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.