Marking Tape for social distancing

Marking Tape for Social Distancing

During these difficult times, we must do what we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and hopefully get back to normality sooner rather than later.

While the first rule of this is to stay at home (please do if you can), there are still some essential services operating. For the majority of the general public, your most likely contact with other people will be super­markets. While supermarkets are putting every safety measure in place, sometimes telling people what the rules are is not enough.

A fundamental rule to follow when in a public area is social distancing. The government has recommended that there is a 2-metre gap between yourself and the next person, drastically reducing the risk of the coronavirus passing from one person to another.

Social Distancing with tape

For this, it is as easy as applying a visual guide in various places to ensure people can be safe in the knowledge they are at least the recommended distance of 2-metres from another person.

Lean 5S Products produce a wide range of marking tape for social distancing that are easy to apply to a clean, dry surface to help a business easily promote social distancing.


LeanRoute is a layered marking tape. With the colour protected by a laminate surface, it is very durable when it comes to foot traffic. Produced in full-width logs up to 1168mm. While we produce it for immediate dispatch in 50mm, 75mm and 100mm rolls, you can order it in any width you like! Also available many die-cut shapes and various colours

Reflective Tape

Lean 5S Products reflective tape is a simple but effective, self-adhesive hi-viz product which can be quickly cut to size with scissors, allowing rapid applications on clean, dry surfaces. The reflective properties will work well with internal lighting to ensure that it is obvious. Produced for immediate dispatch in 50mm rolls, but we can supply rolls measuring up to 1220mm in width. Available in various colours



Lean 5S Products Tapeline is a self-adhesive, durable PVC floor tape. Slightly thicker than most common floor tapes for added durability, yet still thin enough to be cut with scissors. This allows Tapeline to be applied very quickly if required. Rolls are produced for immediate dispatch in 50mm rolls, but widths up to 1295mm are possible.

Marking tape for social distancing


LeanStripe is an extruded tape with chamfered edges. A 1mm thickness, it’s an industrial-grade, homogenous marking tape with the colour throughout the material, making it more resistant to wear. Available in 50mm, 75mm and 100mm roll widths and various die-cut shapes. Available in multiple colours.

Tapeline for social distancing

Lean 5S Products marking tapes are suitable for marking standing distances, walking distances and additionally hazards and restricted areas. All 4 are very versatile marking tapes, ideal for a wide range of appli­cations.

If you are still looking to install social distancing measures in your supermarket, factory, warehouse, medical centre, hospital or any essential workplace, then please contact us as soon as possible. To get marking tape for social distancing in place immediately, you can contact us by phone, live chat or complete the contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Only together are we going to make it through the current crisis.

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Foam Tool Shadow Boards

Top 6 Benefits of using foam tool shadow boards

An ever increasing area of 5S is the use of foam tool shadow boards. Here at Lean 5S Products we provide a full onsite audit, design, fabricate and support service when it comes to all things 5S related.


So whats the TOP 6 Benefits of foam tool shadow boards.


Fundamental to any “Lean” initiative is to set in order your tools and workplace.

The logic behind this is that each and every tool must be placed so that operators can easily and quickly find tools to perform their required tasks. Using foam tool shadow boards, work areas are more efficient and productive if tools are kept close and to hand.

The nature of our variety of foams is that colour combinations can be used to further differentiate cells or departments. The dense Zote foams we fabricate from allow for a multitude of tools to be easily stored and organised at the specific places they are to be utilised.

Foam Tool trays


Many companies require certain tools to only reside in particular areas. Foam tool shadow boards allow operators and managers alike to quickly trace where a tool is or is not. The old adage “A place for everything and everything in its place”.

The configurement of the foam shadows only allows the tool for the specific shadow to be used thus ensuring a visual “check” on tool movement.

Importance on tracing the whereabouts of tools also has an added benefit of constant monitoring of any deterioration of tools too.

Foam Tool Inserts


As one of the pivotal aspects of 5S, standardising both equipment and how they are used is key.

The use of foam tool shadow boards in standardising behaviour and organisation of work areas greatly increases common ideas you will want to instil into everyday practises.

The full focus of any lean project should be to reduce waste and drive through efficiencies in processes. Foam tool inserts or shadow boards significantly allow tools to be stored in a common, standard way. If departments use differeing tools or equipment the standard of using and developing “the” standard is still applied with the support of visual aids like foam shadow boards.

