Software for creating shop travelers.
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  1. #1
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    Default Software for creating shop travelers.

    I'm looking to create a very detailed traveler for my shop, step by step from receiving the material to shipping parts. The problem is the owner of my company is the man who writes up all the orders, he isn't interested in doing more work. So ide have to make it VERY easy. Are there companies that create specific need software? Something where he can just input information from drop-down menus pre populated with every option he could need? Or what other pre existing software exists for this? Thanks

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    What are you using for an ERP? ShopBoss and E2 have this pretty much built in. Personally, I'd just use Excel and create a basic template and be done.

    We have E2 but when the quoting department are breaking down op's to do the time study the spread sheet is saved then if we get the order the time study becomes the traveler.

  3. #3
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    If the purpose of a traveler is to make sure everybody knows exactly what has
    to happen as the job "Travels" through the shop/facility/external processes...

    Then having the guy that doesn't want to do more work actually do that might
    be a bad idea.


    His travelers might end up being like the ones we used to use where I used to work..
    Of course nobody paid attention to them, or looked at them, so they became very simple.
    Internal shop use only. Of course where they really needed them was up front where they
    took care of buying the material and the outside processes, but they didn't use them, and
    parts ended up going to finishing before grinding, or out to grinding when they didn't
    need a grinding, or to coating before MPI... Stupid stuff like that ALL THE TIME!!!

    Our simple traveler.

    1) Get material
    2) Make parts
    3) Ship parts.

    Might be best to let the owner do his thing, and have somebody else *That KNOWS
    what they are doing* fill in the rest.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-coder05 View Post
    What are you using for an ERP? ShopBoss and E2 have this pretty much built in. Personally, I'd just use Excel and create a basic template and be done.

    We have E2 but when the quoting department are breaking down op's to do the time study the spread sheet is saved then if we get the order the time study becomes the traveler.
    We don't use anything right now, well I think he's just using a PDF he made up years ago and just typing in simple info. I'll look into your suggestions. Thanks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    If the purpose of a traveler is to make sure everybody knows exactly what has
    to happen as the job "Travels" through the shop/facility/external processes...

    Then having the guy that doesn't want to do more work actually do that might
    be a bad idea.


    His travelers might end up being like the ones we used to use where I used to work..
    Of course nobody paid attention to them, or looked at them, so they became very simple.
    Internal shop use only. Of course where they really needed them was up front where they
    took care of buying the material and the outside processes, but they didn't use them, and
    parts ended up going to finishing before grinding, or out to grinding when they didn't
    need a grinding, or to coating before MPI... Stupid stuff like that ALL THE TIME!!!

    Our simple traveler.

    1) Get material
    2) Make parts
    3) Ship parts.

    Might be best to let the owner do his thing, and have somebody else *That KNOWS
    what they are doing* fill in the rest.
    While I agree with you, I don't foresee him relinquishing that responsibility. Perhaps, but he likes to be involved, we are a small company so i don't blame him. I'm not sure we have anyone else I could train to do it. He'd be happy to do it if it were easy enough, he wants better travelers as much as I do, plus a more detailed traveler would save time and money over time I believe.

    The traveler you described is EXACTLY what we currently use. It's terrible. What do you guys currently use?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRIAN.T View Post
    While I agree with you, I don't foresee him relinquishing that responsibility. Perhaps, but he likes to be involved, we are a small company so i don't blame him. I'm not sure we have anyone else I could train to do it. He'd be happy to do it if it were easy enough, he wants better travelers as much as I do, plus a more detailed traveler would save time and money over time I believe.

    The traveler you described is EXACTLY what we currently use. It's terrible. What do you guys currently use?
    I strongly suggest an MRP system is the answer to the problem. I've written about a few software packages at my website. I'm not affiliated with any of them but found all to be useful. You could also do a Google search for "machine shop traveler software."

    You have a shot at success since both you and the owner want better and more useful travelers. The only way to accomplish this is to have the traveler be a byproduct of the work being done to quote the jobs. As g-coder said in #2, preparing the estimate provides the information for the traveler when the order is received.

    I would always be very thorough describing the process steps. It helped me make sure I was considering everything involved as I quoted the part. It also gave the set up machinists and operators useful information for doing their jobs.

    Prior to MRP software, I used Excel spreadsheets for travelers. They were still very thorough and just as useful as those generated by the MRP system, but they weren't nearly as streamlined and were done only after we got the order. As you say, it creates more work.

    In short, the MRP software saved me a lot of time on quotes and had the added benefit of making a detailed traveler just a mouse click away if we got the PO. (There are many other benefits, as well). It wouldn't cost the owner anything to listen to a few proposals.

  7. #7
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    I know MS Access and other relational databases are mostly a thing of a past, but ....

    It is dirt simple to write one in Access, all you need is to establish what you want on your traveler.
    I did mine in maybe 20 minutes. 2 tables, one is for the part, other is the operations/steps.

    The part table has all the specifics ( part#, rev, part name, material, size, customer, etc etc, you pick and add whatever you need )
    Operation table has op#, short description, detailed description, location, machine, program name, qty to start, qty to finish, operator, time etc etc etc.... pick and add whatever you need.
    The link that ties the two together is a combination key field of the Part# and the Customer ( but you may feel free to link it any which way )

    Now, as for actually entering the data, you don't need to rely on a lazy person ( such as myself would be )
    What I do is whenever a new part comes in which has no traveler yet, I print out a few pages of blank travelers.
    Same as the real one, but completely empty.
    Then, I temporarily get off my lazy ass and fill in the part specifics ( p#, name material etc etc ) by hand with a pen.
    The rest of the stuff however gets filled as we go, and gets filled in by whoever is most appropriate.
    For ex.

    OP10 - Order material - Source/size/length/pc etc etc - Office - date
    OP20 - Receive material - inspect for damage, verify size, qty and material, file cert - Receiving Dept - date
    OP30 - Saw cut to 3.45" - Finish part length 3.35, need min 3.4" to clean up - Automatic saw - qty started - qty cut
    OP40 - Prep turn 1st side - Clean OD to 2", clean face, hold OAL to 3.4" min - CNC lathe - Pgm# 1234A - qty started - qty finished
    OP50 - Reorder material - Idiot who wrote op30 f#cked up and part is actually 3.85 long - Office
    etc
    etc
    etc

    In any case, initially all this is done in ink, and done by the people who are involved with the actual steps. Not just programmers and setup guys, but operators
    or the deburr guy even has the ability to put a note into the fields. They can even add a new, separate operation ( say check for straightness, deburr holes and finished edges or whatever )

    And then, when the part is finished and we all agree on the approximate correctness of the hand written notes, we just find a poor soul ( in my case it's often the wife )
    to enter the data into the database word for word, ( except for the qty and dates ) print it and file it with the B/P.
    Next time the job comes up, it's all there.
    If you want to change something this second time, then hand write it on the paper and someone at some point puts it in the putor. ( or not ... )

  8. #8
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    If you're looking for something that's free try ProductionOnline (ProductionOnline - The Free Cloud MES Solution). I've just started using it at my shop and it's alright for something that's free.


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