Software System Manages Toolcrib

Are there too many tools or not enough? Parker Hannifin, Aerospace Group (Irvine, CA) realized it didn't know the answer and needed to find a tool crib management system that would control tooling inventory, tooling costs and machine downtime.

The company designs, manufactures and services control systems and components for aerospace and high-technology markets. Parker Hannifin implemented ProDocTivity ToolManager software supplied by RealVision Inc. (Eagle, ID).

Before Parker Hannifin implemented the software, the company realized it could not calculate tool cost per component, nor could it control its tool purchasing process. In order to obtain optimum stock levels, the company needed to streamline its tooling suppliers, which would reduce the number of suppliers and maximize buying power, thus reducing costs.

Dan Girdner, senior tool engineer for Parker Hannifin, was assigned the task of bringing the company's tooling under control. "We decided that we wanted to maintain a minimum number of tool suppliers, and we looked to set up a cooperative rather than a partnership," he says. "We wanted to select primary tool suppliers, each providing their specific 'best-in-class' products that could provide tooling on a just-in-time basis."

Once this was in place, Girdner says Parker Hannifin was looking to automate the tooling process using a tool management system. After researching all the systems available, Parker Hannifin concluded that RealVision's ToolManager system had the best functionality and RealVision was willing to further develop the system to meet Parker Hannifin's needs. According to Girdner, it was the only fully Windows-compliant system on the market.

All of the tools at Parker Hannifin are identified with a random number. The software system could identify the tools by their ID numbers, he says. ToolManager has a user configurable tool wizard, which creates a consistent and meaningful tool identification and description. This allows all operators to create and access tools in the same way, thus avoiding costly duplication of data in the system, which has thousands of tooling items.

"Our main goal in utilizing the ToolManager system was to decrease our stock of tools in six different tool cribs," says Girdner. "We were previously ordering either too much or too little to satisfy our needs. Now, with the visibility of seeing exactly what we have in each tool crib, we've been able to refine our actual requirements."

The software allowed Parker Hannifin to automatically set up an alternative tool supplier in advance if one supplier could not deliver a tool on time or at a certain cost.

"After speaking to other companies that have implemented similar systems, and experiencing the implementation process with RealVision, we couldn't have made a better choice," says Girdner.

RealVision Inc.
(800) 487-1031

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