Maintenance Tooling Shadow Boards

Maintenance Tooling Shadow Boards

At VMT, we believe that only the tools needed for the process need to be visually stored on our Shadow Boards. But, in a complex and busy maintenance area where there is a demand for varied and bespoke workflow, the need for a comprehensive kit of tooling is paramount. VMT ensures that our Shadow Boards’ design layout is logical, ergonomic, and makes the best use of available space.

The Shadow Boards shown here do have a large amount of hand-tooling stored. But the visual nature makes this storage much more efficient for day to day use than, for example, the tools being stored away in tool chests. It is immediately apparent when a tool is in use or missing as there is a shadow in place of the tool.

Changeover Shadow Boards

Shadow Boards

Changeover Shadow Boards

Are you looking to decrease changeover times, reduce errors or support standardised work in your operations? VMT can support with Shadow Boards for vital tooling, parts and equipment, no matter how complex.

VMT are market leaders in supplying tooling and equipment shadow boards such as these for Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery. We have expertise in ensuring that complex changeover parts and equipment are securely, efficiently and visually stored away.

These Visual Management tools are vital in removing wasted time gathering equipment in a changeover process and support SMED (Single Minute Exchange Die) processes.

Safety Archway

Safety Archway's

Safety First – VMT Safety Archway’s, a Visual Management safety solution. 

VMT recently supplied our automotive client with this Safety Archway sign. 

Our forward-thinking client shows with this Visual Management solution that Safety comes first at their facility, and they wish to show their team members that they have a part to play in their own and everyone else’s welfare.

Walking through the safety archway cannot fail to impact the thinking of the person walking into a facility and might be enough to prompt raising a near-miss concern or taking action after spotting a safety hazard.

Visual Management War Room & Obeya

Visual Management for the shop floor.

Obeya & Visual Management for the Shop Floor

VMT supply our clients’ with Obeya & Visual Management solutions to best support their unique needs and environment. This Visual Management centre for Metrolink Manchester puts the visuals out on the shop floor where the performance and organisational information can be seen and acted on. 

VMT can supply Visual Management centre’s that allow provision for large screens. We also carefully include client branding in our Visual Management centre’s where appropriate.

Visual Management Tool Drawer Foam Inserts

Tool Drawer Foam.

Tool Drawer Foam is an excellent Visual Management tool for businesses and operations that use a mix of tooling daily that needs to be stored away when not in use.  

Visual Management Tool Drawer Foam helps to:

– Ensure only the correct tooling is stored.

– Support a 5S process by setting a standard to be sustained.

– Save time wasted searching through the clutter and unorganised parts and tools.

If you are storing tools and equipment in drawers or cabinets and would like to take a Visual Management approach to save time and support a 5S approach, get in touch!

Train Maintenance Shadow Boards

Train Station Visual Tool Storage

It was great to visit Northern Rail Newton Heath train maintenance depot (TMD) yesterday and see the small part our bespoke Lean Shadow Boards are playing in ensuring tooling and equipment is always to hand for Train Maintenance and Exams.

We are looking forward to continuing our work with Northern as they begin work in their new Shed for the new CAF stock they are introducing. 

VMT supplies Lean Visual Tool Storage solutions for tooling and equipment to ensure no time is wasted searching for equipment or parts.

Back-Lit Visual Management

VMT - Back-lit Visual Management Boards.

VMT now offer our Lean Printed Visual Management Boards with the option to be supplied backlit. Backlighting the boards helps to:

-Draw attention to important company information.

-Give immediate & simple visual feedback of overall health or performance, which is now more important than ever.

-Make a showcase of Lean Visual Management.

Salute the NHS

Visual Management for the NHS.

VMT Supporting Salute the NHS.

VMT has recently been doing their part in supporting the effort to feed vital NHS front line workers with nutritious, balanced and tasty meals.

We donated our time and products to supply a Visual Management solution that helps the volunteers organise day plans for gathering the donations for re-distribution.

New project set-ups like this can benefit significantly from Visual Management boards by providing:

-A platform and focal point for team discussion.

