Aluminum Auto Body Shop Enclosures from AmCraft Manufacturing

If you’re an auto body shop owner or manager, you know the unique challenges that come with trying to set up your workspace for optimal efficiency. Because vehicles are made of metals, glass, plastic, and other materials, it’s important to have dedicated workspaces for each type of job you do in your auto body shop. One such way to ensure that jobs don’t contaminate other areas of your shop with chemicals, overspray, or other debris is by implementing auto body shop enclosures around your facility. Enclosures like these are made in a variety of materials and sold in a plethora of configurations. With the recent shift in auto body materials to the use of aluminum, there is an increasing need to include aluminum auto body shop enclosures within industrial workspaces.

What Are Aluminum Auto Body Shop Enclosures?

Aluminum auto body enclosures are used to isolate areas in your facility where aluminum repairs are conducted.As durable temporary or permanent dividers, they separate welding, bonding, riveting, sanding, drilling, grinding, and other jobs involving aluminum and other metals that need to ensure optimal workplace safety.

Made from heavy-duty, durable vinyl curtains, these enclosure walls are flame rated and HAZMAT safe, perfect for creating safe spaces to work in your auto body shop.

Why Do Aluminum Repair Areas Need to Be Isolated?

Aluminum work areas need to be separated to prevent potential health and fire hazards within your auto body shop. For example, steel and other, more common metals can contaminate aluminum and damage the work you are doing, leading to you having to redo work or replace parts that have been damaged. Iron oxide, or rust, can also contaminate aluminum—if it’s being sanded or ground off of steel, it can bond with aluminum if the aluminum is not protected—due to an exothermic reaction, this can affect structural integrity and paint adherence, two things that are an absolute necessity when dealing with vehicles. Additionally, compliance with NFPA 33 and OSHA regulations requires aluminum car repair enclosures to adhere to combustible dust and toxic metal programs.

Beyond contamination and regulations that need to be met, auto body enclosures are ideal for creating workspaces for just one type of project. Separating teams into their dedicated workspaces can help foster camaraderie within your business, and giving people a specified place to work and do their job most effectively is a good way to boost workplace morale.

How Are The Enclosure Systems Installed?

Aluminum auto body shop enclosures can be one-, two-, or three-sided, and can be built off of existing interior structures and adjacent walls. If necessary, you can also have a freestanding enclosure built for your facility, though the height limit for this fixture is 12’. Freestanding structures are used where no walls are present and very few interior structural elements can be used for suspension.

They can be installed with a flexible ceiling and mount, and they typically include a reinforced clear top panel to let existing light through to the enclosure. Depending on the mounting surfaces or environment in your shop, you can create either a stationary or retractable enclosure system. Depending on your needs, you can also install clear strip auto curtains, which help separate work areas while offering the additional benefit of having clear vision panels which makes it easier for workers to observe the operations within the enclosure.

They can be installed in your workspace with sealed edges for optimal project containment and the vision panel can be tinted clear vinyl to protect against weld flash.

There are eight different types of industrial curtain track systems. The type of tracking necessary for your installation will be determined by how many sides or sections of curtain you will be installing. In some cases, a custom track will be required, though there are generally five common installation configurations: Straight, 2-sided (L-shaped), 3-sided (U-shaped), 4-sided, and E-shaped configurations. At AmCraft, we’re happy to help our clients figure out the most efficient way to implement an aluminum body shop enclosure.

Things Your Auto Body Enclosure May Need

Once you’ve decided on the proper installation tracking setup for your enclosure, you’ll need to consider certain accessories that make the workspace fully functional. First, lighting: particularly if most of the enclosure’s walls are opaque, the overhead lighting may not be bright enough for your staff to properly work. AmCraft can add in lighting to your enclosure at your request. Next, you’ll want to check with your local fire authorities to ensure that everything in your facility will remain up to code once the enclosure is installed. Installation may require the addition of sprinklers. Finally, consider exit signs to make it easier to know how to exit the enclosure. This may sound extraneous, but can be particularly helpful for visitors.

