Our Blog

Posted on: February 1st, 2017

Unintended Consequences

If you’ve been in the business for five years or longer, you’ve seen the future!  And with the future came some unintended consequences for our industry.  Automotive innovations like automatic wipers and electronic transmissions have affected our ability to produce.  A simple thing like automatic wipers when the sensor on the windshield gets wet has caused us to stop the line so the customer can figure out how to shut them off, or has increased our damage claims.  How many of us have stood next to a Prius as the owner struggles to get the car in neutral?  These additions to cars have changed what we have to pay attention to on the line, or in the case of the Prius, slowed down our production at times. But what if there was a technology coming that would literally stop your car wash?

Automatic braking is here, and its coming for you in the future!  This fantastic feature in cars can reduce rear end collisions by 40 percent and the severity of injuries in rear end collisions by 30 percent.*  Those are fantastic safety numbers and numbers like these will continue to improve as manufacturers improve the safety features of today’s cars.

How does this system work?  Sensors in the front and rear of the car detect when an object gets too close to the car, and will automatically apply the brakes.  The problem is, these sensors cannot tell the difference between a solid object, car, or a mitter curtain or set of wraps.  The problem here is that in a standard chain and roller, the vehicle brakes and either jumps off the track, or jumps the rollers causing an accident in the tunnel.  How can we handle this problem?  The innovation of the BELT CONVEYOR allows these vehicles to go through the motions and safety features while still having the car washed.

Since the belt conveyor does not require the car to roll, the car can apply the brakes and the process continues.  While these safety features can be disabled in the car, there is not a standard for this process, and attempting to disable these features can slow down or stop your process.  In addition, unless the customer remembers, this feature will remain disabled out on the street, eliminating the safety for the customer.

As an added bonus to working around these safety features, your car wash can benefit in other ways.  By changing out your standard conveyor for a belt, you get the unintended consequence of increased processing!  A belt is easier for customers to load onto, decreasing loading times, confusion and shut downs of your facility.  You also gain wash space- a standard conveyor takes 20’-25’ of load space- with a belt you can load in 8’-10’!  Gaining space in the tunnel allows you to place more equipment and speed up your chain for increased productivity!

While the unintended consequence of increased safety in vehicles could potentially mean decreased productivity for you, we can fix that problem and increase your productivity at the same time!  Call or email us today to find out what your future could look like!

*Forbes article October 25, 2016 Auto Braking systems are being confounded by car washes.