Friday, June 09, 2006

Shadow Board?

I came across this example of a prototype shadow board at a Kaizen Report out I was invited to recently. This shadow board is extremely well done, professionally crafted and looks down right impressive. All items are veay easy to identify on the board. All that is needed are some hooks/holders for the items and then it will be ready to hang up. You may think this shadow board was an expensive endeavor or overkill however it was designed and manufacturing internally at little actual cost. So what is the problem from a lean manufacturing point of view?

It's too good! The photos were so well done that at first glance you would think that all items are present and accounted for. The principle of a shadow board to show a shadow of an item for quick and easy identification of a missing item. That is why a black spot outlined in the profile of the item along with a written label works best.


Unknown said...

Faith and Dianna added some lean thinking to our resource room - it houses printers, copiers, etc. To keep the stapler, hole punch, etc. on the work table, they found black/white clip art, enlarged it to the real-life size, and taped it to the table "shadow board" style. Not so perfect as to fall into the trap Mike noticed, but visual enough to send the message.

Karl On Sea (twitter: @karlonsea) said...

Hi -
Yep, people often struggle with the shadow boards. One of the best I've ever seen was actually in my daughter's nursery class.

Imagine the picture - you're a nursery teacher with a morning and afternoon class of 20 3-4 year olds. In their two and a half hours with you, they can make a LOT of mess! So you need to get them trained to put things away, otherwise you're going to spend all of your time tidying up and trying to find things.

So they use shadow boards, and get the kids to tidy up at the end of each class. Even though the children can't read yet, it works a treat - the big black shadow of a missing item is a clear visual cue to find the item and it where it belongs.

I'll post a couple of pictures on my Team Leaders Resource Library blog.

Now if you can get children who can't yet tie their shoes to use a shadow board to save time, imagine the benefits in a 'real' workplace!