Custom Panel Options

At AmCraft, we work with each client to ensure total satisfaction. We are able to provide auto body shop enclosures in a variety of sizes and colors, and can also print designs, branding, and logos on the curtain walls if you so desire. We are proud to create the best curtain walls that our customers have come to depend on.

Optimal Workspace Separation On a Budget

If you’ve been considering separating your facility’s floor space to add a designated area for aluminum jobs, but have been put off by the amount of money it would take to build permanent wall structures, auto body shop enclosures are the ideal solution. Not only do they provide a secure area for your workers, but they do so at a lower cost than what it would take to build actual walls. Additionally, since they are not permanent structures, you can more easily redesign or revamp your workspace in the future if you so need to.

Easy to Maintain Curtain Enclosures

Once installed, the industrial wall curtains that make up your auto body shop enclosure are easy to maintain. They can be easily cleaned with a pressure washing sprayer, and the PVC coating/PVC lamination create a surface that can be washed as needed, but also a surface that offers great protection against flying shrapnel, sparks, dust, contaminants, and other hazards that present themselves in your facility. Unlike regular walls, if one of the curtain walls gets damaged, it can be repaired relatively inexpensively, also, making this a great choice for your budget.

Improve Working Conditions for Body Shop Employees

shop enclosures help improve working conditions for your employees. These curtains can control temperature, odors, sound, and light, and can keep distractions at bay, allowing teams to work with a focused determination on the project at hand rather than be pulled away by the sight or sound of something else going on in your facility.

Convenient, Versatile and Durable Enclosure Systems

In summary, auto body shop curtains provide many different benefits for shop managers. They offer a versatile, convenient space for teams to work on projects that call for either safety from either contaminating the other work in the facility or projects that need protection from being contaminated.

Aluminum auto body shop enclosures are ideal for creating designated workspaces in your auto body shop, particularly where aluminum work is being done. These walls keep other metals, debris, dust, chemicals, and overspray from contaminating the job you’re working on, and having designated spaces for aluminum work is required by certain OSHA regulations.

To learn more about aluminum auto body shop enclosures, how they can benefit your business or workspace, and how to install them in your auto body shop, contact AmCraft Manufacturing today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have regarding body shop curtains and custom industrial curtain walls for other facilities.

Why Do You Need an Aluminum Body Shop Enclosure?

When it comes to auto body work within a shop, it’s not uncommon for multiple projects to be going on at once. For that reason, many facilities opt to install vinyl curtains to keep things like chemical vapor, dust and dirt, paint, and other debris from contaminating different workspaces. When you’re working with aluminum parts or vehicles, it’s important to keep the debris and contaminants away from that particular metal, as contact can have many adverse affects. CAFE requires changes in procedures for body shop workstations, so if you’ve just begun working with aluminum in your workshop, consider these reasons for why you might need an aluminum body shop enclosure.

Preventing Hazardous Contamination

Common vehicle metals, such as steel, may contaminate aluminum, and rust can be expelled when grinding or sanding steel. If rust is being ground off and gets into the air supply within a workspace and comes into contact with aluminum equipment or vehicle parts, it can bond with the aluminum and negatively affect structural integrity. Additionally, rust can hinder paint adherence if it bonds with aluminum, so every effort to keep the two separate should be made. Another reason metals often need to be kept separate is because some metals, such as iron oxide, aluminum, and magnesium, can present a hazardous environment when mixed together.

Additional Safety

Using aluminum body shop enclosures can also help ensure safety within aluminum car repair workspaces. In addition to existing enclosure regulations, aluminum car repair enclosures are required to adhere to combustible dust and toxic metal programs to ensure optimal safety conditions within. Typically, aluminum enclosures become necessary in shops when shops become aluminum-capable, or in other words, when an auto body shop adds new services that cater to aluminum materials.

Additional Benefits of Using an Enclosure

Some benefits of using aluminum enclosures in your auto body shop include sealing edges off to enclose one job’s debris, dust, and other particles, as well as having optional pass-through strip doors for easy access points. There are retractable and stationary styles available, ideal for creating temporary workspaces within a shop.
Best Placement for Aluminum Enclosures

When installing aluminum enclosures in your auto body shop, the placement is something you’ll need to consider for optimal efficiency. In order to minimize the amount of contamination with other projects, particularly steel body work, the aluminum enclosure should be closest to the paint/primer areas, and as far away from the other metals workspaces as possible. This helps ensure that the amount of cross-contamination is kept at a minimum.

