Production Standards Applied to Motor-Vehicle Maintenance 300045
MAINTENANCE is a part of automotive production and as such is destined to adopt production standards. While passenger-car manufacturers have fostered the application of these standards to maintain a parity between factory production and maintenance, commercial-vehicle operators have established standards and methods in response to an economic demand to obtain low-cost maintenance. How this has been done in Philadelphia is the subject of the paper.
Scheduling vehicles through the shop in accordance with the seasonal requirements of transportation enables a centralized shop having 120,000 sq. ft. of floor space to service a fleet of 450 motorcoaches, 1500 taxicabs and approximately 150 pieces of various utility equipment with practically no fluctuations in the working force and the minimum number of spare units. Major overhauling of motorcoaches is done in the winter months when the demand is relatively light, while the taxicabs receive attention in the summer. As the demand for both classes of vehicle is greatest over week-ends, the main shop and the eight operating garages where scheduled repairs are handled have a five-day week, which enables 100 per cent of the vehicles to be in service on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to scheduled repairs and progressive maintenance, constructive maintenance is handled on the basis of how much can be done to prolong vehicle life and encourage the riding habit. Numerous examples of what has been done along this line and descriptions of repair methods are included.
The provision of adequate tools and shop equipment is emphasized as the most remunerative application of production standards to maintenance. In this connection, the soldering of commutators, the use of a specially designed universal hoist, moving chassis along production lines by a power broom that also cleans the shop, cutting off screw heads to facilitate the removal of molding and panels, and spraying paint are some of the examples cited of the time and labor savings effected.
Preparation of a standard-practice manual that includes all subjects pertaining to maintenance and garage and shop procedure is described. Such a manual serves as a basis for determining the proper execution of repairs and saves time for executives and engineers by eliminating hours of individual instruction and numerous group meetings.
Increasing the life of low-mileage units to secure a properly balanced vehicle is one of the most difficult problems that the maintenance engineer has to solve. To aid in this work, comparative charts are issued every four weeks to reveal the weaknesses in maintenance and equipment. In this way effort can be concentrated on the vehicle parts or units that require attention most frequently.
Points brought out in the discussion* at the meeting relate to tire maintenance, payment of the mechanics on the piecework basis and the use of reclaimed oil. In a written discussion submitted after the meeting, R. E. Plimpton states how far the methods outlined in the paper can be applied by three different groups of operators and emphasizes the advantage of making unit repairs at such time as the performance of the vehicle may indicate to be desirable rather than re-building the complete vehicle at definite time or mileage intervals.