Axalta

The huge preparation area features plenty of operator movement and will ultimately produce 600 repaired vehicles per month.

The Renew-It Group’s ninth body shop is a bold new concept that caters for smaller damage vehicle repair, which includes paintless dent removal. It is based at a busy intersection in Sandton and has a stated delivery of customer repair in 48 hours. This key-to-key rapid turn around time is a first for South Africa.

Phase 1, May: Build up starts

Starting from the huge empty shop floor, the Maroun’s Group had just over two and half months to get this massive body shop to start-up. On the equipment side of the production routing, four large drive through Saima Gamma spraybooths were supplied.  Two special paint mixing rooms were also required to meet volume throughput.

All of these needs were taken into the design by Heinz Brugger (the Maroun’s Group) and his team of expert installers. A huge dust free flatting deck to rid the production repair area of all sanding dust contamination was installed and special Hamach vacuum machines were linked to track side production line pick-up points, leaving a working area with no trailing air line hoses. They can run up to a maximum of 15 sanders at one time, 24 hours a day if need be.

It quickly became evident that this huge undertaking and a short turnaround time for the whole Maroun’s Group team meant working morning, noon and night to complete the body shop on time.

Phase 2 June: Shop starts to take shape

At this stage the SAIMA spraybooths started their assembly and the raised floor was complete. Ducting started to take shape. Heinz Brugger fitting team were taking big strain as electrical pick-ups were running behind time and the clock continued to tick away relentlessly.

The design for the new speed shop features a separate assessment centre with high level lifts for accurate vehicle damage quotations on damaged units that have received light damage.

After just eight weeks the mammoth shop still looked like there was much more work to be completed. Extra staff were employed to speed up the final stage of shop implementation.

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Shop complete: Opening, July

The stress and strain of the opening day on 28 July was looming and the Maroun’s Group delivered a big push to bring this monster body shop working on time.

The new operation was able to wheel in the first repair bang on time. Ultimately the staff will be ramped up to some 80 employees as Renew-it plan to produce some 600 plus repairs per month from the premises.

“The BEE side of things is also in place,” says Grant Greef, “with the employment of a contingent of disabled workers in the front office of the company. We also believe in keeping our customers up to date with their repairs and they receive an sms as to the vehicle’s progress as it works its way through the repair cycle at the body shop.”

The shop has a Celette bench and smaller Fitim speed bench to currently straighten the slightly heavier hits. Greef went on to say that they also employ around four skilled staff in the body shop as well as a pair of top spray painters who are on hand as they ramp up the production rate.

There was a huge sigh of relief as the first job started as this was an enormous undertaking for everyone involved in South Africa’s foremost speedshop for small body repair for the Renew-it Group.

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