For more information about creating aluminum body shop enclosures in accordance with CAFE implementation, or to build a body shop curtain wall, contact AmCraft today. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and address all of your concerns. Where you should install aluminum enclosures will, of course, depend on the size of your workspace and the type of work you do within your facility.
contact AmCraft today.

Auto Body Shops Seek Certification for Aluminum Body Repair Enclosures

Ford has invested a great deal into the streamlined manufacturing process of the upcoming model of the Ford F-150 (which will be released late Fall 2014), which will have an aluminum body, bed and support system – this requires the need for an aluminum body repair enclosures. This F-150 is created with aluminum to create a vehicle that is 700 lbs lighter and more fuel efficient than its predecessors, paving the way for future vehicle manufacturers to follow suit. This is a substantial adjustment for those collision repair shops that need to prepare for the repairs of the most popular truck in the nation.

This wave of excitement has caused several of these auto body shops to move into the next phase of certification; implementing training, specialized equipment, and re-configuring current auto repair areas to facilitate a designated aluminum repair room. While there are costs to implement special equipment, designated car & truck repair workspace, and train employees on working with aluminum car and truck bodies, using aluminum car & truck repair curtain enclosures will create a cost-effective and relatively quick resolution to the issue of proper separation of body shop areas.

When Safety Meets Science: Metallurgy and Safety Precautions

While many skeptics may consider this aluminum body enclosure implementation to be a preference, scientists and engineers are aware that separating the aluminum body repair area from the rest of the steel body repair enclosures is necessary for safety.  Although there may be isolated cases in which aluminum and steel can coincide in the same area, in most cases, they are at risk of what is called “galvanic corrosion.”

The Process of Galvanic Corrosion

All metals have what is called different “electrode potentials” – this is basically defined as each and every cell of the different metals have a hydrogen electrode and a potential electrode which can be re-defined by its circumstances.  With aluminum and steel alloys, one metal will act as an anode (the positively charged electrode) and one metal will act as a cathode (negatively charged electrode).  The result of an “anodized” metal and a “cathodized” metal in contact with each other is galvanic corrosion, where the steel or steel alloy will corrode the aluminum.  In a sense, this is how a battery works – the anode is the positive side, and the cathode is the negative side.  But the reaction in a battery is acceptable, as it is this same reaction that causes the battery to work.  However, in an aluminum car or aluminum truck body, the results could mean damage to the integrity of the structure.  This damage will most possibly result in additional resources of material and manpower spent to correct an issue, which could have been prevented by putting up an aluminum auto body repair enclosure.

An example of galvanic corrosion in a real world setting is the U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship Independence.  This combat vessel has steel water jet propulsion systems attached to an aluminum hull.  Since there is no isolation measures that exist between the steel system and aluminum hull, the aluminum acts as the anode and the steel acts as the cathode, creating a fairly aggressive stage for a galvanic reaction to occur.  The severe corrosion has drastically impacted the structural integrity of this ship, causing extensive repairs to a multi-million dollar government vessel.

The Importance of Separated Vehicle Repair Areas

With the scientific breakdown of the galvanic reaction and a real-world example of an aggressive reaction at work, it is important to keep these areas separate which deal with metals that react with one another.  In order to prevent a costly mistake, aluminum body repair enclosures help an area meet regulated standards of safety.

Since aluminum is more reactive a metal than steel and steel alloys, the grinding, sanding, welding, and general repairs of aluminum vehicles require a curtain enclosure made specifically for containing aluminum auto repair areas.  Keeping costs down is important, so aluminum car repair enclosures with industrial curtains in place of walls are an ideal solution.  The aluminum auto body curtain walls are flexible and retractable, fire retardant and can be easily cleaned with a pressure washing sprayer.  The PVC Coating and/or PVC lamination on the aluminum car / truck repair curtains create a surface that can be washed down as needed and also serve as an effective protection barrier with flying shrapnel, dust, contaminants, sparks, and other hazards of the vehicle body shop work environment.

