The 2019 Innovation Challenge showcased 72 bright ideas and innovations, with the potential to save the business more than £30 million.
Tony Hammond (right) and Kim Wassell (left) from Solihull’s paintshop explain how their winning idea came to them while relaxing on a beach in Mexico.
Solihull’s paint shop has more than 23 kilometres of conveyors which are in operation 24 hours-a-day, five days-a-week. As you can imagine, there is a lot of wear and tear on the system and stopping production for maintenance has knock-on effects across the factory.
The million dollar question is how do you make sure all is working how it should be without stopping production?
It was while sunning himself on a sandy beach in Mexico when paint shop Maintenance Manager Tony Hammond had a ‘lightbulb’ moment.
He said: “I was watching my son going out to scuba dive, and I noticed everyone strapping on small little Go-Pro’s to capture their deep sea diving escapades.
“I thought to myself those little cameras would be perfect for filming the condition of the conveyor systems in the paint shop. If only I could find a way to attach it to the conveyor.”
After returning to Lode Lane after his Mexican adventure, Tony set about forming a crack command team to make his idea work and knew just the right man – Kim Wassell.
Kim joined Solihull eight years ago after various jobs outside of Jaguar Land Rover as a Design Engineer. It didn’t take long for Kim to come with a homemade bracket, created in the Paintshop’s Maintenance Toolroom.
Kim said: “We’ve all the tools in-house to make Tony’s idea work and being a Design Engineer by trade, I was more than happy to help out.”
In its first loop of the paint shop conveyor system it immediately picked up a maintenance issue which otherwise would have been left for the maintenance schedule to pick up, saving precious time and money.
In true continuous improvement fashion, Tony and Kim have re-tested and upgraded their original model to include some super bright LED lights and a shock sensor. Over the duration of a year, this simple Go-Pro, homemade bracket, lights and shock sensor will save Solihull’s paint shop more than £220,000 per year.