At the National Corvette Museum’s 27th Anniversary Event, Kai Spande, Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager, and Chuck Valentini, Bowling Green Assembly Plant Body and Paint Manager, were on-site to give a Bowling Green Assembly Plant Update. During the presentation, the pair discussed what goes on within the Plant’s paint shop and the processes and sequences used for painting the Corvette.
Spande reiterated that there are 12 exterior paint colors available for 2022. The BGA Paint Shop started with the capability to do ten colors and now can handle twelve. In 2017, when the paint shop addition was complete, the factory practically doubled in size. The BGA Paint Shop is now 800,000 square feet, and has three floors, nineteen vertical displacement lifts, 51 robots, 240 employees, three-panel suppliers, and Axalta paint! All paints are formulated to be applied in the BGA Paint Shop. The BGA Paint Shop does not share paint with anyone!
The Bowling Green Assembly Plant conducts daily crater testing on every employee that enters the BGA Paint Shop. Crater testing detects potential contaminants that may result from specific personal hygiene products, detergents, perfumes, etc. Plant employees wear blue suits, hats, and/or hair nets that further protect panels from lint or dirt. The employees walk through an air shower to remove lint from their coveralls and walk on a sticky mat to remove dirt and dust from the bottom of their shoes.
Spande also went over the process flow of the BGA Paint Shop that includes body washers, a prime oven, wet sanding, a color oven, a blackout oven, panel unload, and more. The panels are painted in the same position as they would be on the completed Corvette. One of the main reasons that Corvettes have such amazing paint jobs is because of the wet sanding done within the process. Spande shared that this is an industry-leading process and a big reason as to why there is such a great finish on the vehicle.