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How do you manage tools (stock,buying,inventory,etc...)

Andres-idea

Plastic
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
In my shop I'm looking to manage the tools we use for the CNC and create an inventory, so far we've done it in ms Excel but I think there are better alternatives, What I've seen so far is Siemens team center, ¿Is it actually worth it? if not, ¿what can I use to create inventories and databases of it? also what do you guys use/recommend
 
i use excel for feeds and speeds tool list but i use one of those tool vending machines where tools are reordered automatically i assume when any tools are below minimum set level computer creates a list that tool crib vendor checks every day and orders needed items and vendor fills tool vending machine at least 2 times each week Tuesday and Friday . the tool crib vendor handles the vending machine and software computer that in on top of machine which is on a computer network so they can check vending machine from the other end of the building. i am assuming it is part of the cost of the tools same as a human tending a tool crib the labor charge is figured into cost of all tools gotten out of tool crib
 
Our main tooling supplier gave us a vending machine to control tooling inventories. Required scanning a name tag to get in and check out tools. Uses min/max system to maintain correct inventory levels.
 
Our main tooling supplier gave us a vending machine to control tooling inventories. Required scanning a name tag to get in and check out tools. Uses min/max system to maintain correct inventory levels.

Also lets you know who's breaking stuff and/or taking stuff home to use.

Grainger and Fastenal also have machines.
 
Any logical answer can only be based on the size of your shop which at this point is unknown. If there's two of you, the answer is drastically different than if there's 20.

More info in, equals better results out..........

Later,
Russ
 
If you have a shop ERP system (something like Global Shop, E2, etc.) then you should be able to use that. The nice thing then is that you can both track inventory AND assign it to jobs; at least you can in Global but I would think all systems would be able to do it. As I recall, you create a new material type for something like a "tool" (i.e. not raw material), give it a storage location (we had Cabinet # - Drawer # - Bin # (e.g. 1-3-A4 would be cabinet 1, drawer 3, bin A4). This told the machinist exactly which tools to use and WHERE TO PUT THE DAMN THINGS BACK! This is more beneficial if you run repeat jobs but, even if you don't, it helps with reordering.

We would have some laminated blank cards that you wrote the tool name & location on, hand it in to whoever does the purchasing and then it just shows up. Since the tool is in the "system", you also know who the supplier is and what you paid last time (it can issue your PO as well).

The vending machines have a place and purpose as well, I don't mean to imply that the above system is necessarily better. Sometimes you need both.

The Dude
 
I used to fight material inventory because our system had us order the material to the job and then someone would have to go back and manually add it to inventory at the end of the job (left overs).

Now I buy material directly into inventory and then pick how much I need into the job. Makes it easier for us to manage.
 
In my shop I'm looking to manage the tools we use for the CNC and create an inventory, so far we've done it in ms Excel but I think there are better alternatives, What I've seen so far is Siemens team center, ¿Is it actually worth it? if not, ¿what can I use to create inventories and databases of it? also what do you guys use/recommend

You don't mention how many tools and consumables you are trying to manage. Are you trying to manage your tools to reduce setup time, or manage your tools to control inventory? There is a difference and the approach to a solution will be different. We weren't too concerned about consumables, but were motivated to find a way to reduce our setup time. Our customers were ordering in smaller and smaller quantities and we needed to find a way to reduce our setup time to hold our pricing.

Oliver B.
www.Tool-Wall.com
www.hydraulic-manifold.com
 
We are a shop with 60 people so I don't know how this relates to your specific needs. I got put in the tool crib about 2 years ago and it was a mess with no logical order for anything. The guy I replaced had been in here for about 3 years and would just go by feel/experience when certain items needed to be ordered. He would give an EDP# and quantity needed to the guy that did the purchasing and that guy would order it from whoever the item was ordered from the previous time. When I took over 2 years ago our tooling costs were at $60K/mo and steadily increasing. We had several vendors coming by once or twice a month bringing donuts, finger sandwich platters, ice cream, etc. for the entire shop because we were such good customers. We already had E2 software up and running, it just wasn't being used for tooling. First thing I did was use E2 to create part #'s and broke them down to TC for consumables and TD for durables putting EDP #'s and descriptions such as coatings, flute lengths, etc. for each part. You can also use E2 to set min quantities and reorder quantities. Once I learned what vendors were distributors for what brands, when I need to order tooling I use E2 to send out a request for quote to multiple vendors once or twice a week for all the various tooling needed. (It's usually 4 or 5 vendors that bid on the quotes.) When I get the quotes in, I go item by item and whichever vendor is low bid on each item will be awarded that item. I will use E2 to send out a P.O. to each vendor ordering the items they were low bid on. I should mention we have settled on brands we are comfortable with and the quotes have to be on brand specific items which levels off the playing field for the vendors, otherwise you'd have vendors quoting on no name generic tooling that they can get cheapest, which might work fine in your type of environment. Once the tooling comes in, I log receiving it in E2 and put it away. We don't use vending machines because we do not want to be tied down to a specific vendor, there again that might be something that works for you. Doing it the way I have established, our tooling costs have dropped from $60K/mo to an average of $25K/mo and every now and then will break $30K/mo. The down side is we no longer get "free" snacks and treats from the vendors.
 
If you don't have the volumes to get one of the automated vending machines or an ERP software system, you could take a look at Parts Dashboard. It's in beta release, but it's free. It allows you to build up a list of different "things", connect them as in a BOM (if you need), and store files with them. It has an inventory feature so you could use that to keep track of consumption. PM me if you want more info.

Toby.
 
I took over tooling inventory at the shop I work at and I implemented using bar codes and 4 vending machines from our vendor. The machines work great when they're set up correctly. When we first got them installed, most of our employees used it as a way to get more than what they needed "without anyone noticing." Which worked for about the first week, until we ran out of inserts used all over the shop. A quick look at the transaction history revealed people were stashing waaaay too many in their tool box. I know, I almost couldn't believe it either :rolleyes5:. The vending machines gave me a huge advantage in the sense that now they are restricted to what "should" be needed in a 12 hour period. Haven't had any more shortages and the world keeps turning. The only downside to them is if you have an IT department that likes to mess with things or set up restrictions or just be a pain in the ass all together. Since they all have to be tied to a central computer, if the internet goes down or you have a power surge, it causes some headaches to make sure it's all set up. For our tool holders and such, we use Vantage for our inventory system. I get a report every morning of things that are below minimum, last time they were purchased, price of each, all the things you'd want to know. Not sure on the cost of it, but it's a great program.
 
Excellent post.
My experience, which may not work for you (as in, this is an idea but not a challenge).

The current cost can likely be reduced another 50%, to == 12-15$/mo.
The ERP is not the point (in itself), its a billing/management tool.

The erp neither makes is expensive nor cheap.

We are a shop with 60 people so I don't know how this relates to your specific needs. ....
our tooling costs have dropped from $60K/mo to an average of $25K/mo and every now and then will break $30K/mo. The down side is we no longer get "free" snacks and treats from the vendors.
 








 
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