By Jeff Sanford
Moncton, New Brunswick — May 11, 2017 — After a year-long renovation, CSN-Champlain Auto Body has reason to celebrate. The Moncton, New Brunswick, repair facility flung open the doors recently to show off slick new equipment and an expanded facility.
The collision repair centre put in a new addition and expanded the floor from 10,000 sq. ft. to 15,000 sq. ft. CSN-Champlain Auto Body’s renovations also include a new double downdraft prep station and two new 27-foot downdraft paint booths. The facility has put in new resistance spot welders , aluminum welders, dent pulling equipment and a new aluminum room. There is also a new air conditioning system that meets new mandates to come into effect in 2021. There is also a lot of new diagnostics equipment, including a 3-D measuring system.
The most impressive part? The team managed to run at full speed while the renovations were going on.
“From the same location we ran full production,” says Mandie Steen, the facility’s office manager. “We did it. We had fifteen people working in just 4,000 sq. ft.”
The project was well-planned. Shovels went in the ground on September 2, 2015. The entire renovation was finished by June of last year. The expansion has allowed a new level of efficiency, speed and organization. The grand opening event was held recently.
“The biggest reason we did it was that we had to increase flow. We have a process centered environment. Continuous flow is important to us,” says Steen. “Before we had to move four or five vehicles to get the one we wanted. Now we have a predictable processing cycle in place.”
Andrew Barkhouse, General Manager, notes, “Once the car hits production, once we start laying on body filler and then get it to paint and final detail, it’s a predictable repair.”
No wonder then that the renovation has generated new business. “We’ve seen significant growth. We grew last year and again this year. We had a banner year once again. Our wait times have been reduced significantly. I think that’s why we’ve seen a little more business directed our way,” says Barkhouse.
CSN-Champlain Auto Body has also made an effort to take a lead in terms of certification and accreditation, and that’s helped drive growth as well.
“We’ve been going after new accreditation as well, that’s helped grow the business,” says Steen. CSN-Champlain Auto Body is recognized by Honda’s ProFirst program, and is a Toyota Certified Collision Centre. More recently CSN-Champlain Auto Body received the first Advanced level CCIAP accreditation in New Brunswick, as well as the first CCIAP accreditation in the province overall.
The Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP) is an accreditation program set up by the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada. The CCIAP Advanced Certification requires an additional set of certifications, training and tools. In particular, the Advanced criteria include demonstrating a significant investment in aluminum repair capabilities.
For more information, please visit champlainautobody.com. For more information on CSN COLLLISION CENTRES, please visit csninc.ca.