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Floor Markings: Why are they so important in the workplace?

Clarity Visual Management LED projected floor marking solution advising "Caution! Forklift area"

Floor markings are a core element of a Lean and visual factory, as they instantly indicate the workflow and prevent accidents from occurring. In this blog we’re looking at why floor markings in warehouse or the workplace is so important and the different types of floor marking systems available.

What are floor markings?

Floor markings are used to indicate certain zones and locations within a warehouse or manufacturing facility. A typical example is colour coded lines and boxes marked out on the floor that indicate specific processes and actions, such as:

  • Loading areas
  • Unloading areas
  • Hazardous areas
  • The direction of travel
  • Pedestrian walkways

Colour coding can also be applied to other visual management assets such as cleaning stations and shadow tool boards, as this way both efficiency and safety are maximised.

What are the different types of floor markings?

Floor markings have come a long way in recent years. Originally they were usually just simple lines, although this type of system limits visual communication and doesn’t fully explain the many processes taking place within a busy factory. For instance, a more thorough floor marking system can include arrows, text-based signage such as warnings, and shapes that optimise the use of space, such as designated zones for pallet storage.

What are floor markings made of?

The most traditional type of floor markings use paint, which is applied to the ground as required. However, painted floor markings can chip away and fade very quickly, reducing their visibility to the point where they confuse rather than inform. That’s why Clarity has provided premium 5S floor marking tape for a number of years, which is designed so that it doesn’t stretch or break. It also means that the area can be accessed right away following the tape’s installation, unlike with paint which needs to be left to dry for 2-3 days.

In addition, thanks to extruded tapered edges, our floor marking tape doesn’t snag when driven over by a forklift, making it a long-term and sustainable solution. When the time comes to change your floor markings due to a renewed factory layout, the tape can easily be repositioned and doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue.

This type of floor marking system and floor signage is still very popular, especially due to there being a glow in the dark variety that works well for fire escapes. However, as factories move towards Industry 4.0 (which involves everything from advanced robotics and 3D printing to the application of AI and big data), manufacturing and logistics companies are looking for an even more innovative and responsive type of floor marking, which is where LED projected floor marking systems are proving revolutionary.

What are projected visual solutions?

At the time of writing this blog, Clarity has been providing LED projected floor marking solutions for only a few months, yet the uptake has been astounding. This truly visual method of keeping factories safe uses integrated sensors to project signage directly onto the ground, which is impossible to miss.

Gone are the days when floor signs had to be static and updating them required downtime and added cost, as this floor marking solution is truly dynamic. For instance, we recently visited a client’s site to install a comprehensive LED floor marking system, which includes a projected zebra crossing that’s replaced by a highly visible STOP sign as a forklift approaches. This is just one example of how the system can be used, as the designs of the signage and automation logic can be programmed to suit your exact requirements, as well as updated very quickly as your factory evolves.

LED floor markings and 5S

Though our floor marking tape is still very popular, it was difficult to fully incorporate 5S workplace organisation due to certain factors. Key examples include the constant movement of forklifts, which ideally require the floor markings to change countless times every day, as well as floor washdowns with acid causing gradual deterioration of the markings. With an LED projected floor marking solution, these problems are overcome instantly and nothing can get in the way of its visual communication.

We can visit your site to provide expert consultancy, install the LED floor marking system, and set it all up to show where things live, where and how movement takes place, and where staff and visitors should be aware of potential hazards. The system offers unlimited customisation, allowing you to have bespoke safety signage that will never become out of date or difficult to see.

Explore our wide-ranging projected safety solutions

This offering covers all of your requirements and enables you to create a Lean and visual factory with ease. The system can be integrated with your FLTs and barrier access points to trigger specific warnings, work in unison with your overhead cranes to display highly visual safety zones, and we even supply and install safety height collision barriers that use audio and visual alerts if a vehicle is too high to safely pass through a height restricted area.

What are the benefits of LED floor markings?

We’re sure by now you’ll be excited by the prospect of having LED floor markings installed as part of your commitment to creating a visual factory. However, here are a few additional benefits that come with upgrading to this fully interactive, responsive, customisable and updatable solution:

Elimination of operational blindness and near-misses: The symbol can either blink, pulse or shine non-stop, making it more visible. This smart activation eliminates operational blindness and reduces work accidents.

Change as often as required: As soon as an area of your factory, the general flow within it or a particular process is changed, the projected floor marking system can be updated to reflect this with zero disruption or downtime.

Strong return on investment: LED floor markings maximise safety for people, products, vehicles and equipment. The return on investment can be remarkable and the system helps you to run a more compliant and productive factory on a daily basis. LED floor markings also remove the need to continually replace or refresh worn-out and faded painted or self-adhesive floor markings. Therefore, other than the initial investment, the need for an ongoing floor marking maintenance budget is eliminated.

Ask us about visual factory design and fitout solutions

From projected floor marking systems to MKM safety barriers and a comprehensive design and fitout service, we’re here to help you create a Lean and visual factory that optimises safety, productivity, efficiency, communication and profit. To get started, contact our team on +44 (0)1482 296451 or fill in our contact form to book your free initial consultation.