Projections into an Aluminum Car Future

There have been projections into the future that aircraft grade aluminum will be used more often in the future for cars and trucks.  Shops need to invest today in the necessary items and prepare themselves accordingly, or they will be at a crippling disadvantage.  Investing money into an aluminum body enclosure curtain wall system allows for customizations specific to car repairs.

3 Major Industries That Could Use Industrial Grade Curtains

Industrial grade curtains are used to isolate spaces within warehouses or open areas in large facilities. Larger manufacturing projects, storage for inventory, multiple vehicle service stations, and many other business functions require a great amount of space for their operations due to their larger scale requirements.  Warehouse type structures generally have an open area with little customization or division of processes.

An industrial grade curtain is a solution that tends to solve a number of large space issues.  They are also a great way to stay within the parameters of a budget, whether it is a government expenditure or a body shop equipment expense.  The following are three major industries (of the many which AmCraft serves) that could use the assistance of industrial grade curtains.

Government Industry Applications and Privacy

There are a wide variety of industries within government applications that can be curtain walls, such as containment. This can be anything from military vehicle testing areas to servicing repairs in aircraft hangars; and other applications of this type.  An industrial grade acoustic curtain enclosure could either keep noise out of an area or contain noise within an area, whereas a simple industrial grade curtain divider can separate one area from another to define spaces.

Larger scale government or military construction projects that are highly classified in nature will need to be hidden from view, especially if there are international contractors and engineers on-site.  Though these projects may last an extended amount of time, most times, they are still temporary in nature.  Industrial privacy curtains provide a means to separate classified areas from the larger expanse of operations within an open space, providing the space division when needed, and retractability when the project needs to be moved.  This confidentiality can be further enhanced with industrial privacy curtains to keep the area completely out of sight using options such as Velcro closures between curtain panels, Velcro connections to walls, filler panels, floor sweeps, and floor attachments (included with D-rings).  The industrial privacy curtain wall divider can also be moved to alternate locations when one project ends and another project in a new area begins.

Agricultural Industry Against the Elements

The agricultural industry naturally brings the outdoors inside.  A large industrial barn is used for a number of different purposes:  for the storage of harvested crops or livestock; the storage and maintenance of agricultural machinery; or for recreational reasons.  Another benefit of an industrial grade curtain divider is to save money by controlling temperature zones within the industrial barn.  Industrial grade agriculture curtain dividers also prevent cross contamination between areas and from the outdoors to indoors. Those in the agricultural industry need retractable curtain walls to define work areas but also to pull back the curtain when needed.

Agricultural curtain partitions help to protect your harvested crops while they are in storage awaiting pickup for national and/or international distribution.  While they are literally a product of the outdoors brought indoors, it may still be necessary to protect your crops from any additional outdoor elements that may reach your product.  This would prevent any harmful bacteria, bugs, dirt, or additional contaminants which could affect the quality of the produce.

Agricultural curtains can also house combine harvesters, crop sprayers, slurry trailers, planes with chemical sprayers, and other agricultural machinery, all under the same roof.  Usually, an entire farm building or a large wing of an industrial barn is used accommodate these vehicles, given their size.  You may have a “parking” area in front for ground vehicles, and a “parking” area with a runway connected to it for planes, both with entrances that have a great height and exaggerated width.  Ideally, a maintenance bay for these vehicles would be set back a bit to make sure the outdoor elements will not affect repair workstations and also to contain any forced air and/or exhaust systems you have in place.  Wash stations are created with industrial grade curtain walls or enclosures and are a great way to keep the equipment clean and functioning properly without affecting surrounding areas.  With all of these machines under one roof, it’s time to consider agricultural industrial grade curtains to separate and define your work areas.

