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To the imaginative, the average shipping container holds a wealth of possibilities. Cheap, expansive and readily available, the boxes can be used for anything from storage to habitation. One French company is looking to turn spent containers into mobile paint stations for the manufacturer's supply business, according to Ward's Auto. Plastic Omnium produces around 14 million painted bumpers for various automakers every year, and the manufacturer believes shipping containers may be the solution to reducing the cost of its $65.4 million paint facilities. The basic design would use five containers per booth, with three on the first level and two above. A robotic painter would stay situated in the center container.

The design would have a number of advantages over the company's current layout, including mobility. Since automakers change production plans more often than underwear, the container system could be easily broken down and reassembled elsewhere at a fraction of the cost of building a completely new paint facility. How's that for clever?

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Guillaume Séguin
      • 3 Years Ago
      In the Netherlands, they've made student accommodation out of these: http://www.tempohousing.com/projects/keetwonen.html I think that's one of the coolest use of these. And that's real.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As if paint match was not bad enough already on bumpers vs. sheet metal on most cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
          Lu Xuan Guo
          • 3 Years Ago
          What dezoris00 means is that the material used on bumpers is usually different from that of other body panels. Bumper materials are meant to show little flaw from low speed accidents such as nicking a little pole in front of a grocery store. As a result of the different materials, automakers can't just paint the entire car the exact same way or else the bumpers will have a slightly different shade. Even so, there is a little variation that is annoyingly obvious during (for example) sunset.
      Digital Ape
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a new concept. I worked at a company that was trying to introduce containerized paint systems in 2006-2007.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now that is a very cool idea. Here is Yahoo article with a few other interesting uses for shipping containers. http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/8/twelve-amazing-shipping-container-houses.html