Tool management is an important aspect of manufacturing so as to ensure proper records of tools are uniformly organized and integrated. The records of tools on hand are fed to a database, filed and applied using a tool management system. This system has been used over the years but it’s through modern innovations and advancements that have made it a vital component in any production work. Perhaps the reason why most companies use this kind of system is because of the transparency it offers over their tools.
Not only does a tool management system able to identify work equipment by barcode, serial numbers or RFID, but it also makes it possible to know where a specific tool is located, and in what condition is it in.
One major challenge in handling equipment and machines, especially the mobile one is that, one minute it can be in the tool shop, and the next minute you find it in production, with a totally different person who took it from the tool shop. The chances of a tool being misplaced is as easy of blinking, and when it comes to manual tracking, the equipment or tool might never be found.
Knowing where a certain tool is located within the production facility is very important, and not only does it help with further application planning, but its current condition is equally important than to just know its whereabouts.
Features for an effective tool management system.
Tool Tracking System system the same as machine monitoring system have the same function when it comes to handling equipment, tools, and machines but the later is more centered on managing machines. A tool management system comprise of a database software and a physical tool crib where the actual tool information is recorded and where it is physically stored. One can not be effective without the other.
An effective tool management software must be able to,
5.Actual position and location of a tool
6.Kepp minimum and maximum inventory levels
8.Tool storages stations
9.Tool tracking cross-reference
12.Basic inventory information reports
12. Keep history information on the tools
With a good tool management software, you’ll need an equally efficient tool dissemination point, that’s a tool crib. Some of the common principles for proper tool crib management include
1.Qualified tool crib personnel
For the process of issuing and receiving of tools, you’ll need a dedicated individual or a team who’ll manage the tool crib. Relatively big companies have permanent tool crib managers because the level of production is quite complex and a constant monitoring of tools is, therefore, necessary.
2.Effective organization system
This is actually the tool management system. A good tool crib should be able to arrange and organize tools in a manner that will facilitate easy retrieval. There are various ways tools can be organized within a tool store. They can be organized according to their functionality, the job they perform, numbers, alphabetical, color, size among others.
3.Constant update of the tool database
Traditionally, records of tool and equipment used to be filed manually, this is where pen met the paper so often, and it wasn’t an effective method to keep asset information in some basic paperwork. However, things have changed, now the introduction of barcode labels make it easy to feed information on database system using a scan. This innovation has really helped to eliminate possible human data entry error.
4. Smooth Check-in and Check-out policy
In order to account for where tools, who picked it from the store, and who used them last and for what purpose, it’s necessary to have a check in and check out policy. Electronic systems such as the barcode system will make the process much easier and a breeze, especially when dealing with small equipment like basic cutting tools and
Lastly, a tool crib needs to be safe just like its prime function is to keep your tools safe. It should have limited access if necessary and only appointed individuals are allowed to access it. Security measures such as fastened locks and alarms can offer maximum guard.