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.

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