-A forum to raise and discuss issues and concerns.

-A visual “one source of truth” for data and plans that need to be communicated to a team.

VMT – Guide to Visual Management Board Design Pt. 1

Visual Management whiteboard installation for JCB

VMT’s Guide to Visual Management Board Design Pt. 1


At VMT, we have successfully been working with and for our clients to design Lean Visual Management boards that have a positive continuous improvement impact on their businesses. A well designed and implemented Visual Management board communicates if an organisation or team is having a “good or bad day”. It provides a focal point for team meetings and briefs, helping to foster a winning team mentality. We believe that there are crucial elements to Visual Management Board design that can help boost the success of the boards.


  1. Develop the design with the team

Engagement is key to Visual Management board success. To give Visual Management boards the best chance of smooth implementation and long-term prosperity, it is vital that the working teams feel like they have had input into the development and creation – they are invested. When a new way of working is imposed on people, it has a higher chance of creating negativity and suspicion towards it. Time spent jockeying people into keeping a board up to date is better spent completing value-added improvement activity addressing the issues highlighted on Visual Management Boards.


VMT offer our clients the opportunity to receive a full-size paper print of a board design to trial with the working team ahead of the full order for a full Visual Management Board. This gives the team the chance to “red pen” the design and buy into the concept by offering their input.


  1. Simplify the layout

Visual Management board layouts need to be easy to understand. Difficult to interpret company information can effectively become wallpaper as it is always there but never really looked engaged with. Within a short time frame, it should be possible for anyone to interpret where in a business they are standing, what the area is responsible for and how the area is performing. A board stuffed full of graphs might look impressive, but it is unlikely to encourage an organisation’s people to stay up to speed on company performance.


VMT develop Visual Management Board designs with and for our clients’, and we will happily question a design if we think it is possibly trying to pack too much information into one layout.


  1. Drive Continuous Improvement

We are often sent Visual Management Board designs to develop for our clients with an area on the board dedicated to ‘Issues’. This is a great start; however, without some agreed ownership and action triggered by the issue, all that is created is a problem parking area with an ever-increasing list of problems. If the list isn’t cleared, a perception may develop that there is no point raising issues as nothing is ever done about it.


When we see these problem parking areas without ownership and action, we suggest that our client add action (specific & achievable), owner & completion date sections. This keeps issues moving through the problem parking areas and drives continuous improvement.


  1. Keep information relevant

If the information displayed isn’t current, it isn’t relevant. Data from three months ago isn’t reflective of recent performance or trends; things could have gotten significantly better or worse in that time. A few views of a board that hasn’t been recently updated will lose their appeal to attract future opinions from the individual


VMT recommend the use of a ‘Board Owner’ and ‘Last updated’ box in the headline area of the board to serve two primary purposes: Firstly, It gently encourages the owner of the board to keep the board up to date, and secondly, it tells the viewer if it’s worth spending some moments to digest the information on offer. If the last update was a week ago, then the individual might want to wait until a more recent update is shown.


  1. Display positive information

A working team that can see they are performing well against the targets will feel like part of a winning team. However, some successes can’t always be measured with KPI’s and metrics. One-off actions or completed projects can have a fundamental effect on company success but have no visibility. The achievements should be displayed for all to see, reinforcing the winning team philosophy and encouraging workers to implement actions & continuous improvement beyond their day to day work.


By creating a dedicated space to write in individual and team successes manually. These should be acknowledged during stand-up meetings and briefs around the boards. This is particularly beneficial on a team level board where a mix of information such as KPI, trend, and issues is also on display 

Business Principles.

This may be Lean or Continuous Improvement methods or other.  Show your teams how the business “works”.

Visual Foam Control – Cases

Foam Control Tooling Case Solutions

Make efficient working a habit.

VMT Foam-Control Tooling Case solutions ensure that tooling isn’t left behind before travelling to or from a different production line, site or even Country.


A quick visual check of a toolbox or case will indicate whether all items are accounted for and ready to go.