Stellantis Windsor assembly plant awarded for energy project


Amanda Drago

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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 recognized the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant for the Energy Project of the Year 2021 in the Canada region award. The factory won this award for drastically reducing the amount of energy it uses in its paint shop.

Another award to his credit: Chrysler Pacifica is 2021 Family Car of the Year

How has the factory reduced its energy consumption?

The rear of a Chrysler Pacifica sprayed in a paint booth at the Windsor Assembly Plant
A Chrysler Pacifica in a paint booth at the factory
Photo: FCA

The Windsor Assembly Plant energy management team, in particular, won the award for improving their topcoat application process. The team aptly named it the “Upper Layer Observation Cabin Downdraft Optimization” project. This has led to an 8 percent reduction, or 20,250 gigajoules, in energy use per year. The same amount of electricity is used in 490 homes over the course of a year.

The Windsor Assembly Plant manufactures the Chrysler Voyager, Grand Caravan, Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid. Every 48 seconds, one of these minivans goes out of 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 on-site survey, the plant’s energy management team discovered that the paint shop had opportunities to reduce its energy consumption. A detailed assessment identified the finishing process as one of the main sources of energy consumption. The team then found that optimizing the airflow coming down from the paint booths could save energy.

The paint shop has three cabins, each with 20 exhaust fans to maintain a temperature of 62 degrees and 18 air chambers to bring in fresh air. In the “observation area” of each cabin, the team reduced the flow of fresh air to optimize the downward flow of air. This had no effect on the performance or the quality of the paint application.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator and Enbridge Utilities are offering Windsor Assembly Plant an additional energy rebate for its efforts. The Association of Energy Engineers also recognizes Stellantis and the energy management team at the AEE Regional Awards on October 19.

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