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Blue Bird Corporation Opens Paint Facility in Fort Valley, Georgia

Blue Bird Corporation, a leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, made a significant investment to build and operate a 60,000-square-foot bus painting facility which uses the latest in robotic technology at its assembly plant in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Company officials said its all-new paint facility will provide best-in-class paint coverage, minimize waste, and improve efficiencies within the production line of the school bus manufacturer.

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 & 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.

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