Learning from the Best: Layup Insights from Major Auto Build-Ahead Programs

In unpredictable times like these, many manufacturers may find themselves with unintentional “build-ahead” programs on their hands. Sadly, much stock that has been produced to meet normal order demands may suddenly be sitting unshipped or unused, waiting for assembly to start up again. While it is difficult to change the circumstances, steps can and should be taken to preserve the inherent value of these idle goods for when the world sees brighter days ahead. An excellent way to do so is by learning from the example of big-name automakers who have tackled the problem of corrosion for short-term storage and longer-term build ahead programs in years past.


More than 20 years ago, one major U.S. automaker needed a fail-proof system to protect approximately $2 billion dollars’ worth of components from corrosion in a two-year engine build-ahead program. Knowing from experience that some VCI papers and films were inferior and inadequate for the project, they worked closely with Cortec® Corporation to develop and test a reliable VpCI® protection method that would not interfere with their assembly line process. After large-scale testing of the solution in one of the largest humidity chambers ever built, the plant adopted a specialized VpCI® packaging program for partially or fully assembled V-8 engines, heads, crankshafts, and blocks. Each component had specific quantities and types of VpCI® products prescribed per pallet, although the same general preservation materials were used overall:

  • ElectriCorr® VpCI®-238 sprayed on all engine electrical connections
  • VpCI®-126 HP Bags and sheeting for wrapping engines or lining pallets
  • VpCI®-131 Foam strips and/or VpCI®-111 Emitter cups for extra VpCI® protection within packages
  • Cor-Pak® Stretch Film for pallet wrapping

Additional products to consider...