5S Foam shadow boards


We commonly utilise the knowledge and practical information that operators tell us regarding their work areas in order to produce well used foam shadow board solutions. This in turn leads to more empowerment of colleagues within small production areas. If they have had a hand in designing the look and layout of the foam then it becomes “theirs”. Operators then can see first hand lean processes in action and will be more open to taking on board other lean methodology.


Here at Lean 5S Products we wish to provide the solution that suits your requirements and look.

Following on from “standardisation” we allow our products such as foam tool shadow boards to flow around the site so that your branding becomes part of everyday processes.

Each foam tool shadow board is created using the latest light-box technology to ensure accurate shadows can be cut from any type of tool.

If tools arent available for us to physically scan we can provide simple easy to use templates so you can provide the necessary shadow details for us.

We produce foam inserts in a variety of different base colours and can laser etch logos and titles to the foam as well.

Foam Tool shadow Software


Using foam tool shadow boards greatly enhances your companys organisation and better equips your operators with leaner, more productive ways in which to work. Our solutions facilitate faster production times, greater efficiencies and empower the workforce by better using the visual element of how work is done.

Managers can spend less time telling what should happen or where equipmewnt shoulg go, as visual management aids such as foam tool shadow boards will do this for you in a visual way.

Lean 5S Products UK

Bespoke tool shadow board

How to Use 5S Tool Shadow Boards.

Ok, that marker pen drawn round a hammer just isnt cutting it. You've decided to improve that department. So, how to use a 5S tool shadow boards?

In a production environment, one of the biggest competitive advantages is eliminating waste. What does this mean? Reducing waste isn’t just referring to reducing scrap. Waste refers to all actions and resources that aren’t value-added or required. Shadow boards are a good way to align lean manufacturing goals by eliminating waste.

Wasted Motion:

Planning and designing the placement of the actual board will reduce wasted motion. Studies shown by using time-motion practices suggest one of the biggest contributors to wasted time is unnecessary travel to and from tooling and raw materials.

Shadow boards enable operators to easily have the correct and standardised equipment close by for the activity they are doing. Bringing the users/ operators themselves into the layout and design process is a great way to find how they use and navigate their areas.

Simple visual cues such as a tool shadow board facilitate this very successfully.


Ease of Location:

Ensure you place boards for optimum ease for operator.

Proof if you have the correct location will be observed if equipment isnt being returned to board.Most humans work like water and usually take the path of least resistance. I may be doing some well organised companies an injustice here!! My point is to enable operators to easily think about their time and motion instantly without actually having to think about it. 5S tool shadow boards should do that visually for them.

Organised work area brings its own benefits.

A 5S program in which all the tools are within arm’s reach will create a cool and calm working environment.

The SORT stage of 5S removes all the clutter and unwanted waste from an area. By sorting out equipment into value added and waste, the 5S tool shadow boards can be an easy vehicle whereby standard tools are shown and reaffirmed.

Some questions to think when equipping a tool shadow board

1. Does it have the right tools on it?

2. Are there extra tools on the board that are not needed or used (remove these)?

3. Is the board conveniently located so that people can easily get the tool they want and put it back when they are done?

4. Do all the tools have shadows around them?

5. Are all tools labelled?

6. Did you consider using colour-coding to identify tools?

7. Did you create a Standard for the 5S tool shadow boards?

8. Did you use immediate correction if a tool is not put back when it is supposed to?

9. Do you use daily audits to make sure all tools are put back?

10. Are all people in the area trained on the proper use of the tool shadow board?

As the “Check” part of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) I’ll follow up in a couple of weeks to see if the tools are still there.

In our next blog we'll go through the best ways to attach tools to your tool shadow boards and the various options out there.

Have a great "Lean" day!

5S Floor marking tapes

When it comes to implementing 5S and waste reduction within your company, 5S floor marking practises are often overlooked.

Visual management of your workspace must incorporate the floor around fellow colleagues and visitors to your site.

Our range of 5S Floor marking tapes enable you to quickly and easily identify walkways, differentiate cells or departments, convey important health & safety instructions, warn of dangers and build a visual sense of order and continuous improvement.

5S Floor Marking Solutions


Lean-Line 5S Floor Marking Tape. SMOOTH FINISH.

50mm wide x 30m Roll

• Self-adhesive floor marking tape
• 1mm industrial PVC
• Bevelled edges for super-smooth transit
• Solid colour all the way through

Available in: Blue,White,Yellow,Green,Black,Red,Orange,Fluorescent Yellow

The Smooth finish alternative to the Lean-Line range allows material to be cleaned easier. Made without the embossed surface means no areas for dirt to be trapped.

