Floor Markings, also known as Floor Tape or 5S Tape, are visual signals applied directly to a facility’s floor that convey information to people walking through the work area. Whether your company uses paint or tape, properly implemented floor marking can boost safety, improve organization, and increase productivity in factories, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other industrial workplaces.
Many facilities are incorporating floor striping as a key component of their implementation of the 5S Lean manufacturing methodology. For example, in the Set in Order step of the process, floor marking is used to cordon off areas where garbage cans, pallets, or materials are placed so that employees know not to walk into those spaces and risk getting tripped over the items or being injured by equipment.
Another common use of Floor Markings is to mark off specific areas where personal protection equipment is required — like hardhats and other safety gear. Using proper markings to indicate when PPE is needed can significantly reduce the number of injuries caused by forklift and pedestrian collisions.
Beyond the use of colors and shapes to communicate messages, some facilities are using a smart LED system that allows for the projection of dynamic floor marking symbols. These systems are designed to work in tandem with forklifts and barriers to trigger warnings, and even display a highly visible STOP sign when an operator attempts to traverse a dangerous area.
Regardless of how you use floor markings, it is important to ensure consistency across the entire facility and that color standards are followed correctly so that they convey the desired message clearly. In addition, these visual signals should be regularly cleaned to ensure that they are always clearly visible and effective.
When it comes to installing floor markings, the most common option is to use tape. This product is made of a durable vinyl material with an industrial adhesive that adheres well to the floor. It is available in a wide variety of colors, and some products include reflective features, glow-in-the-dark properties, and more. Depending on the needs of your factory, you can choose from a range of thicknesses and durability levels, with some tapes better suited for areas with forklift traffic than others.
For optimal results, you should install the tape after sweeping and cleaning the surface. Ensure that the surface is clean and dry before applying the tape, which should be installed over any existing lines on the floor. In some cases, this may mean that the tape is installed on top of existing painted lines, but in most cases, this can be done without affecting the integrity of the floor. Some companies use a specialized applicator tool to apply the tape in straight, precise lines. In other cases, the application can be done with a tamper cart or another piece of heavy equipment. Regardless of the method, it is always wise to test efficiency and effectiveness by running a few tests to see how well the plan works before making it permanent.