Lean manufacturing is fundamental for every organisation in the manufacturing, food production and retail sectors. Shadow boards are a storage solution for tools, supplies, or equipment to achieve an organised, fast-paced, and safe working environment.

Shadow Boards come in different sizes and are typically located in and around workshops, manufacturing spaces and rarely in an office environment. The key is to use them to raise awareness, collect intelligent information, and continuously improve your processes.

>> Advantages of using ‘the shadow board system’

Significant benefits derive from using a shadow board system. They include the following:

Systematic Storage

Given the number of safety padlocks, tags, lockout hasps, other lockout devices and the various technicians handling maintenance, repair and other production-related jobs, it is essential to ensure all devices for use in your facility are stored in an organised system. This makes it easy to find them quickly when required.


Knowing where to locate a particular lockout device saves valuable time, which would be otherwise wasted while looking around for a suitable device. Instead, the time could be used to service equipment or machine or increase production. Large manufacturing and food production companies have got a very tight space for delays. Hence strict protocols are followed. Workshop leaders turn to shadow boards and visual management boards for advice on how the processes are going – which are usually filled every so often from shift managers and workers.

Easily Traceable

Having assigned storage spaces for each tool or device in the system, it shall not take long to find that a particular device is being used or has gone missing. Missing devices need to be promptly replaced to ensure that the safety of the workshop is not compromised. Alternatively, an empty slot means typically that work is taking place.

Enhanced Accountability

Traceability leads to accountability, wherein this case, service personnel will need to clear the equipment, system or area for regular use and return the tools to where they were before they left the premises or the shadow board.

Efficient Visual Solutions

Visual solutions are more effective than any other medium of communication, even in not-so-agile manufacturing environments. Using shadow boards has proven to be one of the ways that you can facilitate faster manufacturing processes and professional interaction.

Usage instructions usually located alongside serve as a subtle reminder every time the device is being used. It is, however, suggested that shadow boards with colours and artwork are best suited to different visibility levels in the workplace.

It goes without saying…

Shadow boards are produced with branding, including logos of the company, names of workers, etc. Our professional design and manufacturing teams at Hardy Signs will combine every element that needs to be incorporated into the board.

We will also use the colour pallete of the company to ensure the boards fit in with the look and message of your company.

Shadow boards could be considered a long-term investment to small manufacturers. The materials we use for production are high quality, enabling you to use them for an extended period.

The same applies to large manufacturers; however, in their case, they tend to update their signage more often – due to several internal and external factors.


Help your team and company grow by becoming more agile. Tools are one of the assets for organisations, and their storage and maintenance is as important. Shadow boards will impact costs positively. Our team at Hardy Signs can take you from the initial survey to design, manufacturing and installation – managing the project from start to finish to take the headache off you.

About the company: Hardy Signs is a professional and digital signage company that designs, manufactures and installs bespoke signage products to a wide range of business sectors in the United Kingdom. The company has been awarded the manufacturer of the year in 2019 and 2020.

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