Toolroom/ Machine shop tier boards
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  1. #1
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    Default Toolroom/ Machine shop tier boards

    The management want us in the tool room to produce a big white board on the wall style chart that easily shows the management what the toolroom work flow is looking like. They said it must be

    - Quick to read
    - Quick to update
    - show all open jobs
    - All the hours spent on each job
    - Who spent what hours on what job
    Sections for
    - machine tool maintenance
    - Machine tool repairs
    - continuous improvements
    - new equipment list (fingers crossed)

    I’ve seen these things at my previous companies but some older toolmakers are still amazed that they make pens that write on walls...

    So my question is, can anyone share a image of their own ‘tier boards’ that are supposed to work in a similar way? It would be great if I could show some to other toolmakers so they have an idea of what management are looking for. Even if you have black out certain sensitive info?

    Thanks
    Luke

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    I can't answer your question directly but might be able to give some helpful input. My assumption is that you're in a larger company (reference to "management") and that you're possibly in a mode of "solution (whiteboard) looking for a "problem" (tool room always late/behind on work?, too many hours?). Whiteboards can definitely be a good solution to a problem but the analysis should be done first. If you have a technology (software) that is managing your shop, then maybe there's a solution there (e.g. a dashboard display that your management could access).

    I'm just headed out the door so limited time, but I would urge you to open up some communication with them that gets to the root of what they're wanting/needing. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation that only gets worse (if you're already short on resources and have add on maintaining a whiteboard). My first assessment is that they're asking for too much. If they want to know "how it's going" on a quick basis, try to make it as simple as my simplest example: When I walk into a restaurant (new to me or been there dozens of times), the first thing I look at is how many people are in there, and then how many are looking at menus (ordering), just chatting (waiting for menus or their meal) or eating. If the "gauge needle" is towards lots of waiting, I'm often out of there (depends on my urgency). If it's the other way (lots of people eating) then I usually stay. I can make this assessment in about 5 seconds and, if I was a manager of that restaurant, I could use it to determine how business was going. If the manager made the employees maintain a whiteboard on all of that, think about how much extra labor it would add!

    Sorry I couldn't provide exactly what you were looking for but I hope this helps. I also understand (completely) if you're in a situation where they're not giving you much choice. I probably won't be able to look again until late tonight or tomorrow morning but if there's follow-up you can give me, I'll try to help you (but also ok if you're just trying to come up with something that will "shut them up").

    Good luck,
    The Dude

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    Hi,

    Yes this situation is quite predictable, I should of given a background first.
    We are a toolroom of 6 guys which is part of a injection mould factory. We maintain old tools, build some of our own and also import Chinese mould tools and correct them (as they are always wrong poorly fitted/shut out or just don’t work).

    We have recently been moved under a different manager who is trying to sort stuff out. He has come to the conclusion that everyone has the opinion that the toolroom is always late on projects. But no one can seem to prove it. he has taken the stance of giving us the benefit of the doubt.

    The other side is that we are building up a case to ease off importing Chinese tools, this is because the general feeling is that we spend so much time and money correcting Chinese tools that the initial tool cost plus the correction costs is more then just going to a reputable uk or western toolmaker.

    So bearing in mind those two problems we are at the stage of data collection in order to prove or debunk those ideas.

    This is where the white board comes in, and yes you are right they are asking for a large amount of data to be recorded on a white board which isn’t that practical,
    I’ve suggested more digital routes like improving our databases that we already update when jobs are completed to also record hours and resources which can easily be manipulated by management to present the data in charts and such.

    So this is where my question comes in, what how and where do everyone record all this data like other companies do?

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    Data for making business decisions definitely shouldn't live on a whiteboard. An SQL database is the best place. If that can't be done, at least an Excel file.

    That said, a board to track current status can be pretty handy, and everywhere I've used or installed them it's been a magnetic whiteboard. So you can print stuff out and stick it up there, write on it during a meeting, hang up one of those plastic pocket things -- the world's your oyster. You can print out previously mentioned Excel file and place it on the board.

