In early March 2018, Volvo Bil AB opened its new Volvo Service Center in Torslanda in Gothenburg, Sweden. The dealership and the workshop, which had previously been located across the street from one another, were merged into a singular state-of-the-art service facility, serving approximately a thousand Volvo cars every week. A centralized oil distribution and extraction system, as well as a centralized vacuum cleaning system – both delivered and installed by Nederman – contribute to making it a modern car workshop that is safe, smart and sophisticated.
Merging form with function benefits both the look and the capacity of the workshop
The new Volvo workshop has been designed to create a work environment that is as convenient and functional to the service technicians as possible. Bright and spacious, it is in many ways the visual antithesis of a dark and cluttered car repair shop. "Keeping this kind of environment tidy and organized can be a challenge”, says workshop manager and co-designer Jörgen Boström, "but I would say that the personnel finds it inspiring, and that most of them prefer a work environment that is well-kept and organized".
Stefan Söderman is the purchasing manager at Volvo Bil AB. He believes that the state-of-the-art facility has an aesthetic appeal that reinforces the quality of the work and the equipment. "The workshop environment is neat and modern, and it shows. The way that the design and functionality have come together is very elegant."
In the middle of the workshop, a corridor extends from the customer entrance. Service technicians working in pairs receive the customers at the counters located throughout the corridor. This concept is known as Volvo Personal Service (VPS), the purpose of which is to have two service technicians handle the customer's errand in its entirety.
The advantages of ceiling-mounted hose reels and cable reels
The facility uses a centralized vacuum cleaning system, with hose reels and cable reels mounted to the ceiling. This is an arrangement that Volvo Bil AB found to be very ergonomically beneficial. Pulling down the hose or cable from above means that it is unlikely to interfere with anything or anyone, and will help keep the floor clear in the process. It also considerably reduces the risk of damage being done to the cars, as the hoses and cables no longer need to be placed on top of them during maintenance.
Flexible extraction equipment enables greater accessibility
The extraction equipment is mounted on rails in the ceiling; dust and fume extraction at the front, exhaust extraction at the rear. This allows service technicians to move the equipment between service stations, and facilitates extraction from both the front and the rear of the car. When a service technician is repairing or replacing a windshield, for example, the hooded front arm can efficiently extract the toxic substances and foul smells released in the process. When checking the engine heater, the service technician can attach a fume exhaust extraction hose to the nozzle.
The exhaust extraction nozzle behind the car can easily be pulled down and attached to the exhaust pipe while the car undergoes service. Similarly, the vacuum hose reel is easy to access above the service station. This position facilitates the cleaning of car surfaces such as seats and floor mats, ensuring a more sanitary workplace environment for the service technician, and an added value for the customer. If the vacuum cleaning system is used by many operators at once, the energy-efficient frequency converters adjust the power output.
Efficient oil distribution and extraction prevents waste and spillage
If purchased and handled in bulk volumes, rather than by using cans or bottles, the purchase price of the oil can be reduced. Smaller containers also tend to leave a few centiliters of oil at the bottom, which are usually wasted. Having a centralized oil distribution system means that can and bottle consumption can be reduced to a bare minimum as well.
The oil distribution system is largely built-in and “invisible”, pumping the oil out to the hoses above each service station, where it is easy to access, and never in the way of the service technicians. The service technician can easily order the right amount from the oil bar at his or her service station. The Nederman Monitoring System monitors the oil distribution, and reduces the amount of liquid waste to 0%, compared to the average 15% of similar applications.
During oil changes, the oil is collected in a Nederman mobile fluid waste tank, which is then manually connected to the centralized oil pump system. The system pumps the oil from the mobile oil drainer and collects it in a bigger tank, without any spillage.
A modern car workshop that benefits personnel, customers and the company brand
The combination of neat design and convenient workshop functionality is not necessarily difficult to achieve. Nor does one have to compete with the other. In fact, they can contribute to one another, creating a modern car workshop that works better for employees and end customers alike. All while being, looking, and remaining clean and tidy.
At the Volvo Service Center in Torslanda, purchasing manager Stefan Söderman finds the facility to be very much in line with Volvo as a company, and the values it espouses. "Our workshop is a prime example of how a company can implement its brand, and the quality of it, into every aspect of what it does."
You can find more articles on Nederman’s work with vehicle exhaust extraction, industrial housekeeping, and a lot of other topics, here in the Nederman Knowledge Center. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the solutions outlined above.
Watch Nederman visiting Volvo state-of-the-art vehicle service station in Gothenburg, Sweden.