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How To Easily Implement a Shadow Board In The Workplace

A custom shadow board organizes your workspace by creating the perfect place for every tool and visually indicating when these tools are missing. Mechanics and operators won’t need to search around to find the right tool, and workstations will be clean and organized since each tool can only be placed back in its appropriate spot. On your journey to lean manufacturing, consider introducing shadow boards as part of your next 5S project and get things organized.

Most lean thinkers recognize the value of organization as part of their lean strategy, and they appreciate how shadow boards can support this effort. However, the process of creating a shadow board for your specific components or tools can be daunting and too often costs stall the effort from going any further. If you’re looking for custom shadow boards, but aren’t sure what to expect from the process — how you find someone to make you a shadow board, how long the process will take, and how you get a custom shadow board that’s perfectly designed for your unique set of tools — this is the article for you.

While we can’t speak to the manufacturing methods of every shadow board supplier, we can explain our process. At Geolean, lean is at the heart of everything we do. Not only do we provide services and solutions that help our clients further improve their processes, but we ourselves are constantly working to improve how quickly and efficiently we deliver our products to our clients. Our shadow board creation process is no different. After experimenting with virtually every method and material available, we’re excited to say that we have partnered with OSAAP to offer the most efficient and cost-effective shadow board creation processes on the market. Here’s what that process looks like:

Let’s Make a Shadowboard!

Step 1: Choose Your Light Panel

You can choose from three light panel options to capture images for your custom shadow board. Choose a portable option in either soft or a hard-cover case, or a full-light station for superior images of each of your tools. We recommend either case option for smaller orders, and the full-light station for larger, more customized options where you might need a number of shadow boards, each with a unique variety of tools. Each case comes with a pre-programmed Cannon camera to perfectly support the image capture process.

Step 2: Take a Photo of your Shadow Board Tools with Light Panel

Start by arranging your tools on the light panel shipped to you by the Geolean team. Arrange the tools as you like, you can always change the arrangement in our software later. When your tools are laid out on the light panel, take a photo using the camera included with the light panel, and according to enclosed instructions.

Step 3: Measure Drawer or Area for your Shadow Board

Once your photos have been taken, be sure to measure the drawer or case you plan to store the tools in. A single sheet of foam can be up to 36″x76″, and standard foam thickness options are 30,60, and 90mm. It’s important to take these measurements precisely, so you can make a custom shadow board that’s perfect for your specific set of tools.

Step 4: Customize your Layout

With your images and measurements in hand, you have the choice of designing your own shadow boards with the OSAAP Blue Shadow CAD software or uploading your images to a web portal and utilizing our design team to create your design.

Choose the material color that’s best for your application and simply scan the photos into the Blue Shadow design software. Adjust the size, depth, and location of each tool, and more. You can even add finger grips, a logo, or laser etched part numbers.

If you’re choosing to upload photos, your Geolean sales representative can help you create your own personal web portal for free. This is a great option if you’re planning to make a few shadow boards with a wide variety of tools.

Step 5: Complete Your Order and Receive your Shadow Boards

Once you’ve finished designing your shadow board with BlueShadow3, simply coordinate with your salesperson, and they’ll get back to you with an estimate. Once you place your order, you can move on to your next project. We’ll use the BlueShadow3 file to build a shadow board to your exact specifications, and we’ll ship it out to you as soon as it’s complete.

And that’s it! In five simple steps, you can have a custom shadow board designed to fit your specific tools. Thanks to our partnership with OSAAP and their free BlueShadow3 software solution, making a shadow board is easier than ever. Just take a picture of your tools, design your ideal shadow board, and we’ll make it happen.

Ready to make a custom shadow board of your own? Let us know! The Geolean team is happy to walk you through the process in detail and get you the shadow boards you need for your facility.

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