HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda Motor Corporation will resume painting mass production vehicles on April 27 at the Ujina No. 1 plant (U1) paint shop, which suspended operations after a fire in December 2004. Beginning with the Mazda2, painting of other models will be sequentially restarted in May and June.
The eco-friendly Three Layer Wet Paint System will be introduced to the refurbished U1 paint shop. This advanced painting technology--developed by Mazda--achieves quality improvements, reduces the environmental impact of volatile organic compound (VOC) use and lowers energy consumption (CO2 emissions). It has only been introduced to the Hofu No.1, No.2 and Ujina No.2 (U2) plants up to now. The adoption of this technology at the U1 line completes its introduction to all of Mazda’s production facilities in Japan.
Reduced construction time for the damaged building and production equipment was achieved with a module-based construction method, and the use of Mazda Digital Innovation (MDI) shortened the lead time for mass production. A full restoration of the paint shop was accomplished about four months after the fire to restart integrated production at the U1 plant.
“We were able to attain a complete recovery four months after the fire due to the hard work of various stakeholders and the efforts of Mazda employees, and I would like to express my gratitude to you all,” said Mazda President and CEO Hisakazu Imaki. “I want to make an all-out effort to prevent a reoccurrence here and at other plants, and placing our usual importance on safety and quality, work toward attaining the goals of Mazda Momentum.”
Mazda and local government authorities suspect the cause of the fire
originated in a buildup of static electricity. A safety plan for the
paint shop is being implemented based on the recommendations of relevant
safety authorities, involving small paint stirring devices to be used
inside paint booths. On April 22, local government authorities issued a certificate of inspection confirming the U1 plant met all safety standards.
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