You’ve possibly found our blog post while researching tool hardware, how to attach or fix equipment to an existing or potential shadow board design? If thats the case, let me shed some light on the best examples of tool hardware we both use everyday and offer our clients on their own shadow board designs.
By the term “tool fixing” Im talking about specific hardware / fixings that can hold conveniently the equipment on a shadow board.
Shadow boards are a fantastic visual, ergonomic and physical way to organise tools and equipment. The benefits of and the level of the shadow boards success will be down to how its used by its operators.
If the tool fixings / hardware is too fiddly and time consuming to get on and off the shadow boards then the operators will not use the board and the equipment will again be lying around the workspace just like they did before the shadow board was installed.
The main properties of the tool hardware must be usability and durability.
There is no point attaching some coat hanger type contraption from the local DIY store only to find it cannot hold the weight or shape of the item.
Again durable clips, brackets and fixings must be heavy duty and assembled using the correct bolts, rivets to ensure the users of the equipment do not have to think about the functionality of the shadow board. Once the shadow board is seen (and used) as if it doesnt reflect the companys ethos on quality then it might as well be binned.
We at Lean 5S Products tend to always start with the equipment when choosing what tool hardware to use.
Lets look at cleaning equipment that include handles such as push brooms, squeegees, lobby dustpans etc etc.
The typical handle is between 30mm -60mm (1-2 inchs), often the handles may have a loophole ideal for a hook. If working areas where cross contamination or food preparation is important then the use of stainless hooks is advantageous in order to allow proper cleaning as well as holding the items typically with the broom head/ squeegee head facing down. Having the equipment facing down allows any liquid to drip off the shadow board and run off rather than running off the middle of the board.
For attaching handles we usually like to incorporate some type of tool clip as well. This allows the equipment to be placed quickly and securely directly onto the handle of the item.
Hooks are all well and good but using hooks only, may allow for the handle to swing from side to side as its only held at the top of the item.
Some aluminium handles are very smooth and once wet can easily slide down a rubber fixing for instance then both a hook and a tool clip would be best.
So what types of tool clip are there?
Push & Grip tool, clip.
These are a standard tool clip used in a variety of solutions where items can be placed in and out of the clip with ease. The user simply pushes the handle into and up the rubber bung type centre. The weight and gravity of the item will then grip the handle in place.
Food Grade / Non Metal Versions
When stricter controls are required then there are excellent tool clips with plastic only components.
These work on the same push and grip idea but tend to be better with wetter, slippery handles.
Both types come with fixing holes and we tend to bolt these onto the substrates.
Another excellent way we use these is by supplying them in there colour coded form. This emphasises the organisation aspect of the shadow board and its area.
Always think carefully where on the handles you place the tool clips. Too far down and it become cumbersome for the user. Too far up and the item can swing around in its fixing.
So, how can you hold unusual items onto the surface of the shadow board or tool shadow board?
Lets look at the smaller items such as spanners, ratchets, screwdrivers now.
Again always start with the equipment, what is its weight? how does it balance? what tools will be used most and so on.
We like to use spring clips or in the UK we call them terry clips. www.toolbank.co.uk are a good supplier.
These come in lots of sizes and diameters. Ideal for grabbing the grip handle sections of screwdrivers and spanners. Simply drill through shadow board surface and bolt to the rear using washers.
Again, everything you include on the boards MUST have the user at the heart of the thinking process. If its in anyway a barrier to the “flow” of the operation then find something else.
Ok, I think we have covered some of the tool hardware we typically use on shadow boards. I’ll start on a Part Two to include more unusual items such as glove box holders, documents in my next post.
Thank you for taking a look. If you need any advice please drop us a line. We have offices in US and UK.
“A Place for everything and everything in its place”
Check out some ideas on how to create your own shadow board design here>