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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

Is Floor Marking Worth it?

September 9, 2015

Does floor marking (floor tape and symbols) improve your productivity and safety?

Floor_Marking_Poll_ResultsIn our recent polling question, an overwhelming response of 90% agreed that floor marking improved efficiency and safety.

What company wouldn’t benefit from increased productivity and a reduction in workplace injuries?

How does floor marking help improve productivity?

Here are some examples:

  • Marking where completed jobs go reduces search time to quickly move the product to the next operation. Using color-coding such as green for “good to go”, or red for “QC Hold” also helps create a visual system that can be recognized in an instant.
  • Marking where the next job goes helps the operator focus on value-added activities and not have to search or guess what to work on next. Having a specific spot and marking the next job makes it super-simple for the operator to know what to work on next. Once again, color-coding can help – using blue can indicate “next job”.
  • Mark specific locations for Raw Materials and Finished Goods. How and where you layout materials can save hundreds of hours of search time per year. Using yellow corner markers along with ovals to label locations will speed up identification of materials in a warehouse or shipping-receiving area.
  • Create a Pull System and Kanban. When the spot is empty, fill it up. When the marked location is full, stop. This is a simple, visual Kanban system that works well for processes that are next to each other.
  • 5S the work area – “A place for everything and everything in its place!” Visually marking where items go saves time and money because you’ll have the right item, at the right location, in the right quantity.
  • Other color-coding examples can be used like white to mark off work benches or equipment.

How does floor marking improve safety?

  • By marking safe areas to walk versus forklift traffic areas. Most companies use yellow to signify walkways. Add in footprint symbols to ensure that employees and visitors know quickly where the designated walkways are.
  • Mark off fire extinguishers, electrical panels and eye wash stations. This can be accomplished with red border kits. The red helps signify safety. By marking off these areas, it helps keep them clear and readily identifiable.
  • Mark-off door swing areas or other parts of moving equipment. Use dashed lines or dots to help visually identify these areas.

To finish the poll results – seven percent of the respondents had no opinion and three percent said it didn’t help or made it worse. Wonder what happened there?

If you have questions about floor marking, please give us a call at 888-4 Lean 5S (888-453-2657).

Special bonus – Super September Sale! 25% off our BesTape and 5S Symbols.

BesTape_25%_Off5Ssymbols_25%_off