Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Modern Tooling Control Methods

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5

    Modern Tooling Control Methods

    My company has decided to support our tooling control initiative which has sparked a debate as to the best way to go about it.
    We have machines that use a specific set of tooling that is swapped out, inspected & touched up weekly or every other week depending on usage.
    One school of thought here is that a position should be created specifically for being in charge of the tooling area. They would do the inspections on the tooling and any polishing or sharpening that may be required. They would also ensure that the inventory counts are properly maintained and re-order tooling once a minimum quantity level is met.

    The other school of thought is that the days of the green visored tooling person are in the past and that tooling should be strictly by an automated ordering system based off of a predictive tool wear schedule. The concerns with that are that it leaves tooling inspection and maintenance in the hands of operators and Maintenance Techs when they could be doing other things (like keeping are old machines running!). Another fear is that with leaving the inventory counts in the hands of everyone it will degenerate into things not being properly documented and vague responsibilities leading to things not getting done.

    So what is your opinion on tooling control?

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    821
    If its the responsibility of everyone, its the responsibility of no one. We're all supposed to pick up trash in the parking lot when we see it too, right? So, how's that working for you?

    An "automated ordering system based off of a predictive tool wear schedule"? So, if something falls through the cracks, or 12 dozen of a tool you don't need are ordered, its "the computer's fault"? Excellent way to avoid responsibility. Ever wonder why they still have pilots in jets that can fly themselves?

    I'm not a machinist, and I'm definitely not a tooling person, but I say assign that final responsibility to someone, take away their green visor, and give them a bar code reader and a computer based tracking system to help him do his job. But the job is NOT the responsibility of the computer. Its the human's responsibility.

  3. #3
    Project Engineer CCR5600Design's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central USA
    Posts
    128
    Old school is cool. Let the toolkeeper wear a green visor.


    Ron

  4. #4
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    My personal stance is the same as yours (including the green visor).
    I even used that same quote, "when it's everyone's responsibility it's no ones responsibility."
    I think that the "opposition" wants to tie it to our inventory control system but the reality is that our inventory control
    system is not set-up to handle this. Not only that but we can get a lot more life out of our tools just by simply polishing funnels
    or sharpening punches. The problem is that the methods aren't standardized and even if they were, with so many people responsible it's hard
    to enforce anything.

  5. #5
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by bnorton View Post
    We have machines that use a specific set of tooling that is swapped out, inspected & touched up weekly or every other week depending on usage.
    Whoever does the above, maintains this or one of the zillion similar...

    http://www.fastenal.com/web/services.ex?action=FAST5000

  6. #6
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NE IL/WI
    Posts
    7
    Tooling Controls .... there are several different theories but, the basic inventory control methods just simply don't apply to, what I call, a "living inventory".
    Your key comment above is, "predictive tool wear". I'm REALLY curious about how you're going to control this aspect without having the skilled knowledge to establish a reasonable tool life. I should ask, do you have this in place now and do you use the delta wear as a measurable metric?
    Really, it all comes down to dollars. You can probably make a decent business case for either method however, the real world isn't as easy to predict.
    The argument of having your techs and operators responsible, just opens up the question about training, responsibility, and competency.
    Have you considered an (the ugly outsourced word) option with your tooling supplier(s)?
    We're currently moving from a cellular, multi-point of use system to a centralized. It's not implemented yet however, we're having the same issues of inventory control on long-lead expen$ive tooling and how to resolve this issue without increasing our on-hand ($$) or sacrificing quality.
    I'm also curious on YOUR take.

  7. #7
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    Depending on how much leverage you have I would try to get your tooling vendor to keep an emergency "tool" on hand so the worst case scenario is that you have toovernight it. If you don't have enough clout this may not be an option in which case you either have to suck it up and have to tooling on hand or deal with it when you run out and need one to run production. This seems similar to the law of conservation of energy. There is always a bag, either you are holding it or your vendor is holding it, there doesn't appear to be a way to simply get rid of the bag.

  8. #8
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    Does anyone have any experience with one of the many tooling inventory management software's and can give a recommendation?

  9. #9
    Android
    Guest
    If your work force were just a few say 6 guys the "pride in their work" may keep them vigilant and the tooling tip top, but if you have more the "I'm just one of the crowd so I can get away with it" might be more likely to prevail.

    The tool keeper could always do other tasks when his primary role was complete, some one to help with inspection maybe ?

  10. #10
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NE IL/WI
    Posts
    7
    I've used CribMaster in the past. Decent software, easy to customize and has good reporting options.

  11. #11
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5
    There are only around 6-10 guys that are involved with it but without a proper system it's too easy to let it slip.
    They are good guys and do take pride in their work but there's always another emergency and things like proper tooling
    control slip through the cracks. Not to mention we don't really have a proper system to begin with.
    We had a meet discussing this the other day and it appears we want to tie our ordering of tooling to the BOM with fractional
    tools needed per part. This will help our re-ordering but it still doesn't take care of tooling once it leaves the inventory shelf.
    We still need to track movement as well as state of repair and PM that has been done.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •