BMW April 2022

Dips in efficiency can damage a shop’s bottom line. Here are some tips for avoiding inefficiency and shoring up the shop floor constraints.
Observe a scaled layout of your shop
A scaled plan is invaluable, where everything can be accurately displayed and moved around on paper. You can’t know for sure if something fits if you don’t see everything to scale.
Create a damage assessment area
Some call it a triage, some call it a blueprinting area. Here your use of wireless equipment and software to document things which helps reduce necessary motion and aid communication among co-workers. If possible, locate the damage assessment area by the exit door, front office and the parts room.
Make use of cubic space
Vertical walls, or even mezzanines, above work areas are often usable for employee breaks, or storage for fragile parts. Utilise wall racks for example.
Rethink the location of frame machines
Ideally a frame machine should be near a hoist and in close proximity to your parts room. It should be easily accessible for rolling vehicles off a tow truck.
Utilise dead corner spaces
This is especially helpful in L-shaped facilities. Determine which items you can store there to best take advantage of the often under-utilised space.
Analyse shop bottlenecks
Look for work areas where a vehicle might be sitting idle, waiting for the next step in the production process. Find out what is the cause of this and address it. It might just be due to poor planning.
Consider new options in spray booths
In an effort to speed up drying time, we now have booths that are side loading. There are sideways-moving booths on overhead tracks. There are drying arches that can be installed to help bake the paint from inside out.
Reconfigure your shop floor
Reconfigure the shop layout. Consider the location of office employees to improve collaboration without requiring foot traffic from one end of the building to the other. Keep shared tools in a centralised location.
Organise, organise, organise
Get rid of items that aren’t necessary for the production process. Bottomline, if you haven’t used it in the past year or two, reassess, and, most likely dispose of it.