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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIM View Post
    We are a small shop...but we have a ton of tooling.

    I started with...

    Where to start is the key.

    My $.02

    Figure out what you have,

    Figure out what you use,

    Make sure that tools are specifically called out for any given job/op.

    but...

    It depends on the nature of how you operate. As I mentioned in a previous reply, I got the task of organizing the tool crib for our milling department a few years ago. The boss purchased a Zoller, A DNC system, and some new Lista cabinets. I would like to note that the presetter and cabinets are exclusively for the milling department. The DNC serves Milling and turning, but the turning department is much smaller, and maintains their own tooling crib. They also have their own Lista cabinets. The milling tool crib was serving 16 machines at the time, it's up to 20 now.

    My staring point was a format for identifying each tool in a unique manner. Our milling dept cuts mostly Aluminium, Stainless Steel, some Graphite, and some Plastics. We only use a small number of insert tools. And a 3/4" endmill is a big endmill in this shop. For the most part we us tools with 1/8 to 1/2" shanks, most tools have a 1/8" shank and a small tool dia.

    These tools were given unique identifications based on: Tool Type (endmill, chamfermill, drill, etc.), Diameter, # of flutes, material and length of cut.

    For the most part, we run repeat jobs with proven out programs. These programs included a basic tool list; 1/2 endmill, 1/4 endmill, etc. Before we implemented the system, it would be up to the setup person to figure out which of the many flavors of 1/2 inch endmill to use, or 1/4, etc. As we implemented it we would standardize the tool list for any given job/op. This list is maintained in the zoller and in an Excel file maintained stored with the program. Ideally, there would be one database (likely the zoller) that stored all the info, and the excel files would reference that. As it stands, when one is changed the other needs to be changed manually, and I only control the zoller files, so I have to coordinate with another person to make sure that the excel files and zoller files match. It does put a firewall in place, and that has some value.

    Our system is predicated on the concept that programs are designed and controlled by the engineering department, a proven program is proven out with specific tools, and by standardizing these tools we can better track what is influencing the final product. Also, our system is only now becoming mature. It took a lot of tweaking along the way to make a broad concept fit our needs.

    Best of luck

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    did you ever wonder how a company like McMaster Carr manages over 600,000 different parts and can ship them to you the next day? Have you ever wondered at how few times the part is actually wrong and a mistake they made, not you? A few years back I was bitching at the guy behind the will call counter about the fact I couldn't convince MMC to ship me a new catalog. I was there all the time so he slips me a catalog and internal white paper he thought I might find interesting. There was some really good stuff in there!

    One of the goodies was how they stored materials by the space they required without regard for what they actually were. This made the most efficient use of the total space in the building. Second they purposely did not put items like bolts in order by size on the same shelf. The reason for this was that it is easy to grab a 2" long bolt instead of a 2-1/4" bolt because there is no visual indication that you are picking the wrong bin. However if you are picking a 1/4 x 2-1/4 bolt and what your hand brings back is a 1/2" socket you will likely recognize you got the wrong one. Their computer system keeps track of where everything is, and gives the pickers a bin location not a part number. You'll notice their part number is only descriptive for the first couple of characters then it is just the next available number for a specific part. All the exact part data is kept by the computer too.

    So I suggested this method to store tags used by a greenhouse company. They had about 400 varieties with a tag for each, but every variety was grown in a different quantity, worse yet they often got shipped what was currently in stock, and the remainder would get shipped later, with no space left in the right location. So I suggested simply putting the tags away in a set of shelves with each bin numbered and lettered as they came in. Then enter the variety name is Excel along with the bins that contained it. It was okay to start the next variety in the same bin if there was lots of room left, the bin number always indicated where to start. The list got printed and hung on the shelves. When the same variety cam in later it just got put away in any available space, and the new bin number got added to the end of the list of locations for a variety. This turned out to work quite well, it required less than half the space, which was important because they had already run out of space for more shelves. It also worked well with the immigrant workers that didn't speak much english. They found the right stuff by just pattern matching the bin location.

    Food for thought?

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  4. #23
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    The boss got a bunch of old/used Lista cabinets at an auction site...the same ones that sell CNC's. Lots of times the auctions are for entire shops, not just the machines, so you can get the accessories cheaper and in bulk. Just make sure to figure out how much it will cost you to ship it if you do bid on it. Shipping is usually a separate cost after you've won the bid. I gotta say old Lista cabinets work just as well as new ones, and clean up well.