    - Quick to read
    - Quick to update
    - show all open jobs
    - All the hours spent on each job
    - Who spent what hours on what job

    Sections for
    - machine tool maintenance
    - Machine tool repairs

    - continuous improvements
    - new equipment list (fingers crossed)
    Everything in bold should be tracked somewhere else and just printed out to put up there. I assume you guys have some sort of MRP/ERP system that you are holding most of that data in, maybe you need to break down who spent what time and that takes a little effort.

    Continuous improvement ideas and wish list can probably be tracked on the whiteboard, with larger/longer projects moved to a document that whoever is running the project keeps updated, and just a note on the board.

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    Yup, electrons applied to "jobs".

    You get a print out of the job operations with a bar code next to each operation
    (general repair might just have 1 single operation)

    when you start on a job, you wand the barcode (or key in a number)
    and the computer will show management that your "on the clock" on that job.
    When you send the job to the area, along goes the paper, and more "clocking in/out".

    Chinese re-work will be shown correctly, as those jobs will all log rework time.

    no whiteboards needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke.kerbey View Post
    Hi,

    The other side is that we are building up a case to ease off importing Chinese tools, this is because the general feeling is that we spend so much time and money correcting Chinese tools that the initial tool cost plus the correction costs is more then just going to a reputable uk or western toolmaker.

    The last time I had injection moulds made I used this company.
    Technical Moulding Projects - Toolmakers to the Plastic Industry


    I remember one of the managers saying they were travelling to Malaysia to have some of their moulds made and visited regularly to check quality.

    They do a lot of prototype work in their UK toolroom, last time I was there they had sample mouldings they had done for car manufacturers, a razor blade company, and some medical mouldings, They were working on spectacles that had and adjustable lenses that could be adjusted to different prescriptions by winding some adjuster on the frame they were moulding the lenses and frames onsite.

    The Lexan mouldings I had made worked fine.

  8. #7
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    Here's some more input based on what you answered (and I support the path Pariel is headed down with this as well). Here's a possible solution that tries to give you the right data/proof and also helps you:

    1. Break your processes down into families. Sounds like they could be: China "new tool" upgrades, production repairs, engineering change orders, and maybe you also make some tools? Each of these has some common & unique steps that could be outlined/grouped on the board.
    2. Figure out a way to get critical info for each open job/project: Who's assigned, status, due date, etc. Don't track stuff like maybe "hours worked" if you're not going to use it for something else.
    3. I do like magentic white boards, you can place steel-backed labels to make things easier to update or assign.
    4. Use colors where appropriate. If a job is "stuck", put a red flag with something like "waiting for engineering" or "parts on order", etc.
    5. Have some codes to indicate things like if parts are waiting to be made on a tool in a repair status.
    6. Put it in a place where it's easy to see maintain (you can set up a camera if remote managers/engineers want to see it).
    7. Make it valuable enough to have a stand-up "tool box" meetings for your guys and only talk about the things that matter (stuck jobs, parts waiting on the tool, etc.).
    8. When a job is closed, keep a tally of completed on time or not. There's your data.

    This is just an example, do it in a way that works for you and be ready to modify it as needs change.

    Good luck,
    The Dude

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    Do a database or spreadsheet and have it on a cheap large monitor where anyone walking by can see it. You can use either to automatically generate graphs and charts too. I've seen this done in shops to show continuously updating charts of spindle up-time, scrap rate, work throughput, etc.

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    I like all of the ideas here, especially the ones referencing ERP systems. All jobs get originated someplace other than your toolroom, right? Job number? Customer? New job? Rework? Don't use a white board. Use a very large monitor hanging next to the entrance to the toolroom. That is what we did. We had a 65 inch monitor on the wall and could be seen immediately when you walked in the door. All jobs are updated in real time when jobs are clocked in and out and when jobs are completed. New jobs get added when a work order or job number gets generated. All data is in real time. If machines are down, that gets logged too. This also sounds like a lot of the work is being assigned to you when a lot of it should be at least started in the front office or by your managers. With a white board, there will always be a lag when data is not updated. This isn't the 1960's. All the info you need is already on the company system somewhere. Use it.

    Paul


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