A visual management system for tool cases utilizes the same inherent logic found in the chalk outlines on every handyman’s garage pegboard. On the pegboard, every tool has its place, and the outline shows exactly where it goes. An empty space means your neighbor did not return it after he begged you to borrow it.
This system works great in the garage, so why not in your traveling tool case? The use of specialized high-density foams allow for tight packing, and a two-tone foam color will visually highlight any missing tools. These designs also save space by allowing you to discard the individual boxes for sensitive meters and measurement tools and pack them directly in protective foam.
With the above foam options, it is also very easy to create one or multiple removable trays. These trays typically have straps on the ends for easy removal, and can be made from all foam, or a combination of foam and plastic. Labeling is another common feature added to these cases. Labeling can take the form of either a placard with an annotated picture of the fully packed case, or a small label attached directly to the foam adjacent to each tool. Placarding can be permanently affixed either to the exterior of the case, the interior of the case, or both.
Visual management systems can be built into a variety of quality hard shipping and travel cases such as Pelican, SKB, Parker, and Underwater Kinetics. For rolling cases, special care is taken to keep sensitive items away from the wheel wells. Systems can also be configured to fit inside soft cases, and can add structure and durability to the soft case itself.
Visual management has become popular in company field service applications. Both field service technicians and stores department personnel will be able to quickly verify that all tools are present before the technician leaves for a job, and when he returns. Companies using this type of system have saved significant amounts of money in both broken and lost tools.
Norry Liebman is a principal of South-Pak, Inc. , which has been in the business of Custom Cases
, and case interior fabrication for 30 years. Click this link if you want to see pictures of Visual Management in Tool Cases