to an on-going collaboration with PPG, Ferrari has introduced an innovative low temperature paint system, making the Prancing Horse the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt the new Low Cure clear coat technology.

The new two-component paint system incorporates a specially formulated clear coat which makes it possible for the car to be baked at 100°C instead of 150°C, cutting energy costs and enhancing the sustainability of the process.

The Low Cure resins contain a new hardener which enhances the chemical and mechanical resistance of the coating. The new formula also boosts cross-coat linking which simultaneously increases chemical hydrophobicity and reduces water permeability.

Additionally, the new solution makes it possible to bake carbon-fibre and composite components together with the bodyshell, resulting in colour uniformity between the various body components.

Thanks to the new technology, Ferrari has industrialised a process to produce at least 61 different basecoat colours by combining metallic basecoats with a gloss or matte pigmented clear coat.

Nissan To Use Ultra-Strong, High-Formability Steel In More Vehicles

Nissan will expand the use of a new type of steel that enhances fuel efficiency and driving performance by lowering vehicle weight.

First seen in the Infiniti QX50 midsize SUV, the new material combines high tensile strength with a previously unachievable degree of formability, resulting in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions.

Featuring a tensile strength of 980MPa, the material was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. While maintaining the ability to absorb energy in a collision, the steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form complex shapes that are thinner and lighter than those made of conventional high tensile strength steel. The ability for the steel to be cold pressed makes it suitable for mass production which will help contain increases in vehicle costs.

According to Nissan, the Infiniti QX50, which went on sale in the US in March, is the world’s first vehicle with front and rear side members made from 980MPa ultra-high tensile strength steel. The material is also used in a range of other body frame parts.

Nissan launched a sustainability plan in June that calls for lowering CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 40 per cent by 2022, compared with 2000. The company is aggressively developing technologies to expand the use of ultra-high tensile strength steel, aiming for it to make up 25 per cent of the company’s ‘vehicle parts by weight’. The material makes up 27 per cent of the new QX50.

Erebus Motorsport Promotes World Environment Day

To mark the UN’s World Environment Day (5 June), Erebus Motorsport took the opportunity, at the unveiling of its latest Supercars chassis, to highlight the team’s green credentials.

As part of the long-term partnership the team enjoys with PPG, the freshly fabricated chassis was painted by Max Medhurst Crash Repairs in Mount Gambier, using PPG’s ENVIROBASE High Performance waterborne basecoat system. According to PPG, the technology boasts eco-friendly, low-VOC characteristics and features many benefits including outstanding colour capability.