Lean Principles Help Bus Company Reduce Downtime

Noria news wires

Collins Bus Corporation in Hutchinson, Kan., recently reinvented itself through implementation of lean manufacturing principles.

On peak days, Collins Bus used multiple 55-gallon drums of undercoating per day. The problem was the company experienced excessive overspray of its undercoating. The overspray drifted into the plant, creating a hazard for plant personnel. The overspray also fell onto finished buses, causing additional clean-up and thus additional production delays.

In addition to these issues, the 55-gallon drums installed in the spray booth caused further production delays, because when a drum emptied, spray operations had to stop until another drum could be installed. This took a half hour or more out of production for each changeover to a new drum.

Daubert Chemical took a proactive role in helping Collins Bus achieve its objectives by first examining how it could solve the overspray situation. The result was a reformulation of the undercoating, which became Tectyl 6430. This water-based asphaltic coating with a chemical additive decreased product drag, offered better atomization at the spray-gun tip and thus reduced the overspray of the product. The new product also was formulated at a lower viscosity, allowing the use of drums or 330-gallon totes for packaging.

These and other modifications saved up to 1½ hours of downtime per day in changeovers, eliminated the complications of clean-up due to the previous overspray problems and improved plant safety. The company was even recognized as a national model for workplace safety and health by OSHA and the Kansas Department of Labor.

Previously at Collins Bus Corporation, the undercoating had been delivered in 55-gallon drums, resulting in downtime when they were emptied. The modified Tectyl undercoating allowed the product to be delivered via a 330-gallon tote system. When one tote was emptied, the valve was closed and the second tote valve was opened with no interruptions to production.

For more information, visit www.collinsbuscorp.com or www.daubertchemical.com.

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