Blue Bird’s 60,000-square-foot bus-painting facility provides best-in-class paint application, drives efficiencies and implements a zero-to-landfill waste program
FORT VALLEY, Ga. (July 9, 2019) — In a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Fort Valley, Georgia, assembly plant, Blue Bird Corporation revealed that its all-new paint facility is entering operation. The new facility will provide best-in-class paint coverage, minimize waste, and improve efficiencies within the production line of the school bus manufacturer.
Blue Bird has made a significant investment to build and operate the 60,000-square-foot facility, which uses the latest in robotic technology. The buses will roll into the paint facility on a conveyor, meeting a series of programmed robots that will spray each bus per engineering specifications. The buses then pass through ovens to set the paint and then proceed through multiple inspection bays before being mounted to a chassis.
"The new paint facility is able to paint a bus three times faster than can be done manually, with a higher paint transfer rate and consistent, outstanding coverage," said Trey Jenkins, senior vice president of operations at Blue Bird Corporation. "Because this technology will dramatically reduce the time it takes to paint a bus, we can meet customers' needs at a faster rate, and increase efficiencies within our production lines."
This facility is a state-of-the-art, automotive-grade paint facility with a full clean-room environment, blocking out debris.
"Our new facility illustrates Blue Bird's commitment to technological innovation that drives quality, value and efficiency," said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. "We are excited to see the positive impact this investment will have for our customers, and the specialized jobs it will bring to our local community."
In keeping with Blue Bird's mission of going green, the facility features a zero-to-landfill design. All paint overspray will be captured, dried and sent to a power generation plant to be used as fuel.
Buses have recently started to utilize the paint process at the all-new facility, which will be fully operational later in 2019.
About Blue Bird Corporation: Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered, electric and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio.