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Case studies: Inside automobile facility management

An automobile or auto-ancillary manufacturing plant is divided into multiple sub plants (engine, piston, valve, paint shop etc), each following a different process and having differing FM needs. Forbes Facility Services’ Nitin Lamba, Operations Head – Zone I and Vasanth Kumar Rangaraj, Operations Head – Zone II illustrate how they cater to these needs in two of the facilities.

Bajaj Chetak, Akurdi, Pune

Why mechanise?

Over an eight hour shift, one person with a dry mop can cover 32,000sqft. To service 3 lakh sqft of the Akurdi plant, 10 such personnel would be needed. “Instead, we introduced a ride-on dry mopping machine which can cover 60,000sqft every hour. Where 10 people were required, now just one machine operator sufficed”, shared Rangaraj.

Manually cleaning a typical production facility washroom of 600sqft would take 40 minutes; a high-pressure foamer machine will take just 15 minutes. This machine – used with water-based chemicals – prevents damage caused by acidic toilet cleaning chemicals and toilet brushes, which degrade the glossy finish of ceramic fittings. “We do not have a ‘washroom cleaner’ in our system; we simply call them ‘machine operators’”, stated Rangaraj.


Staircases in such facilities can never be scrubbed; cleaning corners becomes difficult. The area at the base of pillars tends to see high dust concentration, sometimes with oil. If this isn’t cleaned in time, more manpower needs to be deployed for more thorough cleaning.

To resolve this, FFS introduced battery-operated mini-motor scrubbers to clean untouched corners, edges and pillars. No more does anyone need to bend to clean. Fatigue, absenteeism and attrition all reduced, and productivity increased.

Shriram Pistons & Rings Ltd, Ghaziabad

Turnaround time

Spillage of oil and residual chips occurs very quickly. Since the plant has vast areas that need to be continuously cleaned, the 5S mechanism is mandatory for quick TAT to ensure zero deviation from SLAs. “The job-card approach sets clear time and result expectations for each team member, reducing turnaround time and optimising manpower”, said Lamba.

Smart choices

Instead of regular mops, FFS uses microfibre-based smart mops which work without water. Cleaning machines like ride-on auto scrubber, walk-behind scrubber-driers and robotic scrubber-driers are in use for various surfaces and ride-on and walk-behind machines in the main galleries.

Clean room

The cleanroom workforce is separately trained, wears appropriate PPE and enters the area only after passing through an air blast/air shower. “Cleaning equipment used in cleanrooms is isolated from regular housekeeping equipment to avoid cross-contamination”, Lamba mentioned.

In the future

Robotic cleaning machines, app-based cleaning monitoring systems and technology to clean high-rise areas will usher in change. Conveyor belts can be introduced to transport chips and waste oil to the designated place, saving on manpower and costs.

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