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BASF Coatings and Magna Steyr partners at Graz, Austria site for nearly three decades – System partnership for mutual success

Published on 2006-05-19. Author : SpecialChem

Graz/Münster -- At the coating lines of Magna Steyr's Graz site, eight car models are each getting their own coat of paint at the same time: The Mercedes E-Class 4MATIC, Mercedes G-Class, Chrysler Voyager, Chrysler 300 C, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Commander, Saab 9.3 convertible, and the BMW X3 all leave production with an A1 paint job. In 2005, a total of 230,070 vehicles left the coating lines there. It sounds routine, but for the paint experts at BASF Coatings it's anything but. "Here we find many customers with all kinds of specifications in the coating process under one roof. That requires us to have a wide range of knowledge about the specification of the cars being produced," says Klaus Steinwender, Account Manager for Magna Steyr, NedCar, Smart & Mitsubishi in BASF Coatings' Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions business.

The partnership between BASF Coatings and its customer Magna Steyr at the Graz site has been around for nearly three decades – 27 years to be exact. BASF Coatings has been a system supplier for four years, meaning that it is responsible for procuring all the materials required for surface coating. The "cost per unit system" is used for invoicing, which means that BASF Coatings is only paid for bodies with a paint job that's 100% okay.

The system partnership requires real team spirit – both within the BASF Coatings team on site and in constant contact with the customer. That's why Steinwender is constantly exchanging information with Dr. Wolfgang Zitz, head of the Magna Steyr paint shop. "You start thinking like the customer," says Steinwender, putting in a nutshell what makes his BASF team so special: identifying with the customer and the strong determination to support the customer by offering concrete solutions for all paint-related issues – around the clock. The BASF Coatings employees work in a two shift-per-day operation at Magna Steyr and are on call at night. In addition to Steinwender, the team consists of team leader Guido Harbusch (Coatings Process Manager), five field technical service representatives, and a materials manager.

In the context of the system partnership, Magna Steyr gives BASF Coatings the number of units of the individual models as a parameter. This number is used to derive the material consumption. The paints themselves come from Münster, Schwarzheide, and Würzburg. Paints for the cathodic electrodeposition (CathoGuard 500 & 310), two primers, 55 basecoats, and three clearcoats are currently in use.

Take the example of cathodic electrodeposition (CED). BASF Coatings has been supplying the required materials for a quarter of a century. The history of CED at Magna Steyr in Graz mirrors the development of cathodic e-coating itself. The CED tanks, which hold a charging amount of 260 tons of CED materials each, have seen many generations of e-coats. The latest changing of the guard was marked by BASF Coatings' innovative and lead-free CathoGuard 500 technology family taking over the helm.

"This is an example of how we are constantly improving material and service for the long term. Magna Steyr's guiding principle is 'Cars are our passion'. For us, cars and paints are our passion," says Steinwender. By the way, cars have been manufactured in Graz for over 100 years (at 27 years, the Mercedes G-Class has had the longest production period). "Along with our customer Magna Steyr, we want to continue this tradition for a long time," Steinwender says.

Magna Steyr

Magna Steyr is a group of the Canadian Magna International Inc., one of the world's largest automotive suppliers. More than 83,000 employees work for Magna International at 223 production sites and 56 development sites in 22 countries. Magna Steyr is the world's leading partner of carmakers (OEM) for the development and production of complete vehicles. In 2005, approx. 9,200 employees at Magna Steyr in Graz produced 230,070 vehicles. Magna Steyr is the world's leading global brand-independent engineering and manufacturing partner of automakers.

BASF : A major international player in coatings

BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2005 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of about 2,2 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

Source: BASF

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