Lean-Line® is the world's most effective and durable aisle marking system.It is the modern warehouse line marking alternative to resin and paint helping forward thinking companies achieve 5S floor marking status.

Why Choose Lean-Line®?

Installation could not be easier; simply peel back the liner and stick down. An applicator is also available to enable rapid installation of Lean-Line® aisle marking.

No Detailed preparation is required, unlike paints and resins, no fumes or solvents are emitted; the work area can be used whilst it is being applied, even in food preparation facilities.

No Curing time - you have the stripe you want instantly!

The plain colours are a solid homogeneous construction, if scratched it does not affect the colour.

Due to its extreme strength it will not snap if removed, enabling easy workplace 5S floor marking changes unlike paint or resin.

Available in 50mm, 75mm or 100mm roll widths, 30m rolls for long length application.

Available in a huge array of formats; rolls, shapes, numbers, letters, arrows and disks, we can even make Lean-Line aisle marking to your distinctive custom requirements.


Do you have sites in the U.S? Join us at WESTEC 2019



How does "5S" support the elimination of waste?

The most fundamental goal of Lean is to eliminate waste. Within the Lean toolbox are many ways to by which waste can reduced, and one of the foundational tools that almost all Lean practitioners use in this effort is 5S. 5S is in fact often the first tool that companies use when starting their Lean journey. Let’s look at each of the 5S’s to see how this system can help the overall Lean effort of eliminating waste.

1st S: Sort

“Sort” is the act of removing all clutter and unnecessary items, leaving only what is needed. When this is complete, work areas will typically have far less “stuff” than they had before. Because workers will spend less time searching through the clutter to locate needed items, sorting eliminates wasted motion and non-productive and non-value-added activity. A second potential waste reduction from sorting is in inventory. Because in Lean thinking inventory is considered waste, reducing it wherever possible is desirable. Often, workstations have unnecessary inventory of parts, supplies or materials. Removing this not only reduces the waste of inventory but the associated motion of searching through it to find things.

2nd S: Set in Order

“Set in order” creates a place for everything and puts everything in that place. This furthers the goal of reducing search time – now we can quickly go right to the place where items are stored to get what we need. More wasted motion is eliminated. Done properly, this step can reduce another kind of waste. While “Sort” eliminates unneeded items, “Set in Order”, done right, should bring needed items to the workstation if they were not already there. Without the proper tools or supplies to do the job, workers may very well have to leave the area to get them, thus introducing the waste of transport as well as more time lost to non-value-added activity.

3rd: Shine

“Shine” is cleanliness. Clean workstations are safer and more pleasant places to work. One important waste this can eliminate is defects – because a dirty workstation, or a workstation with dirty or damaged tools, work surfaces, or equipment, can result in quality defects.

3rd: Standardize

“Standardize” strives to make every work area follow a common system. Color coding, standardized storage methods, similar layouts, and the like will make workstations as similar as possible to each other. When workers are required to move from place to place, they will find the tools, parts and supplies in the same locations as they are used to – thus, the elimination of motion waste continues.

5th: Sustain

“Sustain” seeks to maintain the organization and cleanliness achieved by the first 4 S’s. This is not easy to do, but success in this area avoids a simple and possibly overlooked form of waste: having to repeat the work again. It is far easier and more efficient to continue small, incremental maintenance work on a 5S effort than to undertake a major clean-up and organization project.

As you can see, 5S is not just about making work areas “look nice”. There are many specific and measurable ways that 5S serves to eliminate waste.


The benefits of custom tool shadow boards

Custom tool Shadow boards are one element of 5S. Manufacturing is famous for different ideas on improvement. Lean, 5S, Kaizen, Six Sigma and more have become common practice in the manufacturing space. For those of you who are not familiar with 5S, this system refers to sort, set in order, shine, standardise, and sustain. How does a shadow board relate to 5S? It helps you visualise your waste, sort your tools, standardise your training, and keep organised. Let’s discuss how a shadow board can help your organisation.


The first noticeable benefit of tool shadow boards is that it is easy to see. This means that training is simplified. Getting new employees on board is often a challenge. With a custom tool shadow boards, the organisational system is explained visually. People respond to pictures faster than words on a label. Employees also respond quicker if their brain associates a colour on the shadow board with a tool. This is great for new employees, who are learning new processes. It also works great with a multilingual workforce.