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    I am a huge fan of the Lista concept but thanks for the Schaller tip. For our big shop upgrade we did get a lot of Listas and they've been fantastic, but sometimes you don't have the budget. So I'm into the whole "Lista Fanboy" cabinet where you make your own out of plywood with full extension drawer slides from Home Depot or whatever, and fill the drawers, as large as you can make them and mostly pretty thin - with whatever internal dividers you can. Like others here, I've not hitherto been aware of a source of any vertical sided boxes you could get in large numbers which were cheap.

    I would take issue with the idea that Lista style cabinets take up space in the sense that they are almost certainly the most space efficient method of storage. I know in our shop we brought in way way more tools than was there before but the new cabinets made the shop much much cleaner. If you have the good fortune to have a choice of cabinets, you can go as high as your people are tall. Our main hand tool cabinet is one of the 30" x 48" x 72" high boxes with about 15 drawers. It's directly across from the main workbench (2 man + occasional engineers shop) so is awesome.

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    We have metal cabinets at every lathe with tooling for each stored in or on the cabinet.
    Same for the mills.
    Works OK as long as everyone puts shit back which has and will always be a job in itself keeping tooling were it belongs.

    For years we kept consumables in Lista drawers in the office.
    My boss kept a stash in his desk of the most common things like TNMG inserts so when an employee says "Boss the box of inserts is empty"
    he had back up.

    When I stepped into his role we decided to go a new route to manage our consumables.

    We order 90% of out tooling from MSC. If you have an account with them and do X amount a year in business you get a decent discount and they will
    work with pricing if a competitor offers a product at a cheaper price.

    So as of this week we now have a vending machine for all our consumables.
    It will send a weekly report to my email as to what I am low on.
    Once it has been in use for a while I will have a better idea of what to set my minimum/maximum for each item.
    The machine is capable of being fully automatic, it sends a report to my tool rep and he fills as needed.

    I am gonna leave it on manual order for the time being. If I were to turn it lose today it would order $3000 of shit I really don't need this month, I
    am gonna spread it out over the next few months till I have the machine stocked based on our needs then kick it into automatic order.

    We just got it all loaded with our inventory today, that one machine has $12000 of tooling in it, one would have never guessed when it was rat holed away in the office
    just how much $$$$$ we had tied up.

    Now that my tooling is tracked electronically and with the benefit of getting most if not all tooling next day
    I can cut down on our overhead some.
    Now instead of having $200 tied up on inserts I do not use a lot of I can just have 4 of that tool ($48) and the machine will
    reorder and be filled by the MSC man weekly.

    Will know more how this is gonna work out in a few months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lastrada View Post
    You never did state a budget or I missed it. I know they can be expensive but, Lista cabinets or Stanley Vidmar cabinets are the greatest thing for tooling organization. If you are patient you can find them on craigslist or auctions or Ebay reasonable.

    Basically This:



    Plus a Brother label marker:



    Gets you something like this beautifully organized drawer:



    My old boss was super anal about organization, he turned a disorganized shop into something that was really great. It has definitely rubbed off on me. It's nice to know where everything is and it keeps expensive tooling from banging against each other.
    @lastrada thanks for the Lista/Vidmar shoutout, we really appreciate it! @SIM please let me know if I can help answer any questions about Lista or Vidmar cabinets.

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    Okay, we have a start,

    lista.jpg

    Two 11 draw units, lots of Lista dividers, two big boxs full of red Schaller bins and on my second Brother cartridge of labels, thanks for the direction.

    Lots of draws filling up fast...and when I'm done I know it will be time to rearrange.


    Saying these draw units are heavy is an understatement...

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    Damn good start!

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    Somewhat random stuff: Use the classifications and descriptions of stuff that match your common suppliers. This works for both tools and supplies.

    Without the budget for Lista-level lodging, most of my tooling and small supplies are migrating to surplus IBM (computer)card file cabinets. Full-extension heavy-duty drawers, with two removable full-length bins. Gray plastic bins from HF fit right in, for sub-division, leaving a little room for long skinny stuff, or small bagged items. (ziplock snack-size baggies, usually.)

    Cabinets and tops are quite sturdy, and will support nearly anything else. I've placed dust collectors and roll-around compressors on top with no problems.

