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Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant Awarded for Energy Project

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A Chrysler Pacifica at the Windsor Assembly Plant with more Pacificas in line behind it
A Chrysler Pacifica at the Windsor Assembly Plant
Photo: FCA

The Association of Energy Engineers has recognized the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant for having the 2021 Canada Region Energy Project of the Year. The plant won this award for significantly reducing the amount of energy it uses in its paint shop.

Another Award Under Its Belt: Chrysler Pacifica is the 2021 Family Vehicle of the Year

How did the plant lower its energy usage?

The back of a Chrysler Pacifica being sprayed in a paint booth at the Windsor Assembly Plant
A Chrysler Pacifica in a paint booth at the plant
Photo: FCA

The Windsor Assembly Plant energy management team, in particular, took home the award for improving its topcoat paint application process. The team aptly named this the “Topcoat Observation Booth Downdraft Optimization” project. This led to an 8 percent, or 20,250 gigajoules, reduction in energy usage annually. The same amount of electricity is used in 490 homes over the course of a year.

The Windsor Assembly Plant builds the Chrysler Voyager, Grand Caravan, Pacifica, and Pacifica Hybrid. Every 48 seconds, one of these minivans rolls off the line. It takes about 27 hours for workers to finish a vehicle, and they spend up to 10 hours working on the vehicle in the paint shop.

After conducting an onsite study, the plant’s energy management team discovered that the paint shop had opportunities to lower its energy consumption. A detailed assessment identified the topcoat process as one of the main sources of energy usage. The team then found that optimizing the downdraft airflow of paint booths could save energy.

The paint shop has three booths, each of which features 20 exhaust fans to keep a temperature of 62 degrees and 18 air houses to bring in fresh air. In the “Observation Zone” of each booth, the team reduced the rate of fresh air to optimize the downdraft airflow. This had no effect on the paint application performance or quality.

The Independent Electricity System Operator of Ontario and Enbridge Utilities is giving the Windsor Assembly Plant an incremental energy rebate for its efforts. The Association of Energy Engineers is also recognizing Stellantis and the energy management team at the AEE Regional Awards on Oct. 19.