Autobody Industry and Separation of Processes

Millions of people use vehicles every day to get from point A to point B.  The autobody industry is a necessary and always expanding field. There are new requirements, vehicular technologies, and repair technologies that are ever-changing in the business.  With the rapid growth of features and options in vehicle construction as well as the upward trend in providing a “one-stop shop” for consumers, an auto body shop needs to create work areas that are not only isolated for a specific purpose, but needs to look clean and professional for customers. An autobody shop provides services for multiple processes, on a wide spectrum of makes and models of cars that come in for repair. It is a challenge to meet ongoing compliance with federal requirements for the auto body shop owner!  Luckily, there are certain solutions that a divider curtain can provide to assist with compliance.

Body shop divider curtain walls can be created to enclose a painting area (and accommodate an exhaust system); to isolate grinding, sanding, and welding areas; to accurately assess collision repair damages without distraction; to enclose an area that requires a full deconstruction of the car, and many other functions!  Body shop divider curtains help to organize the multitude of processes that are required within a single shop.  From reducing shop noise to preventing hazardous and/or cross-contaminating situations, body shop divider curtains are the ideal solution to separating designated spaces to serve different functions within the shop.

Whether it is a local body shop or a government aircraft hangar, industrial grade curtains help define spaces for multiple processes within a facility, provide clean areas for specific functions, offer protection from the elements and sound, meet compliance regulations, or just to create a room within another room.  Call AmCraft today for more details on how we can help to define your space for better work efficiency!

Dividing Auto Maintenance Bays With Industrial Curtains

As spring turns into summer, the auto maintenance repair industry generally sees an increase in the number of vehicles, both cars and trucks, coming through the garage doors and into their auto maintenance bays.  Typically loaded with a great number of general auto maintenance requests, a vehicle repair shop that is dedicated automobile maintenance needs to separate processes at times to improve efficiency. A good workflow process can be achieved with retractable industrial curtains that can temporarily open an area up, as needed.  See how car repair enclosures and general auto repair divider curtains can improve workflow for standard auto maintenance and repair shops.

Autobody Repair Curtains For General Maintenance

With general automotive repairs dominating over 85% of the industry, it is no wonder that vehicle repair shops require some sort of organization in their valuable floor space.  General repairs can include: diagnostics, rebuilds, fuel injection cleaning, brake services, timing belt changes, tune-ups, clutches, and many other services.  Since these repairs are required as routine maintenance for all vehicles, the industry has repeat customers that have the potential of coming back for all of their vehicle maintenance needs. They will not only go back to car/truck repair shops that offer great repair services and attention to customers, but also have a neat, professional work environment.  Vehicle repair curtains can be used to hide messier parts of the shop. An added benefit to an auto repair divider curtain is that different vehicle bays and/or repair processes can be turned into general car repair enclosures that will separate maintenance bays from the rest of the shop.  Autobody repair curtains are made with an easy-to-clean, durable industrial grade vinyl and the curtain walls can also include vision panels for easy viewing from one area to another in the shop.

Automotive Transmission / Exhaust Repair Enclosures

For hydraulic, electronic, and computer systems for transmission repair and exhaust repairs, vehicle and car repair enclosures around the transmission / exhaust bays are necessary in order to divide the frequent repair requests from the more costly maintenance repairs.  Vehicle repair enclosures are made using industrial vinyl curtains and can include floor sweeps, that negotiate a slope or stem airflow under the autobody repair curtains. Providing a dedicated vehicle repair enclosure that will not be impacted by elements, debris, or miscellaneous objects from other maintenance bays helps to ensure that quality work can be achieved.

Other Auto Maintenance Repairs: Auto Maintenance Curtains

For repairs that are less frequently requested such as:  tune-ups, automotive electrical repair, fuel system conversion, battery and ignition repair, radiator repair, and alternator / starter repair; autobody repair curtains can separate the area from the rest of the shop, especially while working on repairs that may be more disheveled than other repair bays may be.  The car repair curtains can be used to hide one area from another to make it more attractive to transient customers. Providing a professional repair shop appearance as well as a functional division between the areas is important to employee safety as well as showing your customers that the quality of work and repair procedures is what separates them from the competition!

However you decide to divide your general auto maintenance bays, AmCraft has a custom industrial curtain solution that will provide your shop with the functionality and division of space that you need.  You can choose your own color, add a logo (or several logos) if you would like, and work around existing structures and layouts, as needed.  Call our technical specialists today for assistance with your project at 847-439-4565 or email us at sales@amcraftonline.com.

