The technology was first introduced at Mazda’s Ujina Plant No. 1 in Japan in 2012. CMA becomes the company’s second plant and first overseas facility to use the low-impact paint technology.
Reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from vehicle body paint shops is a long-standing issue for the automobile industry, which has traditionally favored VOC-heavy oil-based paints and thinners. Automakers moved toward water-based paints in an effort to reduce VOC emissions, but the energy-intensive evaporative drying process required for these paints resulted in increased CO2 emissions.
Mazda says its Aqua-tech Paint System overcomes this trade-off by simultaneously reducing emissions of VOC and CO2, and makes far more efficient use of energy and paint materials than traditional paint systems.
The Aqua-tech Paint System at CMA is used for all body colors, and Mazda says quality of the finish is as high as that of vehicles painted in Japan, even for designer colors such as Soul Red.
“As an automaker, we have an obligation to not only make high-quality cars, but also reduce our impact on the environment,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, senior managing executive officer at Mazda. “Moving forward, we’ll continue to develop innovative technologies at our parent factories in Japan before introducing them at the same high standards overseas. In this way, we’ll provide customers around the world with high-quality cars and contribute both to preserving the environment and enriching society.”