Visual Controls: Applying Visual Management to the Factory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Visual Controls

Applying Visual Management to the Factory, 1st Edition

By Chris A. Ortiz, Murry Park

Productivity Press

180 pages | 39 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781439820902
pub: 2010-12-22
Hardback: 9781138464186
pub: 2018-06-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429253270
pub: 2018-06-28
from $117.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


An effective visual communication system can help manufacturing employees eliminate significant waste from daily tasks. From work-zone color coding to posted metrics, visual controls clarify and simplify the path to enhanced processes and profits.

Leaving little to chance, Visual Controls: Applying Visual Management to the Factory provides a detailed explanation of how to apply the Lean principles of 5S to convert your factory to a fully functioning Visual Workplace. It covers the range of methods that collectively compose an effective visual management system and clearly explains management's role in creating a Lean strategy to accomplish the transformation. This book:

  • Considers visual Kanban, material replenishment, and the implementation of a visual maintenance department
  • Details management's role in implementing and sustaining a visual factory
  • Covers the range of visual tools—including tool boards, shadow boards, metrics communication boards, and tool check cards

From plant layout and department setup to visual tools and parts, this book facilitates the comprehensive understanding required to initiate positive change through visual communication. The authors supply authoritative insight on how to hasten the required cultural changes, as well as step-by-step instruction for creating visual shadow boards. They also highlight time-tested methods for measuring progress and performance with improved accuracy.

Table of Contents

Importance of the Visual Factory

The Common Ground of Production Environments



Engineering Changes, Expediting, and Nonconforming Product


The Bottom Line—Making Information Accessible

Management’s Role

The Basics of the Visual Factory: 5S

Visual Factory Layout

Visual Tools

Visual Parts and Supplies

Visual Maintenance and Total Productive

Maintenance Boards

Visual Communication

The Basics of the Visual Factory: 5S

The 5S’s


Set in Order

Shine or Scrub



Let the 5S Event Begin

5S Day 1: Sort

5S Day 2 and Day 3: Set in Order and Shine

5S Day 4: Standardize

5S Day 5: Beginning to Sustain

5S in Maintenance Departments

Tips for Sustaining 5S

Create an End-of-Day Clean-Up Procedure

Conduct a Daily or Shift Walkthrough

Establish a 5S Audit Sheet

Create and Maintain a 5S Tracking Sheet

Develop a 5S Incentive Program

Visual Factory Layout

The Legacy of Factory Layouts

Visualizing Your Visual Factory

Actualizing Your Visual Factory

General Guidelines

Addressing Waste when Planning the Visual


Overall Sequence for Creating a Visual Factory


The Four Basic Conditions of Value-Adding


Value Is Being Added

Process Is Being Reconfigured (Setup or Changeover)

Planned Stoppage

Unplanned Stoppage

Visual Inventory

Feed Materials and Consumables

Purchased Inventory


Finished Goods

Laying Out Support Functions

Common Area

Direct Support Functions

Indirect Support Functions

Back to Your Future Factory Layout

Visual Tools

Visual Tool Boards or Shadow Boards

Tool Board Materials

Designing and Constructing a Tool Board

Personal Tools: Dilemma or Solution?

Tool Check Cards

Positioning Tools Overhead


Visual Parts and Supplies

Inventory Basics

When We Use the Term Inventory, What Specifically Are We Talking About?

Why Is Having More Inventory than What Is Needed to Support Customer Demand a Bad Thing?

Why Does Your Company Carry Its Existing Levels of Inventory?

Is It Possible to Drive Down Inventory Levels without Putting Production and Shipping Commitments in Jeopardy?

What Role Does a Visual Management System Play in Achieving a Reduced Inventory Level?

A Few General Points on Supply Chain Management

The Role of Manufacturing Software Systems

Current Global Trends

Receiving Inspection

A Tour through the Ideal Stockroom

Materials Common Area

Stockroom Entrance

Unloading Dock

Receiving Inspection Area

Main Stockroom

Stockroom Layout Considerations

Inventory Reduction Strategy

5S and Kanban

5S in the Stockroom

Replenishment: Kanban and Two-Bin Systems

Visual Maintenance and Total Productive

Maintenance Boards

The Role of Maintenance

Common Misconceptions

First Responder

Impact of Product Nonconformities

Total Productive Maintenance—An Overview

The Three Approaches to TPM

The Three Levels of TPM

Implementing TPM and TPM Visuals


Visual Layout for the Maintenance Area

Creating a Common Area

Common Area Layout

Maintenance Layout on the Production Floor

Maintenance 5S

Visual Tool Boards

Name Tags

Maintenance Consumables and Kanban

Overall Equipment Effectiveness

The Maintenance Manager

Visual Communications

Facility Performance


On-Time Delivery





Metrics Communication Boards at the Production


Production Control Boards

Communication Lights

Lean Procedures

About the Authors

Chris Ortiz is the president and founder of Kaizen Assembly, a Lean manufacturing training and implementation firm in Bellingham, Washington. He has been practicing Lean for over 12 years and speaks around the country at trade shows and manufacturing expositions. He is the author of Kaizen Assembly: Designing, Constructing, and Managing a Lean Assembly Line (Taylor & Francis, 2006), Lessons from a Lean Consultant (Prentice Hall, 2008), Kaizen and Kaizen Event Implementation (Prentice Hall, 2009), and Lean Auto Body (Kaizen Assembly, 2009).

Kaizen Assembly has been featured on the show Inside Business with Fred Thompson that aired on CNBC and CNN Headline News. Chris is frequently featured in manufacturing trade magazines including Industrial Engineer, Industrial Management, Collision Repair Magazine, Metal Finishes, Assembly Magazine, and dozens of other industry-recognized publications. He has been trained by the John Costanza Institute of Technology in “Demand Flow Technology” and by the Georgia Institute of Technology for ISO 9001: 2000 Internal Quality Auditing. He is also a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Murry Park is the founder of MRP ONE, a manufacturing consulting company located in Mount Vernon, Washington. As a 26-year veteran of manufacturing, Murry’s service has spanned roles from entry-level engineer to vice president and general manager to senior Lean consultant. His professional experience includes working with companies from various industries ranging from electronics to metals and aerospace to seafood and from small privately owned companies to larger publicly traded corporations across North America.

Internationally, he has observed and analyzed production processes in Argentina, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and Canada. Murry’s professional experience began in 1983 when volume batch processing was still considered vogue in American manufacturing. However, struggling with the realities of such an approach, he quickly recognized the merits of such new concepts as 5S, setup reduction, one-piece flow, and kanban, as he came to understand and apply them. Seeing immediate and dramatic improvements from every implementation, Murry became a lifelong student—and teacher—in the pursuit of sharing these concepts and methods with others. He has led countless improvement activities and has watched as serious value-adding enterprises embraced a culture of continuous improvement based on employee participation, thereby also enjoying the benefits that followed.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Sales & Selling
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries