Refresh Facility Labeling Projects
BY CHRISTINE TORRES
Published August 11, 2020
These days, companies are doing everything they can to better manage inventory and throughput as expectations increase for quick order fulfillment. Efficiency is the overarching goal and is supported by proper communication and organization. When businesses add new equipment, replace old or damaged items, or need to reconfigure a warehouse to improve slotting, just as volume and velocity increases, it can wreak havoc on efficiency. With changes and expectations in mind, it may be time to refresh facility labeling projects that make a more meaningful impact.
Facility needs change over time. Continuously look for ways to optimize the operating environment and find better ways to organize the facility. This way, a complete facility makeover is never a daunting and time-consuming task.
Does the facility already have a 5S plan? Going through each step of the 5S method can help ensure the needs of the working environment and weed out what is not a benefit. Keep a consistent 5S color code scheme throughout the facility to make processes easier. Choose the right label supplies for the needs of the facility using effective 5S labeling.
Existing equipment has an impact on asset management. Whatever technology is in use, the right labels need to be in the right place. This includes long-range scanning, inventory slotting, cold storage, QR codes, vertical location, and more. Review label needs for different areas of the facility, such as bulk storage, flooring, co-bots, etc.
Labels also need to display thorough information for accuracy and be legible. Having the right labels helps optimize asset tracking to maximize asset lifespan. Combining barcode management with 5S packs a one-two punch for leveling up facility efficiency.
An issue with 5S for some facilities face is that they do not sustain the system well. Keep the labor force active and dedicated to meaningful 5S projects. This helps minimize worker downtime and keeps 5S from growing stagnant. Streamline work areas and organize the complete facility with the mindset of staying on top of change.
Tools, especially in lean manufacturing, help save effort and frustration. Signs, labels, and floor markings are excellent tools that go beyond text. The possibilities of keeping workers safe, compliant, and organized are endless when visuals are in sync and consistent throughout the facility. They should be easy to understand by any worker and contain accurate information. Use them to mark emergency equipment, PPE requirements, access areas, and locations of eyewash stations, as well as to provide important instructions.
Take a good look around the facility and see where to improve labeling, signs, and other communication to boost safety and efficiency. Be sure to keep signs and labels in step with facility changes. Products and equipment should not block signs, which need to be visible and easily understood by workers. Signs and labels are useful in accident and injury prevention, which improves the bottom line of any business. Train workers to understand workplace hazards, pay attention to visuals, and be mindful of ways to avoid accidents.
For more information about which signs are necessary and unique to a facility’s needs, download this free guide to Visual Communication.