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Paint/body shop drops 329 tons of chain

by David Zatz on

Chrysler’s new Sterling Heights body shop was built to reduce energy consumption but increase flexibility and efficiency; the Friction Drive System used to move car carriers is an example of doing both at once. Slightly quieter than the old chain drive setup, the eight mile long system uses pressure discs to move small portions of the line; that lets individual sections have different speeds, while cutting drag and making it easier to figure out where there are problems.

The FDS cut cost, energy use, and maintenance, while eliminating chain oil as a source of contamination and toxic waste. The low-power system reduces damage when problems occur. It’s easier to integrate with other automation systems, and any problems are localized.

The FDS allowed nine miles of chain to be removed from the system — that’s a stunning 658,000 pounds of chain not being pulled all day long. Individual sections’ motors operate only when needed, also reducing energy costs. For more, see our Sterling Heights/Chrysler 200 paint and body shop section.


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