Phone GWP Protective - 01722 416 440
01722 416 440
Mon - Fri / 08.30 - 17.00
Email GWP Protective -
[email protected]
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Foam Shadow-Boards.

Never lose important tools again

Specialist tools and equipment are expensive. Losing them is very expensive! If your business takes expensive or specialist equipment out on site, then you are probably already aware of problems caused by loss or theft.

One solution is the use of tool control foam. Also commonly referred to as shadow board foams, these foams can quickly highlight if a tool is missing.

01: Key Benefits of Tool Control Foam.

Avoid losing expensive equipment and costly delays to projects using shadow boards

Shadow board foams, are in effect, the same as the protective case inserts commonly used when protecting products or equipment during transit. The main difference – and defining feature – is the use of dual layers of foam of differing colours.

With a bright coloured foam as the base, a layer of darker (usually black) foam is laminated over the top. The recesses for the individual tools are then routed or cut through these two layers of foam creating a high-visibility pocket.

Once the tools or equipment are in place, this brighter base foam layer will not be seen. However, as soon as a tool is removed to be used, the bright colour is clearly visible, even “at a glance”.

5 ways that tool control foam can reduce your costs

  • Quickly highlights if tools are missing, preventing loss, theft, and the expense of replacements
  • Visual aid to field engineers or staff on which tool to use, boosting their productivity
  • Can help to avoid costly delays caused by operatives arriving on site without the required tools
  • Safety: eliminates potential for tools left inside machinery to cause catastrophic damage
  • Protects tools during transit, preventing collision with each other & cushioning from shock etc.

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What GWP Protective customers say

I was very pleased with the quality and appearance of the cases and inserts, and would specifically mention the high quality engineering of the case foam. GWP spent many hours designing, re-designing and speaking to us to absolutely nail the requirement, which has been achieved and then some.

Adrian Sorsby | Balluff Field Sales Manager

02: Business Advantage.

So how can tool control foam improve my business’ operations?

There are a surprising number of benefits associated with using tool control foam.

Firstly, and most obviously, tool control foam will aid the prevention of tools becoming lost or left behind when working on site. This can be particularly problematic when a vast range of hand tools and equipment are being used on site – it is surprisingly easy to leave a tool behind having completely a complex job.

Kit needs to be replaced. Projects can be severely delayed. Replacements must be sourced. And this all leads to considerable expense to your business as well as delays for your customers.

Tool control foam shadowboard
Tool control foam - also referred to as shadow-boards - use a bright colour foam underneath a darker layer to create a quick visual clue as to whether an item is or isn't in its specific compartment

The foam also acts as protection for the tools. It prevents them from damaging each other during transit (again, surprisingly common if tools can collide into each other when being transported).

This prevention of loss and damage in turn eliminates the need (and cost) of replacing what can often be expensive, high value items.

It also means that delays to projects and jobs caused by not having the correct tools can be avoided. The cost savings of this alone can be very significant.

Free Guide: GWP Protective 15 considerations for protection

Download: 15 Crucial Considerations...

…when protecting your high value, fragile or business critical tools, products or equipment. Find out how you can eliminate transit damage and reduce costs too

03: Applications / Images.

Image gallery highlighting typical applications / uses for shadowboards

View a selection of foam tool control inserts and shadow boards, plus their typical applications. Please click the individual thumbnails for a larger view.

04: Improve Productivity.

Tangible improvements to productivity and efficiency

As well as helping to identify missing tools, shadow board foam inserts can also be used to identify which tools are required for a specific task or job.

By logically laying out the tools within the foam, for example in order of use, it can both simplify and speed up specific procedures.

Although this will only result in a small increase in productivity, the effects over the months and years the foam will be in use can be significant.

Tool control foam
As well as helping to avoid lost items, tool control foam can also be used to help improve the efficiency of your field or service engineers

Besides the foam colours and the layout of the tools, another feature that can also help with identification is that of laser etching.

Tool part numbers, sizes or other relevant information can be engraved into the foam, next to the recess for the specific tool. This is particularly useful if several tools appear very similar visually.

05: Critical Applications.

The difference between life and death

Whilst this is somewhat of an exaggeration in the vast majority of cases, foam shadow boards were in fact originally created to prevent “foreign object damage” to aircraft and military vehicles.

Foreign object damage (FOD) was a term originally used in aviation to describe when damage to engine or other mechanical part of the aircraft is caused by an object that shouldn’t be there.

It was found that, frequently, the FOD in question was a tool that had been left behind during routine repairs or maintenance.

Foam inserts
Foam tool control inserts can be added to almost any exterior case (or packaging), instantly enhancing protection for your equipment

As a result, shadow board and tool control foams are extensively used in the aerospace sector. However, they are increasingly common in automotive, defence, manufacturing and even medical disciplines.

Essentially, any business or organisation that uses hand tools, consumables or equipment on site can benefit.

Free Guide: GWP Protective 15 considerations for protection

Free Guide

15 crucial considerations for protecting your items

Get your free guide highlighting the 15 critical points to consider when protecting high value tools, products or equipment.

06: GWP Protective.

Over 25 Years experience in manufacturing successful tool control foam

GWP Protective can offer your business all the benefits of over quarter of a century manufacturing tool control foam and other Plastazote foam inserts and products.

You will be allocated a knowledgeable and experienced advisor and design expert to guide you through the entire foam design and production process, and to make sure your exact requirements are fulfilled as appropriate.

Engineered product protection
GWP design your foam shadowboards using the latest software and tools, before they are manufactured in a modern, well equipped production facility

Your shadow board foams will be designed using the latest CAD software. They will be manufactured in a clean, modern production environment using advanced CNC equipment. And they will be delivered when you need them, to wherever you need them.

The aim, from concept through design, sampling, manufacture, testing, delivery and ultimately in use, will be to always exceed your expectations.


Find out more about tool control foam / shadow-boards

If you are suffering unacceptable levels of loss of your tools or equipment, or simply want to improve the efficiency of using your tool cases, GWP can design a custom shadowboard tailored to your exact requirement.

Please get in touch to find out more.

Phone GWP Protective

01722 416 440

Mon – Fri 08.30 – 17.00

Email GWP Protective

[email protected]

Email a case / foam expert

Can shadowboard tool control foam help prevent loss of your expensive tools?

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GWP Group - Innovators in Protective Packaging
Contact Information:

GWP Protective. Unit 1 Hurricane Close, Old Sarum, Salisbury, SP4 6LG, GB

TEL: 01722 416 440 | FAX: 01722 416 420
EMAIL: [email protected]

Business Hours: 08.30 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. Monday to Friday

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