With a consumption rate of about 100 gallons per minute, the Paint Shop is by far the thirstiest department in the BMW Manufacturing Co. plant. Based on this, BMW Manufacturing set a goal to reduce that consumption by 10%. We gave that target to a team of Paint Shop engineers and members of our supplier network and they leapt at the challenge. The team began by analyzing the two largest water users in the Paint Shop, the Phosphate Bath and E-Coat processes.
Using flow meters, they recorded a baseline usage rate in the two processes and then brainstormed ways to reduce it while keeping within the necessary pH and chemical levels. The bottom line…the team succeeded, and then some. They set out to save water usage by 10% and wound up saving 30%! That’s about 9.5 million gallons per year. The less water used, the lower the demand on our wastewater treatment facility and chemicals. The lower the demand, the less the environmental impact, the less the energy demands.