Closing in on Collision Repair: Auto Body Curtain Enclosures

Each process of auto collision repair involves a separation of work areas – this is where auto body curtain enclosures come in.  Whether to provide an enclosure for a welding area, a prep station, a paint booth, or a wash bay, each step of the process needs to be isolated in order to provide the best quality workmanship and cleanliness for the vehicle repair and make the best use of precious floor space within an auto repair facility.  If you read below – see how the collision industry utilizes autobody curtain enclosures for each facet of the repair process.

What’s the Damage: Estimation Bays

There are 5.25 million car accidents that occur each year (National Highway Traffic Administration).  In each of these car accidents, 1 or more cars may be involved.

A collision estimator has the important role of assessing damages for repairs after a car accident.  In order to carefully evaluate the condition of the vehicle(s), a dedicated estimation bay for each vehicle is needed in order to isolate the vehicle to assure an accurate assessment of damages are provided.  An autobody curtain enclosure protects each area so the process of estimating the repairs is separated from further damage.  After the estimation comes the insurance approval.

Take it Apart: Disassembly Booths

The insurance company usually requires a disassembly of vehicles in order to find any underlying damages not found visibly on the outside of the car.  The re-inspection booths can be partitioned easily with a retractable body shop curtain enclosure for the automobiles, as well.  At this time, a more comprehensive idea of the parts needed are established and ordered, according to the initial assessment and the re-inspection.

Fix the Foundation:  Auto Structural Repair Bay

The body must be reverted back to factory standards in the structural repair bay.  Technicians measure the vehicular frame with a computer system in order to obtain an accurate repair appraisal for the customer.  This analyzes the condition and the extent of damage.  Isolation of this process is typically done in yet another auto body enclosure to help workers to focus on the technical requirements of the repair. The flow of the workspace and the definition of the workstation creates not only a professional environment but provides credibility of the business as a whole.

Sparks Will Fly:  Body Repair Booth

The outside panels of the vehicle are returned to their appropriate sections and the metal is finished in the body repair booth.  A welding curtain enclosure can be utilized to enclose the space for any additional fabrication.  This welding booth enclosure can consist of transparent, tinted material or an opaque curtain with a “weldview” vision panel across the middle.  A welding curtain will protect the surrounding areas from potential spark hazards.

Prime and Paint: Paint Prep Station Enclosure

Sanding, priming, and sealing the vehicular structure are important to make sure the paint adheres to the vehicle “skeleton”.  A prep station curtain enclosure will keep the sanding dust contained, and reduce the amount of primer and sealant odors from entering other areas.  The quality of the top color and clear coat depend on how well the vehicle’s structure is prepared.

Ooo Shiny! – Paint Booth Enclosures

Paint booth enclosures are used to apply the top color and clear coat to complete the refinishing of the vehicle’s structure.  The paint booth enclosure as well as the prep station enclosure may need to follow certain regulatory standards when it comes to construction.  Custom options can be added to accommodate exhaust systems, machinery, testing equipment, NESHAP compliance, NFPA compliance, and other requirements.

Re-United:  Reassembly Station

With the automobile structure back to its factory form, the moldings, detail pieces, and all other final details are placed back into the vehicle and the system is checked.

Down to the Last Detail: Detailing and Wash Bay Enclosures

A thorough cleaning of the vehicle is done.  Since the water splashing and detailing by-products entering into different areas is not ideal, clean, or safe, a wash bay enclosure is used to contain this process.  This prevents debris, cross-contamination, and avoids slippery situations for the unsuspecting technician and/or customer walking just outside the designated area.

…now the vehicle is ready for road testing to make sure everything is working!  A final inspection upon returning from the road test insures that the vehicle is in pre-accident condition. Every process relies on using quality autobody shop curtains to comply with government and insurance regulations. All this is done to make sure the vehicle owner is happy with the results!

Call AmCraft today to help you design the ultimate workstations for your facility at 847-439-4565 or email us at sales@amcraftonline.com.