Optimizing Facility Navigation: Mastering Wayfinding Systems
July 19, 2022
Optimizing Facility Navigation: Mastering Wayfinding Systems
July 19, 2022

In the quest for a more efficient and productive workplace, integrating waste-free production tools like Kanban, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), and 5S is crucial. These methodologies provide a solid foundation for enhancing workstations, leading to significant gains in efficiency and quality. However, a common challenge many businesses face is sustaining these improvements beyond the initial implementation phase.

The answer lies in the realm of visual communication at the workstation. Pioneered by Gwendolyn Galsworth, the concept of visual workplace communication aims to "convey critical task information at a glance, without a single word." This approach begins by identifying information gaps at the workstation and then employs visuals to bridge these gaps effectively.

Identifying and Utilizing Visual Tools

In a manufacturing environment, precise selection of supplies is vital. For example, a cable assembly task may require different types of sheaves, varying in material, bushings, and tolerances. Visual Workplace tools enable easy differentiation of these components through labels or color codes, making identification effortless and error-free.

Empowering Workers with Instant Information

The visual workplace empowers employees by providing quick access to tools, supplies, and procedures right at the point of use. This can be achieved through various means, such as:

  • Shadow Boards: Outlining tools and equipment on a shadow board for instant recognition.
  • Labeling: Marking critical locations to guide proper procedure adherence, ensuring tasks are executed correctly.
  • Mobile Workstations: Creating stations that can move between areas, reducing downtime and accelerating task completion. These stations should also leverage visual communication tools like labels to aid workers in station identification and organization.

Incorporating the 5S methodology further enhances the efficiency of these stations.

Communicating Efficiently Without Words

A visual workplace ensures that accurate and current information is readily available to employees when and where they need it. This eliminates work stoppages due to questions and reduces errors caused by incorrect, outdated, or missing information.

For instance, in a gearbox manufacturing process, it’s crucial to know if a gearbox has passed quality assurance tests before transferring it to another department for assembly. Visual communication can address this need. Manufacturing workers can mark completed gearboxes with a green label and incomplete ones with a yellow label, providing immediate status recognition at a glance.

For personalized support in industrial safety products and expert advice on signage and workplace safety, turn to EZSecur. Discover more at www.ezsecur.com.