|Avenue Collision ~ CSN is rebuilt for lean|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Monday, 25 June 2012 10:59|
By Mike Davey
Toronto, Ontario -- June 25, 2012 -- Avenue Collision ~ CSN in Toronto stands out. For one thing, you don’t see many collision repair facilities in downtown cores. It’s almost unheard of when it comes to a city the size of Toronto. Environmental regulations and sky-high real estate prices combine to make getting a license a very difficult proposition.
That’s one of the reasons Lorenzo, Frank and John D’Alessandro purchased an existing collision facility when they decided it was time to expand. In addition to owning Avenue Collision ~ CSN, the D’Alessandro family owns 427 Auto Collision ~ CSN.
Avenue Collision first opened in 1965. A lot of work has gone into updating and renovating the facility and that includes a full refurbishing of one of the facility’s more unusual features. A fully enclosed freight elevator is located in almost the exact centre of the facility. The location makes it a natural hub for lean operations.
“The elevator helped form a lean vision. It was an essential part of the plan,” says Lorenzo D’Alessandro. “It’s influenced the way the car comes in and goes out and where departments are located.”
The elevator can carry a vehicle from the first floor, where reception, the wash bay and the body stalls are located, up to the second floor paint department and further up to the rooftop parking facility.
Real estate prices in the downtown core are some of the highest in the country. Why put a collision repair facility there when you can build offices or condos? The answer is simple. There’s a market.
“Right near here you’ve got Forest Hill, you’ve got Rosedale,” says D’Alessandro, referring to two of Toronto’s pricier neighbourhoods. “Private pay is large in this market. The cars are more expensive and they have higher deductibles.”
Downtown Toronto has features that help contribute to a steady stream of small collisions.
“Everything is tight down here. There are lots of pillars, lots of underground parking. All of that stuff leads to more minor collisions. It’s not surprising that we’ve fixed the same quarter panel three times in six months.”
A steady flow of work is essential to running lean. Small collisions and a loyal clientele make up part of the mix, but D’Alessandro knew he would have to secure more repairs to make sure the facility was always humming.
“We’ve got a strategic alliance with Downtown Automotive Group. We do all of their collision work. I knew the owners were expanding the business, so I knew there would be work for us in this area,” says D’Alessandro. Plans are currently in the works for Avenue Collision ~ CSN to receive certifications for brands such as Toyota, Lexus, Scion and more.
We’ve already mentioned the work done on the elevator, but a lot more has gone into making sure Avenue Collision ~ CSN isn’t just keeping up with the times, but leading the way.
Two new ECO Star spray booths and a new prep station, purchased from RS Finishing, have been installed, as well as a completely new HVAC system. The old boiler-fired heating system was taken out and infrared heating installed. Getting rid of the boiler meant the radiators could be cleared away. This freed up some space. It might not seem like much, but every inch counts.
Structural repair equipment has been updated as well, with a new frame machine and measuring system from Car-O-Liner.
A new compressor and air system from Atlas Copco is not only very powerful, but efficient and environmentally friendly as well. The new compressor is a screw-top, roughly 50 percent more efficient than traditional designs. An additional dryer has been added to the system as well, ensuring the air in the system is humidity-free.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s all about new equipment. That’s a major component, but a lot of work was done on the physical plant. Walls were knocked down, floors were replaced and new stairways were built. Doorways were moved to provide flow and ensure the safety of both personnel and customers.
“The whole design is based on lean production philosophy. We had to bring the new world into an old place,” says D’Alessando.
|Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 22:12|
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