Organisation systems remain vital to keeping your operation running. If an employee has to search for a missing tool, that takes time away from manufacturing processes. As we all know, time is money! With a shadow board, it is clear if someone is using a tool. At the end of the day, a blank spot on the board is a clear reminder that a tool is missing. A lack of organisation can cause a company to spend more on equipment than is really necessary. Reduce duplication of tools by creating a clear inventory. A shadow board will ensure that you keep track of items and eliminate money waste.


Part of lean manufacturing is having the right equipment and replacement parts. Tracking of critical parts ensures that manufacturing can continue if a breakdown occurs. With a shadow board, you can store replacement parts efficiently. If an employee uses one of the parts, it is obvious that another part needs to be ordered. This helps with accounting, but it helps track documentation for regulatory purposes as well. If all of the tools are displayed, it is also easier for maintenance to keep track of them. This means that calibrations, adjustments, and other preventative maintenance measures are less likely to be missed.


A cluttered manufacturing floor or warehouse is trouble. Studies show that clutter slows down manufacturing, leads to mistakes, and creates safety issues. Searching for a tool or equipment can completely stop a process. If it happens once a day for five minutes, over a month that time adds up! Hanging items on a board keep them accessible. It eliminates bulky tool chests and messy workstations. It lowers the risk that employees can trip on tools or bump into storage containers near their work station.


Lastly, there are many types of custom tool shadow boards. Some include tools, like wrenches or screwdrivers. Others hold safety equipment, such as face shields or Lock Out/Tag Out locks. Many organisations will create shadow boards for cleaning supplies, like brooms or mops. Regardless of your needs, there are tool shadow boards that can be acclimated to your equipment.



Dustpan & brush set

Cleaning Colour Coding for your equipment?

Its important when incorporating 5S into your lean initiatives that you use a cleaning colour coding system properly and in a way that suits your specific requirements. Its especially

We at Lean 5S Products encourage clients to differentiate their various cells , departments, areas etc with colours. We can then use the colour coding within all our designs so everything is "standardised" (one of the 5S's).

Here is some general information on the thinking behind colour coding.

The basic thinking behind Colour Coded cleaning is; you use colours to segregate the different types of areas you have to clean, Washrooms, Kitchens and General Areas and you then have colour coded cleaning equipment that only gets used in one area type.

Obviously if you have different colour cloths cleaning the toilet to the ones cleaning a food table, this reduces the likelihood that bacterial from the toilet will find its way to the table.

   What colours should you use?

No point choosing colours that you can’t get cleaning equipment for.  These are the colours that equipment is readily available in:



 Red, Green, Yellow & Blue



   What colour should you use for which area?

Nothing written in stone here and there are many variations used. The old BICSc universal colour code is the most popular and this is the one we would recommend.

              It is..

cleaning colour coding



  What equipment should you for cleaning colour coding?

The common sense answer is whatever equipment that you can easily find in the four cleaning colours. However you should at least colour code the following:-

1.       Mops & Buckets

2.       Cloths

3.       Dust pan & Brushes

4.       Trigger Spray bottles

5.      18" Hygiene Broom heads (Soft or Hard)


  Staff training

Whatever cleaning colour coding system you settle for, the most important thing is that your staff  know what colours are for which areas.

Best thing is to give them training and have a clearly marked poster up at eye level in the cleaning cupboard.

The bit that some struggle with is the washroom colours and segregation.

To make it clear, the actual Toilet bowl and the toilet floor should be one colour (Red preferably) and then all the other surfaces in the washroom  (the sinks, the partitions and the doors) should be another colour (Yellow in our recommended system)

Tool clip for shadow board

Best examples of tool hardware for a shadow board

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.

Tool hardware for shadow board

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.

Tool hardware for tool shadow 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.

Tool hardware: Tool clip

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.

Tool hardware: Food Grade Tool clip

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. are a good supplier.

Tool hardware for tool shadow board

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>


5S Foam shadow boards

Foam inserts added to Lean 5S Products range!

Following our continued success in creating stunning shadow boards, cleaning stations and production boards we now introduce a full foam insert shadow board service.

Using the latest scanning and CNC processes we provide quality 5S and organizational solutions.

Tools and equipment can now be properly stored and arranged to maximize the operators time and energies.

We can either provide a unique template for you to use to create your shadows or we can come in onsite and use the latest scanning equipment to create the design and layout of the tool shadows you require.

Choose from custom size and colour foam and with logos and title text on each.

Speak to one of our advisors today to see how we can support your organization.

5S Foam shadow boards  Foam Shadow Board for tools