The Smyrna, Tenn., plant will use a three wet paint process that applies all three paint layers in succession, before the vehicle goes into the oven. Previous processes required the vehicle to bake in between the primer application and the topcoat layers. The new technology reduces energy consumption, cost and emissions while increasing production efficiency, Nissan says.
The 250,000 square-foot plant is located adjacent to Nissan’s existing vehicle assembly plant in Tennessee and replaces the company’s previous paint system, in service for nearly 30 years. The automaker’s Tennessee facilities produce the Nissan Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Frontier, Leaf, Pathfinder and Infiniti JX. They have an annual production capacity of 550,000 vehicles.
The plant is Nissan’s “showcase project” as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Better Plants Challenge, in which Nissan has committed to reducing energy intensity in its three US plants 25 percent by 2020.
This effort is also part of Nissan’s broader global environmental initiative, the Nissan Green Program 2016, which focuses on promoting and widening the application of innovative green technologies, energy management and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Nissan is an Energy Star Partner. It was awarded Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2010 and 2011 and Sustained Excellence, Energy Star’s highest honor, in 2012. The Smyrna plant has received the Energy Star distinction for the past seven years.
In May 2012, the Smyrna assembly plant became the first passenger-vehicle manufacturing facility to attain ISO 50001 energy management and Superior Energy Performance certifications.