Automotive Manufacturing – Protection Film for Flawless Vehicle Assembly

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Cars are high specification, high-value products and intense competition leads to ever increasing consumer expectations, so delivering a flawless finish is essential. The significant emphasis on vehicle design has created an increased demand for technically advanced materials and surface finishes. This leads to one of today’s biggest challenges; protection of components throughout the complex logistics and assembly processes.

There are numerous factors to consider when selecting the most suitable protection film, application point and method. Protection films are applied to components at various points in the manufacturing/assembly process. Many films are applied immediately after the final finish and remain in place throughout the entire vehicle assembly process. They are then removed at the end of the line or during pre-delivery inspection (PDI) at the dealership.

A full understanding of the complete manufacturing process is essential to ensure protection films are designed to allow multi-stage removal, if required. By including features such as cut-outs, perforations and kiss-cuts, various areas of the die-cut film can be removed at each assembly stage to facilitate inserts, quality checks etc. while the rest of the component remains protected.

Use of die-cut protection film solutions during the manufacturing and assembly process may appear as an on-cost, however used strategically they will deliver cost savings every time. The biggest saving is through the reduction or elimination of wastage and re-works. An optimised protection solution will be cost effective and very quick and simple to apply, often fitting within existing machine cycle times.

Beneath the surface of protection films lies a complex science. Ensuring the films adhere correctly, provide adequate protection through all conditions, and remove without causing damage or leaving residue is not a simple task. Companies that provide quality protection solutions require specialist expertise in material and adhesive science, as well as material conversion. Every new material and surface finish presents a fresh challenge. To ensure correct film selection, it is essential to work closely with the customer and raw material suppliers.

Tecman’s Automotive Protection Film – Maximising Efficiency and Minimising Cost

Tecman Speciality Materials Ltd are experienced in developing and supplying bespoke adhesive products, including automotive protection films. Specializing in the conversion of films and adhesive products, Tecman deliver tailored solutions to meet specific requirements for protection, bonding and many other application fields.

There are many forms of protection film which can be selected based on the final application. For example, 0250540 is specifically formulated for the protection of gloss painted plastic parts such as piano black/white and chromed plastics. The film protects against damage during assembly and manufacturing processes, and due to its excellent UV resistance, preserves the paint finish during transportation and outdoor storage, through to delivery at the dealership.

Another example for complex shapes and geometries is 0260904 static protection film. 0260904 is often selected due to the highly flexible and conformable properties of the film. The film has a non-adhesive static bond providing clean removal with no adhesive residue.

OEM’s such as Jaguar Land Rover work in close collaboration with Tecman and their component suppliers to ensure parts are delivered and fitted in perfect condition without defects. Several of Tecman’s products are certified to STJLR standard for transit protection film.

State of the art conversion and manufacturing facilities available at Tecman include:

  • Precision rotary die-cutting with ultra-fast processing speeds, complex multi-layer laminating, multi-head cutting to registration, zone coating, multi-height cutting, complex inner waste matrix removal and printing
  • Slit and rewind, ultra-fast speeds
  • Multi-layer lamination
  • Surface treatments

The International Organization for Standardization is an independent body which sets international standards for industries from healthcare to the automobile industry. Their standards are recognized worldwide in over 150 nations to assure quality between markets. In tandem with the International Automotive Task Force they set the ISO/IATF16949 standard. The standard is extensive and covers all aspects of the supply chain to ensure quality and buyer confidence. Tecman is proud of the quality of their products and adhere to these strict standards.

Creating a Tailor-Made, Protective Adhesive Solution

Tecman work with carefully selected partners and material suppliers including 3M, Tesa and Nitto to ensure they offer the best possible product for their customers.

Conversion processes are optimised to minimize processing costs with manufacturing speeds of up to 150m’s per minute.  In-house technical support goes beyond material selection and includes design of the finished part to deliver a production efficient product.

Understanding the manufacturing/assembly process will give an advantage in designing an optimised protection film product.  This in turn will offer significant cost saving over a basic protection film solution.  In one example using an optimized solution developed by Tecman for protection of a B Pillar on a small SUV, the reduced wastage and application time reduced the cost per part by £0.22 (nearly 50%).

Speed of application is one of the key factors to consider when designing a protection film die-cut part. Tecman has several options to aid rapid application of film to keep application time to a minimum.

Download Tecman's Guide to Automotive Surface Protection Films

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Tecman Speciality Materials.

For more information on this source, please visit Tecman Speciality Materials.

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