Optimizing painting processes

Status quo

In recent years, painting has developed into an expensive production step which is difficult to control. Past and future investments in environmental protection are undermining the competitiveness of paint processing companies. Sustainability, energy efficiency and CO2 savings have become key issues. Furthermore, the price pressure from the competition is enormous. This can be counteracted by systematically identifying and unlocking rationalization potential.

We can help

Fraunhofer IPA has been optimizing painting processes and paint shops with an experienced team for over 40 years, applying recognized testing and evaluation methods. To develop and implement the best possible solution, we form a project team of employees from the (Schreibfehler deutsche Version -Ihrer) respective departments (e.g. production planning, production, maintenance) and specialist companies (e.g. paint manufacturers). To ensure that the rationalization potential of possible optimization measures is assessed quickly and reliably, we use our very-own computer-aided system developed by Fraunhofer IPA.

Our approach

When it comes to optimization measures, Fraunhofer IPA employs generally-accepted methods. The Six Sigma approach established by General Electric in the 1990s focuses on improvement projects that are used to optimize processes (or products) in companies. Improvements are implemented according to the so-called DMAIC cycle (DEFINE - MEASURE - ANALYZE - IMPROVE - CONTROL).

Six Sigma projects are primarily implemented in cases where projects are relatively complex and where traditional lean approaches have already been exhausted.


Among others, we include the following aspects when documenting the status quo:

  • Composition of the parts spectrum
  • The way parts are arranged on product carriers (conveyors)
  • Description of the paint shop
  • Material flow
  • Paint-specific data, key data on coating properties
  • Key data on the paint application process
  • Energy consumption
  • Water management
  • Cost of the painting process
  • Current requirements

The on-site analysis of weak points that we make to determine savings potential is based on empirical methods as well as on targeted measurements or tests.

Examples include:

  • Spraying parameters
  • Paint material utilization rate
  • Plant utilization
  • Air conditions in the spray booths
  • Material flow
  • Required structure of the paint layer
  • Thickness and distribution of the paint layer
  • Energy analysis
  • Rework statistics

Fraunhofer IPA carries out this work using checklists, assessment methods and a comprehensive range of testing and measuring equipment. To evaluate the status quo and assess optimization options as well as efficiency measures, we prepare a detailed requirements catalog and a trend analysis. On the basis of the preceding work steps, a catalog of measures is drawn up, priorities are set, and deadlines are defined.

Fraunhofer IPA helps you implement the measures and monitors the progress made towards achieving your goals.