    Labeling and logical layout are key, because it does one no good to have it and store it if one cannot find it when needed.

    Over the years, CL has supplied all I need for about $35/10-drawer cabinet. A few could use paint, though.

    I have other, wider 10-drawer style cabinets that have removable dividers, but not removable "bins". These are great for large-format items like that tablesaw articulated guard that's still wrapped up in plastic, etc.

    As the inventory and arrangement ebb and flow, tracking the labeling can be interesting. To that end, I combine two products: magnetic business card holders and whiteboard write-on material (actually, I use white-board write-on tape, 2" wide). This allows you to move labels with materials, evaluate arrangements, and update/edit contents as you approach the "final" layout. ("final" -- Ha!)

    Chip

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    We're using (6) Lyon cabinets , and about 25-30 shop built cabinets....
    Some of that is pigeon holes, most of it is smaller tools / tooling......misc.....taps to 3.5"....etc...
    The older Lyon cabinets are decent .the newer ones I'm not to impressed with.
    I've seen card catalogs , desks, toolboxes, shelves, etc....but I'm partial to a cabinet that set , so I can open and see the tools , tool spare parts , wrenches, inserts etc.
    I'm not looking all over for it its in one drawer..
    It's all by shank and type of insert...
    Type of end mill etc....

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    Flat file cabinets, the kind for large drawings, are great. The drawers are shallow, so you can lay everything out in one layer.

    You can lay out bits, endmills, mics and assorted tooling and be able to see everything at a glance as soon as you open the drawer.

    My dad took long pieces of wood, about 1" x 2" and drilled holes across the long way. Then he ripped them in half and laid them in the drawer. The end mills sit in the half-round cutouts. If you space the holes, you will have flats between the cutouts to write what goes in that space.

    Nothing against Lista, but if you look at lastrada's drawer, half of the space is wasted (it's twice as deep as it needs to be).

    +1 on the label maker!

    Steve

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    Have you considered an automatic tool dispenser like the Matrix? We have many customers that love them. Keeps inventory, orders automatically, create custom reports and with a secure login all tools dispensed are accounted for.
    Matrix Website

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    Great info on Schaller and label makers.

    For the most surface area/$ you can't beat the Harbor Freight tool cabinets

    26 in., 16 Drawer Glossy Red Roller Cabinet Combo

    If you need deeper drawers for bigger stuff hey have larger pricier ones too

    Getting small parts out of bins with sharp internal corners is hard; HF has these with radiused front and back corners

    24 Compartment Large Storage Container

    the latches are flimsy but not an issue for stationary storage

    As for making your own drawers, save time with these

    http://www.drawerdepot.com/cd_custom_combos.php

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    Huot Makes some nice organizers I see them all the time for about $70 Shipped from Zoro Tools.

    Huot 13500 Tap Dispenser Original 26 Compartments | eBay


    for Tool holders (Cat 40 ETC) and Larger Collets like my 3J I use a filing cabinet pop some holes out in a sheet of wood and place them in the drawers nice and neat looking

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    Working from my garage space is all crucial and needs to be utilized but I don't want the place to look cluttered either. Below a few things I came up with.

    My former work place was selling some good filing cabinets with ball bearing drawer slides.
    These are great for heavier tools and heavy items and utilize the space below the work bench. The wooden cabinet has my mig welder inside.


    Here is a system that has worked out well for me. This is a traveling storage rack loaded with my numbered drills and end mills in increments of 1/64ths. The storage rack hangs and slides on an inexpensive by-passing door track. It utilizes a corner of the shop that is not normally accessable.


    Now it is rolled out for easy access.


    Another drawer system I found used. Tons of stuff stored here. Most of my customers have a drawer with tooling and samples. Mostly shop supplies.


