GM Truck Plant Uses High-Output Lighting for Paint Inspection

The perpendicular lighting fixtures provide GM with the ability to detect paint and metal imperfections, allowing them to correct flaws and enhance finishes…

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A new General Motors high-output lighting system for coating and inspecting the finish on sport utility vehicles recently began production in Oklahoma City, OK. It will expand the company's production of Chevrolet Trailblazers and GMC Envoys and other SUV products.

The new 250,000 sq-ft paint shop facility replaced an older paint facility during refurbishing and conversion of the standard car plant to SUV production. It features a flexible lighting system for both general purpose and task painting illumination. It has a series of painting booths and inspection decks also containing high-volume filtered air-conditioning in its quality control lines.

Installed throughout the new facility to provide the specified operational flexibility are Cooper Wiring Devices' 15-amp Industrial Specification Grade single and duplex locking receptacles.

According to Pat Capouch, site manager for the Hunt Electric Corporation (St. Paul, MN), contractor team partnering with Oklahoma Electric Supply (Oklahoma City, OK), both under the principal contractor Dürr Industries (Plymouth, MI), there are about 2,000 overhead lighting fixtures in side-by-side and end-to-end configurations in the new paint shop, some of it wall-to-wall.

"Using eight-ft light fixtures in the installation is driven by GM criteria and special standards applying to the various process and general lighting functions. The reason these locking devices were specified was to insure that the paint shop lighting system stays connected. And, if necessary, can be easily altered, relocated or rearranged. You can easily allow for making lighting alterations," he said.


The main advantage of these locking devices with their fiberglass-reinforced nylon bodies, easy access to ground screws and back wiring where permitted, is the insurance of limiting plug and receptacle use to its specific circuit. From the contractor's point of view, back wiring these receptacles has two main benefits: ease of installation and a definite labor saving.

The overall electrical contract for the new GM paint shop has been finished in conjunction with the conversion of the adjacent one-million-sq-ft production plant, and brings the total plant area to more than three million sq ft.

Included in the paint shop contract is a high-voltage power distribution system comprised of 12 unit substations with large bus duct distribution, installation of several ovens for drying and curing, a paint mixing and dispensing facility, an electrostatic paint application system, tack-off feather dusters, emission controls, regenerative thermal oxidizers and air make-up units.

Other work in the main plant furnished by OESCO-Hunt for Dürr are administrative offices, temporary power, lighting and distribution, and a 15K volt power distribution system that provides base utility power to the plant.

Mr. Capouch feels that the high lighting levels in the paint process facility, achieved by aligning the lighting fixtures perpendicularly to the floor level, provide GM with the ability to detect paint and metal imperfections. This allows correction, enhanced finish quality and ultimately a superior painted vehicle.


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