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This is the second tip in a series of five to help select the correct tool board.

#2 Location

Where you decide to put your tool board can have a big impact on whether it is used correctly or not. Consider putting it at point-of-use, as close to where the work is being performed as possible – even within arm’s reach. If the tool board is located across the room or some distance away from where the associates use it then there is a low probability that they will retrieve the correct tool needed and put it back when they are done with it.

Ergonomic_reach

Think about which tools are used most often and have those at ready access. Tools used less often can be stored in remote access. Basically, if you use it every day have it within reach. If you use it less often consider another location. Also, consider proper ergonomics. Make sure the employees do not have to reach too far or in an uncomfortable way to get the needed tool.

We will cover #3 “Size” next time.

To see Tip #1>> Select the Board Type

You might ask yourself “What’s there to know about tool boards?” Having the right tool board that is useful is the key to having the right place to hang your tools. In this series, I will give you five tips for choosing the proper tool board. The first thing to do is to determine if a tool board is really needed. If you can get away with a single tool at a location, just use that. If the tools have to be covered or protected, consider a tool drawer or cabinet. Making a large tool board just so that things look nice might just be a waste. The essential element of a useful tool board is that people use it and put the tools back when they are done.

The five sections in this series are:

  1. Select the Tool Board Type
  2. Location
  3. Size
  4. Hooks
  5. Labeling and Color-coding

Let’s dive in to the first tip.

Tool Board Selection Tip # 1 Select the Tool Board Type

There are three main types of tool board materials: 1) wood, 2) plastic, and 3) steel. Each has its pros and cons.ToolBoardTypes

Wood

Wood pegboard are those familiar ones you see at the home building centers. These are usually sold in sheets (2’ x 2’ or 2’ x 4’) and can easily be cut to size on a table saw or with a circular saw. Mostly they come in two colors: white or brown. These tool boards have a lower load rating than plastic or steel, but are also cheaper. Wood pegboards are not resistant to oil, grease or other liquids so they aren’t used in a food grade or clean room environment. If you need something for occasional or light-duty use, this could be your answer.

Plastic

Plastic pegboards offer the flexibility of the wood tool boards that they can be cut to any size. The load rating is higher than the wood boards and they are resistant to many liquids. These are great for medium-duty situations.

Steel

Steel tool board have the highest load ratings and with that they also cost more. The boards cannot be cut to size because of the box construction. The steel boards are usually powered coated and resistant to oil, grease and other liquids. You can also find stainless steel boards and hooks that are great for food grade or clean room applications. If your tools are heavy or if you have a rough environment, steel tools boards are the way to go.

I will cover theses other tips in the upcoming posts.

  • #2 Location
  • #3 Size
  • #4 Hooks
  • #5 Labeling and Color-coding

The Very Best of 5S Benchmarking ReportIn the upcoming posts I plan to give some concise information related to our newly published eBook “The Very Best of 5S” which is based off of our comprehensive 5S Benchmarking Survey conducted in 2011.

For a complimentary copy please click here>> “The Very Best of 5S” Benchmarking report

Let’s start off with the Executive Summary

This manuscript is an in-depth report on 5S Workplace Organization and Standardization. It sheds light on how organizations have successfully created a 5S system or the obstacles and solutions they used to overcome them. Of those surveyed, the overall rank of the effectiveness of their 5S system is a 3 on a scale of 1-5 (1=low, 5=high). This is a clear indication that there is much room for improvement. There are many suggestions and comments presented here to help coach and guide organizations as they improve their 5S systems. The level of cooperation for 5S initiatives is initially low but increases with time with the most resistance coming from the supervisor level. Contrary to this is that upper management is generally supportive of a 5S system, but the top reasons for obstacles for implementation are “lack of management support” and “not enough time.” Another finding is that the amount of training spent on 5S training is relatively low (typically two hours or less). It seems that organizations have a hard time quantifying benefits from 5S (other than 5S Audits). Companies that did calculate the financial benefits proved that the return on investment far exceeds the cost of training, supplies and manpower. The lack of reward & recognition and the ability to engrain 5S into the organization’s culture is another impediment that must be overcome. Over 50 “best practices” are shared and many suggestions on how to properly create a 5S system or improve your current one are included.

So check out the report, share it with your colleagues and friends, have discussions and give us feedback on what you see. – Tony