In an ongoing effort to increase efficiencies and streamline production techniques, Heil Environmental recently unveiled the latest addition to its manufacturing facility in Fort Payne, Ala. The company says the new paint facility will reduce lead times for refuse collection vehicles, while also reducing the amount of wasted paints and solvents, and the need for the additional application of paint.
In addition to the newly constructed detail and predelivery center, an additional paint production line was added within the existing facility. With these changes, vehicles now come with an enhanced finish that has been designed to better withstand the harsh environments in which they are used.
“The new production facilities are the culmination of a nearly two-year paint improvement process,” says Anthony Henson, director of North American operations for Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Heil. “We made extensive updates to our paint operations, working closely with DuPont to develop and implement a new six-step paint process that gives all of our refuse and recycling vehicle bodies a more durable corrosion-resistant finish. We also changed product design, manufacturing and inspection procedures to reduce the need for paint touchups. In addition to the improvements in the paint process, we will now be able to significantly decrease bottlenecks and improve cycle times to fill orders more quickly.”
Heil says its paint process is unique among manufacturers of refuse collection vehicles and is similar to systems used by leading commercial truck makers: Once a Heil vehicle body is completely cleaned, pretreated and sealed, a separate DuPont primer coat of paint is applied and baked, followed by a high-performance polyurethane enamel coat, providing chip resistance and UV protection to defend against color fade and deterioration.
“Heil’s new paint facility doubles our capacity to meet growing customer demand, enabling us to more quickly deliver vehicles to meet the specific needs of our customers,” says Randy Brown, Heil’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We are also truly excited by our ability to reduce waste, in line with our green initiatives, while simultaneously improving the quality of the finished product.”