Design Innovation Papers

Energy Savings in Automotive Paint Ovens: A New Concept of Shroud on the Carriers

[+] Author and Article Information
Preetham P. Rao

Senior Researcher
e-mail: raopreetham@yahoo.com

Ashok Gopinath

Lab Group Manager
CFD Group, India Science Lab, General Motors,
2nd Floor, Creator Building, International Technology Park (ITPB),
Whitefield Main Road, Bangalore 560066, India

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 24, 2012; final manuscript received April 11, 2013; published online July 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Donggang Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(4), 045001 (Jul 17, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: MANU-12-1284; doi: 10.1115/1.4024537 History: Received September 24, 2012; Revised April 11, 2013; Accepted April 12, 2013

The rising cost of energy and increasing emphasis on environmental issues in today's world make it necessary to search for energy conservation methods in automotive paint shops. Paint curing ovens consume a sizeable portion of the total energy utilized. We present here an overview of the energy consumption in paint ovens, followed by a novel method to reduce the energy consumption. Although conventional ovens are designed to operate very efficiently, the carriers used to traverse the bodies in white (BiWs) in a paint shop also take part in heat transfer in an oven, and thus waste energy. Proposed here is a concept of using a shroud to cover the carriers and partially shield them from hot air of the oven. The concept is evaluated using a semicomputational model of an actual paint oven bake process. The computational model uses a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and a thermal solver to obtain detailed metal temperatures on a BiW and carrier as they traverse in the oven. The numerical results of temperature rises in an unshrouded carrier are compared to that from a shrouded carrier. It is seen that the usage of a shroud results in a significant reduction in the energy consumption of an oven.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Energy consumption in the painting process compared to the rest of the automotive manufacturing processes [4]

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Fig. 2

Energy consumption in different operation periods for an ELPO oven using data from Ref. [4]

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Fig. 3

Annual energy consumption split in different operation times, using data from Ref. [4]

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Fig. 4

Typical nozzles mounted on oven side walls, and the rails for traversing the carriers. View from the middle of an oven

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Fig. 5

Schematic of an oven with multiple BiWs and carriers inside

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Fig. 6

Typical temperature versus time data obtained from physical tests for a BiW and a carrier

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Fig. 7

Typical designs of some carriers used in paint ovens in General Motors in 2012

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Fig. 8

A carrier with a little more detailed construction, from an ELPO oven in General Motors paint shop in Pontiac, MI

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Fig. 9

Clearance between a BiW and a carrier

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Fig. 10

The concept of a shroud on a carrier

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Fig. 11

Multiple, consecutive carriers covered with shrouds during traverse through the oven

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Fig. 12

A possible shroud design

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Fig. 13

A schematic of the semicomputational method to obtain BiW metal temperatures in the paint curing process

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Fig. 14

The ELPO oven used in the study with four zones

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Fig. 15

The CFD model domain

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Fig. 16

The air temperature distribution in the oven in the center plane: with (top) and without the shroud (bottom)

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Fig. 17

Magnified view of the air temperature distribution in the oven without (top) and with the shroud (bottom)

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Fig. 18

Temperature distribution along the length of the oven

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Fig. 19

HTC values on the BiW and carrier at different locations in the oven

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Fig. 20

Air temperature in cross sections through the BiW and carrier: without (left) and with (right) the shroud

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Fig. 21

Temperature of the carrier with and without the shroud

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Fig. 22

Contour plot of the temperature distribution on the carrier at different time instants: Without shroud (top), with shroud (bottom)




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