5S Optimisation & The Difference Between Painted Aisle Marking & Line Marking Tape

Friday, August 15th, 2014

5S OptimisationA 5S solution in your workplace, be it factory, warehouse or any other premises, means a more efficient and organised working environment. This is not only for your products, but for your employees too, as having a working environment that meets 5S standards increases productivity, and reduces errors.

For those who do not have a 5S solution in place, firstly, you may ask, what is a 5S solution? Well, a 5S solution is a methodology, developed in Japan, initially using a list of 5 Japanese words, seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke, to help organise your workplace to achieve success. Once these words have been translated, the 5S solution has five primary phases to help you create exactly what I explained above, and those are;

  •  Sorting ( Seiri )
  •  Straightening ( Seiton )
  •  Systematic cleaning ( Seiso )
  •  Standardising ( Seiketsu )
  •  Sustaining ( Shitsuke )

Sorting helps eliminate waste in the process. By placing certain elements in storage or discarding them can mean less clutter, and free up valuable space for other items.

Straightening ensures that everything you require is in easy to access areas, and are clearly marked to avoid confusion.

Systematic cleaning will ensure a clean and tidy workplace, and then you base everything upon that moment when you have finished cleaning, and use strict discipline to ensure it is not reverted to its former state, or does not ever reach an unsatisfactory level. Keeping a good standard ensures when/if spills do happen, they dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Standardising means you can make sure all work processes will become consistent. This can vary greatly depending on the industry.

Sustaining the five practices above gives your business new regulations in the way it operates, and sustaining these principles ensures that the workplace will not revert to old habits.

There is also safety, security and satisfaction, but these should all be a bi-product of the initial 5, and an organised, efficient workplace, is a happy, and to reiterate, safe workplace.

Line marking is vital in a warehouse when it comes to meeting 5S standards, as ensuring areas are marked correctly makes things organised and safe, a major component of the ‘straightening’ process.

What line marking you choose however requires consideration; as how you operate in your workplace will depend on what decision you make on this.

line marking paintThe main line marking products you can find are self-adhesive tape and paint. Both are a very efficient product in terms of clearly organising your workplace, however, paint does come with its drawbacks. Painting lines requires a sufficient amount of downtime, which isn’t so bad if you aren’t constantly using departments, though I think these days those luxuries ( if you can call them that ) are rare, as being cost efficient requires squeezing every bit of productivity out of each area or facility. From stencilling, to actual painting, drying time and possible fumes, this can waste precious time, and end up making the process, although worthwhile, more costly than necessary.

Self-adhesive tape carries more benefits out of the two in most tests; applied instantly, and ready almost immediately, in most cases, with a short cease in production. In some cases, surface cleaning is required to ensure an efficient bond between adhesive and surface, which makes this the only reason for downtime, albeit at a much shorter extent than paint, as depending on the time of year, this could be literally minutes from cleaning to application.

Line marking applicators are also available to aid in the application of tape, helping maintain straight lines, while applying the line marking tape quickly and effortlessly. Paint requires masking, or the use of very expensive machines to achieve the kind of finish that line marking tape gives.

As mentioned previously, depending on how your premises operates will help ascertain which product is most suited to your need. For those who rarely change their operation, paint is a candidate as that downtime required to put the markings in place will only rarely disrupt operations, but if operations are modified frequently, then not only does it mean repeating the process again, removing the old lines adds time on to an already time-consuming operation.

Line marking tape can be removed quickly and easily, with no breaks in the material, so removing it is even easier than applying it, though reusing it would most likely not be possible due to the second bond not being as strong, due to loss of adhesion by actual removal of adhesive or contamination from grit or grease.

Durability can be an issue with paint, as over time, heavy foot traffic can erode a floors surface, wearing away paint and making it look messy, or require touch ups, which means more downtime.

Most line marking tape is durable, developed over time to withstand heavy foot traffic, and in some cases, constant forklift traffic, receiving heavy scrapes and ‘scuffs’.

Line marking paint has definite positive points, and in clean environments whose operation does not deviate too much, it could be a possible consideration when it comes to optimising your premises to meet 5S standards. Line marking tape ticks many more boxes however, with it being durable and easy to optimise your premises with, combined with efficiency of application and durability in most demanding business environments, particularly warehouses and factories.


Flame Retardant Anti Slip Tape Standards

Friday, July 11th, 2014

fireOne of our major requirements that we often get asked about is how flame retardant our anti slip material is and whether it generates smoke when burnt. Standards for flame retardancy have greatly increased over the past few years. Back when we first developed our initial flame retardant certified anti slip material (in 1997) it was only required for aircraft cockpit use, in today’s modern environment these type of tests that we need to adhere to have transcended into use in warehouses, vehicles, passenger seating areas, furniture etc. Our modifications to achieve the results required include doing nothing (a lot of the plastic films that we use already contain chalk fillers as part of their constituency), substituting plastics, adding specific flame inhibitors and even removing all plastics completely. At present our most popular flame retardancy request is for ISO11925.

For more information please contact our office and we will be more than happy to discuss it with you.


Adhesive Technology to Combat Low Surface Energy

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Heskins H3510 Keying Agent
I have discussed in a previous post on adhesive technology, low energy surfaces and the problems that they create for any self-adhesive product. A low energy surface is quite simply one in which it prevents a liquid from sufficiently wetting out and achieving a bond, the simplest example is a car being cleaned. Clean a car and water will run off conventionally, wax the car then see the difference; the water will form globules that rest on the paintwork. The globules form as the water cannot ‘wet out’ and gain purchase.

All self-adhesives have a liquid base, they need to wet out to gain grip. There are many different types of low energy surfaces (LSE) but the most common are polypropylene and polyethylene. There are solutions to adhering onto an LSE, but for the most difficult, our H3510 is the ultimate solution. H3510 comes in a very small bottle, only a small amount is required, the fluid effectively changes the surface energy level allowing for a normal product to be adhered onto the substrate.

For more information, or to order, please contact us via phone, email, Live Chat or the contact us page on the site