When most people hear that a car company is retooling they simply anticipate all of the latest and greatest vehicles that will soon be on the road. For those in the automotive manufacturing industry, however, retooling means much more - it means planning, budgeting, approvals, more planning, scheduling, time-lines, denials, contracts, confidentiality agreements...the list goes on!. When a redesign takes place and the assembly line needs new tooling, there are many moving parts.
What This Means for the Automotive Line Worker
With the numerous tasks involved during such a changeover, it’s common to overlook the effect of this transition on the workers standing on the line. The truth is, even the slightest alterations in their environment can shift the way they must move while accomplishing their tasks. Unfortunately, much of the time it’s not until the new tooling is in place and the latest newly designed car is coming off the end for inspection that the difficulties for these workers become clear.
Too often, when equipment changes, so does the footprint of the worker’s area. Trying to utilize a flooring or matting system that is not designed for the current layout can cause trip hazards and expose unprotected areas of harsh concrete. Repetitive motion injuries occur. Workers trip and slip. Fatigue, aches and pains, and many musculoskeletal disorders set in, which in turn can result in loss of productivity.
The Importance of Investing in Your Employees
Just as companies evaluate budgets and processes to ensure that they are utilizing best practices, the daily movements of the standing worker need attention. Retooling requires a large investment, with the purchase of new equipment and all it takes to get that equipment functioning properly. Making the same investment for the standing worker is a crucial component of the automotive industry’s success so that the newly redesigned car meets the expected standard of quality.
The total cost of retooling is not just the dollars spent on robots and machinery. Hidden costs in production show up as costs in injury, absenteeism and productivity. There is a dedicated workforce of standing workers that keep America’s roads humming with the latest in automotive masterpieces, and it’s vital that they have the protection they need. A redesign of your flooring product can help with the reduction of injuries, absenteeism and overall morale, ensuring your new model launch has a ready and able workforce to support it!
At Wearwell, we understand what it takes to reach production goals day after day while standing on concrete. As your automotive industry flooring expert, we are ready to assist you in choosing the flooring or matting system that will make a difference for your standing line workers, improving their movement efficiency and comfort and allowing them to perform at their best, get more done and go home refreshed. For your free site survey or for more information, contact us today!
Written by: Ben Stone