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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.

How to Use 5S Tool Shadow Boards. Lean 5S Products UK

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!