"Without tool cabinets, employees are willing to hoard tools or consumables or store these without any system or structure," says Robert Auer, Director of Global Business Development at TDM Systems. The costs for this type of non-transparent tool provision are high. Accordingly, the savings are significant if companies rely on tool cabinets. A particularly positive aspect is that these sustainable, streamlined and consumption-oriented tool cribs increase transparency and tool availability, and reduce tooling costs.
Furthermore, the efficiency of the operators is increased since tool cabinets simplify tool dispensing and provisioning. Ordering is also optimized – since tool cabinets with an interface to the ERP system also autonomously reorder goods. Tool cabinets are therefore an essential element so that the right tool is available at the right time. However, this objective is ultimately only achieved if the tool cabinets are integrated into a comprehensive tool management solution, such as that offered by TDM Systems.
EN: Ohne Werkzeugschränke horten Mitarbeiter gern Werkzeuge oder Verbrauchsmaterialien bzw. lagern diese ohne System und Struktur ein.
Director Global Business Development, TDM Systems
The TDM Systems solutions provide all of the relevant tool data to all of the operators in real time. This is the basic prerequisite to ensure that the right tool, in the right quantity and quality, gets to the right place at the right time. However, single solutions, such as the smart tool cabinets, limit the data transfer if they are not integrated into TDM Systems. This means that important information, such as the utilization times for the tools can therefore not be taken into consideration without integration. One consequence of this may be that companies do not maximize the service life of their tools.
Tools with tool life remaining are then frequently disposed of for safety reasons, instead of checking them back in to the tool cabinet after an order has been processed. This is not the case with integration. Since the information about the service life for the tools is stored in the TDM database, production planners can take this tool information into consideration accordingly when selecting the tools. With the connection of the tool cabinets, users would therefore always receive the right tools for processing an order.
However, it is not only the service life of the tools that is increased – which in turn reduces the tooling costs – by this connection. It is also possible to eliminate many sources of error. This is because, as the tools are issued at the cabinet, the users also receive all information about the assembly of the tools. "This means that nothing can go wrong," explains Auer.
Internal TDM analyses show how the use of a TDM solution positively affects tool management. According to Auer, a reduction in tooling costs by up to 50 percent is not uncommon after this. On the one hand, this is related to the fact that the service life of the tools is maximized as described. On the other hand, the tool stock of the TDM customers also usually decreases drastically. In turn, the consolidation that is associated with the specification of standard tools means that discounts can be negotiated, which also reduces the costs. The effort required for tool logistics is also reduced. Embedded in the overall process, TDM customers therefore achieve material and effort savings of up to 75 percent. The tooling costs per machine hour decrease by up to 70 percent.
TDM Systems offers their customers two options for managing their tool cabinets and/or their cribs efficiently and for integrating these into the tool management solution. In particular for those companies that are already using TDM Systems, the obvious choice for Auer is TDMstoreasy – the vending software from TDM Systems. Thanks to standardized drivers for all common crib systems, the integration can be carried out quickly and without any problems. In addition to tool, consumables can therefore also be safely managed.
Like TDMstoreasy, Cribwise, the software for crib and material management from Sandvik Machining Solutions AB, also guarantees the reliable availability of the tools 24 hours a day and a high level of transparency with regard to the tool stock. This second solution, which allows for quick integration of tool cabinets into TDM, also guarantees production and helps users to reduce costs. Based on experience, companies come to TDM via Cribwise when they feel that they "can only further optimize their processes with a central database for tool data," says Auer. The story about the advantages of tool cabinets is, despite the wide distribution of these slimline cribs, therefore "far from over".