FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird revealed its new paint facility for school buses during a ribbon-cutting ceremony here on Tuesday.
The new facility will provide paint coverage, minimize waste, and enhance efficiencies within Blue Bird’s production line, according to a news release from the school bus manufacturer.
“Our new facility is an illustration of Blue Bird’s commitment to value and efficiency,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “We are excited to see the positive impact this investment will have for our customers, and the specialized jobs it will bring to the community.”
Blue Bird made a significant investment to build and operate the 60,000-square-foot facility, which uses the latest in robotic technology, according to the manufacturer. The bus bodies will roll into the paint facility on a conveyor, meeting a series of robotic arms that will then spray each bus per engineering specifications. The bus bodies then go through two ovens to set the paint as well as multiple inspection bays before being mounted to a chassis.
In addition, the paint facility's environment is designed to block out debris. Workers in the facility must be clothed in a full paint suit and enter through a special corridor that contains a series of air nozzles and a sticky floor, ensuring all dust and dirt is blown away before entering, according to Blue Bird.
The facility also features a zero-waste-to-landfill design, in which all paint overspray will be captured, dried, and sent to a power generation plant to be used as fuel.
Blue Bird announced that buses have already started going through the paint process at the new facility, and that it will be fully operational by late 2019.