Companies around the world, from Nike to Kraft and down to your local grocery store, all share a common struggle: managing inventory and distribution efficiently. Business may slow down because storage isn't organized, or forklift drivers aren't sure which way to go. Every company could benefit from better organization, workflow, and safety.
One solution is floor marking tape, which is cost-effective, highly visible, and withstands the abuse of warehouse traffic.
Floor Marking, Explained
OSHA's standard for walking and working surfaces, 29 CFR 1910.22, covers floor marking. It states, "Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked," but doesn't get much more specific. Most floor marking decisions are left to individual employers.
Floor marking (or floor striping) is used around the world to meet several important needs. It can help facilities:
- Indicate where inventory should be stored
- Define loading and unloading areas for inventory Mark aisles, pathways, and hazardous areas
- Help passengers keep clear of warehouse hazards
- Direct the flow of traffic within the warehouse
Companies are increasingly viewing floor marking as a component of the 5S lean manufacturing methodology. Essentially, it helps the Set in Order step. Everything is organized and has its place, whether it’s a machine, a garbage can, or a tool cabinet. Floor marking can cordon these areas off or show employees where to find them.
While large companies may have more warehouse traffic, small companies may have complex and confusing warehouse layouts. Both can benefit from floor marking to alleviate potential bottlenecks. For example, floor marking tape can clearly mark areas for pallets. If you can’t tell where to put the pallets, you’re wasting time, taking up valuable space and compromising safety. With floor marking, you can organize the pallets based on their content or shipping destination.
Floor Marking Tape Benefits
Applying floor marking tape is quick and cost-effective compared to painted floors. Stenciling or painting on a floor is messy, and paint wears off fairly quickly. The time required to prepare for painting also limits access to those areas. Floor marking, by contrast, produces no fumes and needs no time to dry or cure.
All floor marking tape is not created equal. For heavy duty facility traffic, Graphic Products has introduced a family of floor marking supplies that can take daily punishment from vehicles, enhance safety communication, and direct people to exits and entrances.
How to Apply Floor Marking Tape
It's easy to apply floor marking tape throughout small and large facilities alike. Here's a quick walk-through:
- Prepare the floor’s surface by cleaning with soap and water
- Determine areas to be sectioned off including aisles, electrical boxes, storage areas, eye wash stations, fire extinguishers, garbage cans, recycling stations
- Measure area widths
- Determine floor marking tape colors and other supplies based on inventory, traffic flow patterns, areas needing specific boundaries for safety, height, available light in the facility and corporate logos.
- Load up applicator with floor marking tape
- Apply tape
- Clean with damp mop
Graphic Products can help make the application process quick and easy. Facilities can rent or purchase the PathFinder Floor Tape Applicator (qualifying PathFinder purchases include a free rental), which ensures smooth application and guarantees an effective adhesive bond with a heavy-duty roller system for added pressure.
Creating Printed Floor Signs
One indispensable tool for any warehouse, facility or supply chain manager is a thermal transfer printer to generate signs and labels that complement floor marking supplies. The DuraLabel line of printers from Graphic Products can even allow users to create custom-printed floor marking, as well as signs and labels for safety, efficiency, wayfinding and other applications. Printable Floor Marking Tape is the perfect tool for customized messages, including text and symbols, that supplement an overall floor marking scheme.
While industrial and warehouse environments are likely the most common floor marking applications, forward-thinking facility managers can also leverage floor marking strategies beyond tried and true environments.