We are currently in the process of taking acquisition of our first tool vend system and have been working closely with ISCAR and RD Barrett's to create the layout for the full system. The tool vend system will not only take control of all our consumables which we use on the shop floor, re-ordering as when items reach a minimum set point and controlling all calibration equipment to help aid us with our ISO 9001 status.
This has taken some time to organise as we have taken a database of every tool that is in the factory which is used on multiple machines, all different types of inserts and insert grades that are used have been implemented, all drills, taps, threading inserts, calibration equipment. A full list of every item that we have on our shop floor has had to be taken to start the process, and as a sub contract workshop you can start to understand the extensiveness of this list.
Currently tools are ordered either by email or over the phone, unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes this can lead to stoppages at machines when certain tools aren't available. The tool vend system will allow us to keep track of all tools which we have available, we also plan to keep track of all our fixtures through the software, creating silent cabinets to keep track of fixture locations.
Hopefully the days of searching for certain bit of equipment will be gone and manufacturing productivity will be increased once the system is up and running and running at full tilt.