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This is Your Rampvan! – Day One Recap

We started converting Barbara Reed’s Toyota Sienna into a BraunAbility Rampvan at 9:30 this morning, following its progress on the BraunAbility Facebook page. In case you missed out on all the action – or if you’re not a Facebook user – here’s a photographic recap of today’s activity. We’ll continue to follow the van down the production line over the next few days – be sure to stay tuned!

At Station #1, Kristen checks the van’s electronics, doors, and inspects the interior. She also removes the seats, preparing for additional strip-out at the following station.
Station #1: Kristen also checks the interior for any of Barbara’s personal possessions — like the $2.95 she found in one of the ash trays! Don’t worry, Barbara it’ll be waiting for you when the van’s done!
Station #2: Some of us with kids wish we could go to these lengths to clean out our mini-van! At this Station the van interior is stripped, sliding doors are removed, and a tarp covers the vehicle’s exterior to make sure no surfaces are damaged. All of the components are carefully stored for re-installation later on the line.
Station #2: In this photo, a team member is covering the exterior surfaces to prevent accidental damage as the van moves down the line.
Station #2: Two hours later, here’s what Barbara’s beautiful Sienna looks like. That’s what happens if you leave your keys in your mini-van around here. Don’t worry Barbara, it’s going to look a lot better in a couple days!
Station #2: Jeremy and Johnny are installing X-braces to maintain the structural integrity of the vehicle as it goes down the line.
Station #2: Stripped, tarped and ready to move on to Station #3.
Station #3: Now it’s time to work on the van’s undercarriage. The AC and brake lines are removed followed by the gas tank and lines. After that, the tires are removed and the van is lowered onto dollies for the rest of the trip down the production line.
Station #3: Original parts that are not re-used in the conversion are recycled whenever possible. Designated bins are placed along the production line, and the material is removed continuously throughout the day.
Stations 4 & 5: Craig and Mac pause to read Barbara’s story. This project has been a great reminder for our team members – that there’s a person behind every vehicle they build.
Stations 4 & 5: Does it look like something’s missing? The entire floor has been removed, and team members are preparing to insert the lowered floor.
Stations 4 & 5: The new floor is ready to be lifted into place. The Rampvan’s floor will be a full 10″ lower than the original.
Stations 4 & 5: The sparks are flying at Station #5 (and the next two stations) as Mac welds the lowered floor in place.
Production is wrapped up for today. Here’s a view of Process Track One’s “Layered Check/Act Board.” This is part of the Lean initiative that is revolutionizing our production process, which we will talk about a bit more as Barbara’s van gets further down the line. Be sure to tune in tomorrow – most of the “major surgery” will be complete, and we’ll start putting the van back together!