What is Visual Factory?

Visual Factory is a lean manufacturing concept that emphasizes the need to place critical information right where it is needed.


The concept of visual factory, which is also known as visual workplace or visual management aims to put critical information in physical workspaces by using signs, labels, posters, displays and other media. These visuals help create a safer work environment and e sufficient to eliminate the need for repetitive training and ongoing supervision.

Visual systems and devices play a critical role in many of the most popular tools of lean manufacturing, such as 5S, Standard Work, Total Productive Maintenance, Quick Changes and kanban (production based on demand). In fact, Visual Factory serves as a key element for these initiatives, as it ensures that improvements are clearly visible, which can be easily understood and are followed consistently long after the kaizen event or rapid improvements are finished.

What are the bene ts of Visual Factory?

Visual communication tools offer a variety of substantial bene ts for productivity and safety in the workplace. Here are some of the main bene ts that companies can expect to implement visual devices in all work areas are mentioned.

Less waste and information deficits


Companies often are surprised to realize that only a fraction of their activities add value for its customers. It is not uncommon for 50% of the activities of a plant, or even more, is considered a waste!

One of the main causes of waste is the ITQ information; employees simply lack the knowledge necessary to perform their activities and efficient and effective way. To find the information they need, employees often lose valuable time searching, waiting, retrieving, reworking … or just give up!

In a visual factory, information that is critical to the manufacturing process is placed in the physical environment. Visual resources are placed just where they are needed and can be easily understood at a glance. By eliminating ITQ information, these resources

Visuals can generate signi cant improvements in productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, safety and more.

Visual help eliminate the lack of knowledge

Tabla beneficios productividad

Visual Lockout Procedure Front

With more than 78 million baby boomers are expected to retire in the next 10-15 years, manufacturing plants will face a serious loss of consciousness, especially in or technical services. Recently, a well-known manufacturer of products predicted that 70% of your maintenance staff will have less than 5 years of relevant experience.

Along with a decline in the number of graduates of technical programs vocacioneles, this loss of knowledge could be the worst scenario for the manufacturing base; those entering the labor force will not only have less experience, but also less training in basic than the outgoing generation of workers skills.

Visual Lockout Procedure Front

Practical training at work obviously be vital to fill this gap, but this is not the optimal solution. Visual systems can have a significant impact to help less experienced employees. Plants need to become more instructive work areas visualemente where information is strategically located in the environment to help employees learn and work effectively, and efficient and secure.

A visual can be something as simple as a line, shape or color bar; often these are created using tape, markers or paint.

Table productivity benefits

It is critical that the visual can be understood at a glance. The colors have the most immediate visual impact.

Signs, labels and cards
Signs, labels and cards are visuals that are also used extensively in manufacturing work areas. These visual communicate more colors, through the use of text and images; often they used in combination with colors to improve clarity.
Posters, graphic cas and quick lessons
One of the main goals of a visual is to extract critical information
detailed reports stored on computers or folders,
and post them where needed. So that posters with procedures cas standard graphic work, schedules, and quick lessons that are placed in work areas can be considered as visual workspace.

Banners and posters

There are larger visual as banners and posters; these can be placed throughout the plant as general reminders of policies Lean Manufacturing, their goals and key concepts.

visual displays

Large visual resources such as boards, are widely used in companies that have adopted daily management practices of lean manufacturing. These types of displays are used to facilitate communication between different miebros team, departments and shifts, and communicate information regarding the goals, progress tracking, status updates and plans between management and employees.

Visual factory and Lean Manufacturing

The visuals are support for lean manufacturing activities to reinforce standards and identify abnormalities. This is especially important during the initial phase of lean manufacturing, when companies use concepts such as 5S, Standard Work and Total Productive Maintenance to create standards and establish a basis for operational stability.

The visuals are the most effective way to enforce standards that are implemented during lean manufacturing activities.

Here are some examples of how visual have a key role in these three concepts base. Can you recognize the standard that is being strengthened or abnormality being selected?

  • 5S: 5S visual identity The storage locations suitable for everything in the work area also help to define inventory levels and reorganize equipment.
    Standard Work: Visual standard work help ensure that tasks always be done using the method more e cient, eliminating variations to reduce defects.
  • TPM: Visual Total Productive Maintenance tasks involve preventive and predictive maintenance, ensuring the team remain in optimum operating conditions with minimal faults. This visual system is particularly important in care programs by the operator, where no technical traders are those who are responsible for routine inspections and maintenance.
  • The visuals are even more critical in more advanced stages of lean manufacturing, particularly when companies try to implement a system similar to Kaizen improvements.

It is essential to create a culture of continuous improvement work in the Maintenance business environment today. However, it is important to note that an environment of Total Productivity, work on continuous improvement is also a working environment constantly changing. While best practices evolve, it will be a challenge to keep employees up to date with the new standards.

This is where you enter the visual; the visuals are a proven way to keep employees informed about the latest standards, while the natural tendency of people to return to old habits over time it is counteracted. The visuals can be placed at the point where they are needed to ensure that the latest standards are clearly visible, which is easily understood and that all adhere to them consistently.

Fundamentals = Operational Stability


Before attempting to implement a continuous improvement initiative Kaizen, it is important to ensure that you have successfully implemented the basic concepts of 5S, Standard Work and Total Productive Maintenance. Here’s how:
• 5S stabilizes your work environment.

• Standard Work stabilizes the manner in which the work is performed.

• Total Productive Maintenance stabilizes the performance and reliability of the equipment.
Together, these fundamental concepts create a base of operational stability with which you can make improvements. Remember, you can not improve if the bases are a mess!

What is Visual Factory?

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