Visual Factory and Visual Management
Visual factory systems are custom-built visuals that enable all people accessing any facility to understand the current status, assess problem areas, give safety precautions, indicate standard routes of access & egress, give real-time information etc.
Visual management can be achieved using:
- Visual workplace –
- signs and signage
- painted floor areas indicating walk ways, storage areas etc
- direction of flow indicators, particularly in the case of continuous processes
- identified equipment, materials and locations (labels, color-coded markings, position markers)
- A visual information system
- process documentation using standard symbols and language
- procedures in the form of flow charts
- Visual production control
- visual process indicators for various stages
- production status boards for various stages
- visual signals such as warning and go ahead lamps
- Visual performance measurement
- quality control charts
- production performance
- status of the factory
- Visual safety management
- safety warnings
- precaution information
A few live examples from an industrial unit:
- All the starting and stopping procedure for various utility equipments have been provided in the form of process charts using standard symbols and nomenclature across the facility.
- Points for inspecting various parameters during equipment operations have been marked with an “Eye” symbol indicating visual inspection, “Palm” symbol indicating check by feeling, “Ear” symbol indicating check by listening to the noise etc.
- Markings on the floor indicate the positions from where to take readings, check various other parameters and the arrow marks indicate the route to take.
- Cautionary signs kept at strategic positions indicate to the operators on what all PPE are to be worn before accessing specific places.
- Markings on the roads indicate the pedestrians walking space, likely vehicle crossing areas, warning lamps and hooters indicating equipment that are likely to move or turn etc.
- Annunciation panels indicating current production level compared to target, stoppage segment if any, brief reason for stoppage etc.
- Rest rooms daily check lists are with symbols of “Nose” to check for odours, picture of a “Wet mop” indicating the wet mopping process etc.
The benefits of visual management:
- Employee involvement and motivation
- Higher employee satisfaction and pride
- Open communication
- Avoids mistakes and skipping of process steps.
- Higher quality and productivity
- Faster decision process and corrective actions
- Standardising of operations
- Shorter learning curve
- Safer operations