Company Insight UK: Digitised tool management
Walter AG has announced the C line automated carousel tool vending station as the ideal entry route for companies looking to introduce fully digitised tool management.
The new machine has tool compartment sizes and spacings that can be easily and quickly adjusted, enabling a user to make a quick start in tool management then to subsequently make any adjustments necessary. This compares to a traditional drawer system, for example, where a time-consuming detailed overview of quantities, sizes and frequency of removal/use are often needed before the system can be utilised. Walter says that the C line station will also enable users to quickly identify areas which have the potential for optimisation – indeed, it suggests that around half of the cost-driving factors in tool logistics will be identified.
The company also suggests that tool costs usually represent about six per cent of total production costs but says that all the logistics processes surrounding tool procurement and maintenance have considerable potential for optimisation and cost reduction.
Savings in such areas will soon prompt users’ next steps in digitally supported tool management, continues Walter. For example, instead of a central dispensing point that logs tool output and input while also taking care of reconditioning, automated tool stations can be positioned throughout a shopfloor and feedback can be sent automatically to the purchasing division, with re-orders being placed according to demand (via the purchasing team or tool supplier).
Walter has installed this accessible form of data-based tool management for numerous customers, and the automated tool stations can hold any tools required - not just those supplied by Walter.
The highly-detailed data of the control and analysis of a tool’s lifetime within a company is based on Walter software that processes live production and tool logistics data in line with the scope of production, and the system calculates which tool is required in which quantity to machine the next components. In addition, the software’s analysis suite can highlight peaks in consumption, for instance.
With its Walter Multiply service programme, the company offers a range of solutions, from tool dispensing through to digital analysis and control of the tool management system, including installing and equipping individual dispensing cabinets, complete solutions embracing procurement, storage and provision through to reconditioning.