TURNING THE TABLES WITH MD5
Staff canteens are normally bustling places but thanks to lockdown measures many have recently been silent places. As the workforce returns though, there’s signs of things getting back to something resembling the new normal. There’s signs too of the need to observe measures designed to keep the returning workforce safe.
Southampton based Elmtree Signs was contacted by one of its clients in the locality with a brief to produce some bespoke measures controlling the use of tables in its staff canteen. The brief proposed a number of potential solutions but none was deemed workable or reliable enough for the purpose. The team at Elmtree dug into the problem and proposed a very elegant solution to the issue.
What the company has produced tells visitors to the canteen which of the canteen’s tables are sanitised and therefore ready to use. The solution is highly visible and communicates its message at any distance within the canteen. Once a table flagged as available has been used by the diner, the system is simply ‘turned over’ and now announces that the table is off limits until it’s sanitised again by the canteen operators. Like all simply brilliant ideas, it’s brilliantly simple and it just works rather than ‘works, just.’
The units’ construction is simple but durable and rugged. The base into which the working part is fitted is made from 19mm thick foamed PVC. It’s big enough not to be tippy, and it has a pocket routed into the top surface into which the second component of the system fits snugly.
The bit that does the hard work of communicating the message is made from 50mm square box-section aluminium capped at its ends. That makes it chunky and immune to the battle-rash it’ll pick up when it’s dropped, bumped or whatever. The aluminium is hidden under a mini-wrap made of laminated Metamark MD5.
The MD5 print carries the device’s message loud, crisp and clear, and instructions for using it. Red uppermost means there’s a wait before the table can be used. Green means it’s ready to welcome diners and do its job.
Elmtree Signs’ simple innovation points the way for distancing measures in the wider sense. Instead of looking like a meltdown emergency measure from a nuclear disaster site, it’s elegant and not in the least intrusive. That elegance doesn’t in anyway diminish the message though or impinge on the device’s effectiveness.
Brilliant work team.