Three years of research and enough sensitivity to appreciate market trends: “Creating a colour is an inside job”, says Jordi Font from SEAT’s Color&Trim department. Its journey begins with a market study and ends when the paint is applied on the vehicle. In this process, personalisation strengthens its position as an obvious trend.
A specialised team analyses market trends and propose the range of colours of new models to be launched. A total of 1,000 litres of paint are required to create a new shade.
Mixtures are carried out in the lab that makes the work of creating a new colour strictly an exercise in chemistry. In the case of the colour palette for the SEAT Arona, 50 different pigments and metal particles are created nearly 100 variations of the same colour to see which shade is the most suitable.
Once the colour is defined, it has to be tested on a metal plate to verify its application and the visual effect it produces. SEAT paint technicians analyse the depth and subtlety of the shade on plates that are exposed to sunlight and in the shade to make sure that the applied colour matches the one designed”.
In the booths, cars are painted at a temperature of between 21 and 25 degrees. Two and a half kilos of paint is applied on each car in an automated process performed by 84 robots that takes six hours per vehicle.
The paint booths feature a ventilation system that is similar to the ones found in a surgery room to prevent dust and other impurities from the exterior to settle on the freshly painted cars. Seven coats in all, each as thin as a hair width but as hard as a rock, which are baked in an oven at 140 degrees.
Once painted, all it takes is 43 seconds to verify there are no deficiencies in the paint application. The vehicles pass through a scanner that checks for smooth surfaces and ensures there are no impurities.