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This is the final installment of five tips to help select the correct tool board.

#5 Labeling and Color-coding

This is how your tool board becomes a waste killing machine. This is probably my favorite part of making an effective and efficient tool board that associates will actually use and put tools back. As part of 5S workplace organization, the second “S” is “set-in-Order. The saying for this is “A place for everything and everything in its place!” This ensures that you have the right tool when you want it, where you want it. There is no time wasted looking for the right tool.

15-minutes_Time_Wasted_Searching_for_ToolsAccording to a recent poll, 57% of respondents stated that 15 minutes or more were lost looking for tools. Now, that’s pure waste.

Organize your tools, but take it one step further – label and color-code them. These are low cost solutions versus the waste of searching or replacing lost tools. As part of the fourth “S” in 5S, “standardize” your system. By using tool shadows and labels everyone will know where the proper tool is and more importantly where it goes. When the tool is returned to the board any one will know the correct spot to put it back. Another tip is to use Tool Tracer™ Tool Shadows with the exclusive Tool ID Band™ (patent pending). This way if you have multiple tool boards, you can color-code the board according to work area or process. So if a “blue” tool is in a “red” area it is easily seen and corrected.

Tool_Tracer_Shipping_StationDon’t forget to label your board. Make the labels a nice contrasting color like black & white, black & yellow, blue & white and so on. Also, make sure the labels and printing are large enough to see from a distance. The header for the tool board should be about 1-1//2” – 2-1/2” high. The labels for the actual tools should be a minimum of 12pt font, 18pt is better. Find what works for your area.

A well labeled board with the proper tool shadows will make your workplace more product, organized and reduce stress!

Don’t forget to check out 5S Supply for tool boards and Tool Tracer™ Tool Shadows.

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This is the fourth tip in a series of five to help select the correct tool board. Tip #4 Hooks

Believe it or not the hooks you select make a big difference. There are a variety of sizes and styles of hooks out there. Select the ones that fit your tools the best. Also consider other accessories like document holders, bins or shelves. Document holders can have work instructions, One-point Lessons, schedules and other notices. Bins and shelves can hold parts and other items. These accessories make it convenient to have these items at point of use.Tool_Board_Hooks_SS

An important feature of hooks is to make sure you get the kind that screw into or lock into the board. Some hook types just hang there. These are more problematic when come off the board asyou grab the tool. Another tip is considering having the tool horizontal (across two or more hooks) instead of just hanging up and down.

Next Tip #5 Labeling and Color-coding

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

#3 Tool Board Size

Mobile_Tool_WorksHaving the right size board at point-of-use is critical to making a tool board that employees will actually use. In Tip #1 Tool Board Type, I mentioned the types of boards (wood, plastic or steel) along with typical sizes. Wood and plastic boards are the easiest to cut to the size you need. Steel boards are usually not cut to size because of their construction. The easiest piece of advice is to not go too small or go too big. You might be tempted to go small because of cost. Consider the cost of having to get another board if you are wrong. On the other hand, many people think “I’ll get the biggest one they make” which too could be a mistake. Getting a board that is way larger than your needs and growing into it can cause undue confusion, clutter and additional waste. Stick the size you need, where you need it. Consider going mobile to make it easier to have it at point-of-use or to clean (“shine” – the third “S” in 5S) around it.

Check out one of our more popular blog post: “Finally! A Tool Shadow Board that Works

Coming up next, Tip #4 Hooks

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

Tool Tracer

If your Dad likes tinkering in the garage or his workshop then give him a hand this Father’s Day to get his tools organized with Tool TracerTM – Peel and Stick Tool Shadows. These are the perfect addition to a well-ordered tool board. Help Dad save time on his projects and reduce stress searching for his favorite tools.

Tool Tracer 25 pc Set

Tool Tracer 25-piece Set

The 25 piece pack has the most common DIY’ers tool shadows ready to go, including:

  • 12-piece combination wrench set
  • 3-piece plier set
  • 2-piece adjustable wrench set
  • 6-piece screwdriver set
  • 2-piece locking plier set

Choose Dad’s favorite color – 11 colors to choose from. Made from 3 mil polymeric-blend glossy opaque calendered vinyl film; these tool shadows are long lasting with a 4 year interior or exterior durability rating.

With these professional tool shadows, your dad will be the superstar of the neighborhood! Get him a second set for his tools at work.

For more information>> Tool Tracer – Pre-Cut Tool Shadows

Get him something he deserves – Tool Tracer TM Peel & Stick Tool Shadows

Not another tie for Dad this Father's Day

Give a gift that Dad will actually use this Father’s Day – Tool Tracer TM Tool Shadows. Dad doesn’t want another tie; he wants something for his garage or workshop. If your Dad is the kind of guy that likes to work with his hands then Tool Tracer TM – Tool Shadows are a perfect present.

These assorted vinyl tool shadows are ideal for Tool Shadow Boards or anywhere you want to mark a tool location. The Tool TracerTM Tool Shadows adhere to all types of pegboards including: wood, plastic or metal –as well as: glass, concrete, desktops or workbenches, and dry erase boards. These shadows make it easy to identify when a tool is not in its proper place so dad knows what’s missing. You can also get these in Dad’s favorite color – 11 colors to choose from!

Tool Tracer Tool Shadows 50 pieceFeatures:

  • Standard hand-tool shapes 25 Piece or 50 Piece packs to choose from
  • Exclusive Tool-ID BandTM
  • Made from 3 mil polymeric-blend glossy opaque calendered vinyl film
  • Long lasting, 4 year interior or exterior durability
  • Sunlight fade resistant
  • Clear permanent adhesive
  • Made in the U.S.A.

 Benefits:

  • Mark your tools and location to stay organized and instantly know if something is missing or out of place
  • Don’t waste time searching for things, get more projects and work done quicker with less effort
  • Visually pleasing and professional looking
  • Less stress knowing where your tools are
  • Sets a standard that anyone can follow

 These are great for work too!

Thank you to everyone that participated in our poll regarding time wasted searching for tools. Here are the results.

Greater than 50% of the respondents said that more than 15 minutes is wasted per day (per employee) searching for tools.
Time Wasted Searching for Tools Infographic
That time adds up quickly. Let’s say you have five technicians losing 15 minutes per day searching for items they need to do their work, which equals 75 minutes per day, or 735 hours per year. If you take the 735 hours at $20 per hour, that is equivalent to losing $7,500 of productive time(1).

A simple way to reduce this waste of time, effort and dollars is to get the tools organized. Something as easy as using Tool Tracer Peel and Stick Tool Shadows can reduce the time lost searching for items. Check out Tool Tracer at 5S Supply.com.

Note (1): Based on 5 days per week and 52 weeks per year. Feel free to use your own number to complete your calculation.

Please help us with another quick, one question poll “Does Floor Marking Improve Productivity and Safety?” We will share the results. And please share the poll with your co-workers and colleagues!