    Jim

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    I work for a job shop that I started for last Feb of 2014 and walked into a mess! I think the biggest thing and the first thing that helped me out the most was to identify and log every tool and insert that's in the shop.
    A simple Excel spreadsheet will do the trick as long as every tool has a proper description (LOC, OAL, Radius, # of flutes and so on). Using Excels "lookup" method comes in handy and will prevent you from ordering tools you already have.
    Labeling your cabinets, bins, and whatever else you store your tools in is also key. I used a simple label maker to generalize the drawers and bins and kept my turning and milling tools separate from each other.
    From there I take it one day and one job at a time and continuously update my inventory log. I also implemented setup sheets that also double as a job box inventory list. My job boxes only hold special tooling that may have been modified to fit the needs of that specific job. Standard stuff is always kept in the lista cabinets.
    After a year and a half the biggest lesson I learned in a job shop environment is that everyday presents new challenges and more tooling that needs to be handled and stored correctly. Day to day, week to week is always different from the previous. Working in an environment like that requires s lot of responsibility, integrity,obedience, and drive to stay on top.

    img_20150327_091631320.jpgimg_20150327_091635656_hdr.jpgimg_20150327_091646816.jpgimg_20150327_091734288.jpgimg_20150327_091740637.jpg

    Still a work in progress but it's coming along pretty good. We are in the works of buying a better presetter and tool holding as part of our setup reduction project as well as getting more cabinets.
    Hopefully this helps you a bit. You're obviously not alone on this one. Good luck to ya!

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    Ideal3675,
    Thank you for your suggestions.

    Cataloging...yikes. Maybe someday, just organizing and loading draws is a challenge right now.

    Can you do sign outs in your excel program? I'd like to know who took how many of what over what period. Right now its a help yourself which I know is a problem in the making. Setup guy pops a tool, just grab another, and another...no need to inform anybody there is a problem....till bin is empty and too late.

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    Default storage

    Quote Originally Posted by SDConcepts View Post
    I've seen some pretty ingenious storage solutions over the years. search craigslist, people are always getting rid of things you can store stuff in. I've seen people use the old library card catalog drawers for tool storage. you can find those almost for free, just gotta look around. harbor freight has bins you can buy cheap. get a bunch of those and put them inside a cabinet and label each one.

    I got a bunch of metal cabinets with slide out bins. I labeled each for different inserts we use and then as the drawer goes deeper you get a larger TNR and in the very back is extra screws and wrenches etc. took a good weekend to organize and its been working pretty well, need to label some more drawers as we got some newer tooling. my big problem was getting the operators to stop pulling the complete box of inserts and leaving it at their station. once a week I would do a drawer check and order inserts I saw we were low on. I try and keep at least 1 box of inserts in reserve.
    Cheapest I have found with great space are old blueprint cabinets. Draws not too deep, stack, and you can view everything in the drawers. 2 x 26 x 37 wide. Can not beat it. Smaller plastic bins fit inside, so you can organize all sorts of ways. Did I mention cheap? Can not beat 'em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIM View Post
    Cataloging...yikes. Maybe someday, just organizing and loading draws is a challenge right now.

    Can you do sign outs in your excel program? I'd like to know who took how many of what over what period. Right now its a help yourself which I know is a problem in the making. Setup guy pops a tool, just grab another, and another...no need to inform anybody there is a problem....till bin is empty and too late.
    You can try what my last employer did and have a sign out and in sheet for them to fill out (Tool#, Job#, Machine Center) every time they take a tool from the crib. Keeping people honest and following directions is a whole different story. Unlike the last place my crew here is very good at putting things back where they belong so i've been getting by without any sign out form. Does excel have a feature that will do what you asked? Maybe? My skills don't reach too far beyond using the lookup feature. https://www.ablebits.com/ the ladies at ablebits have helped me out a lot with Excel. Give them a try.

    I do keep my carbide locked up in a Supply Pro unit which is tied into my software I use at the moment to store my tooling database. This will keep track on who, when, and where that specific tool may be but until we can afford more cabinets everything else is kept in offline lista cabinets. Maybe in the future you can get with a distributor and lease a vending unit. We got ours from Jonas Service and Supply. They are very honest, reasonable, and understanding when it comes to your needs. Send me a PM if you want to learn more about them.

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    Default Oldies but goodies

    Being a certified diver (dumpster that is.) A few years ago the Co. next to us threw out a few of the old 5x8 and 3x5 card file cabinets (outside dimensions are roughly the same as a 4 draw file cabinet, maybe 6" wider and 10" deeper.). I think these must have been built in the 50's or 60's; I mean built like Sherman tanks, ball bearing slides and movable dividers in/on all draws.
    I think I probably herniated a few more disks jackassing them into my pick up! But man if you can find 'em they are great, I keep one stocked with HDW and I mean heavy stuff, draws glide like they are empty.

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