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?