Gage & tool tracking plays an important role in the quality management process. If the equipment used to measure quality is out of calibration or is used incorrectly, results are uncertain at best. Without an effective tracking solution, the time is takes to inventory, monitor and repair assets can significantly prolong the testing process.
Often, the gage & tool tracking process is one left to be managed on paper, within spreadsheets or home-grown databases. However, a solution that automates procedures for the calibration and tracking of tools and gages will greatly increase quality results and provide the necessary electronic audit trail for full compliance. Transactional data can be collected and communicated back to a company’s ERP/MES system for generation of accurate, complete, as-maintained records.
The following improvements can be achieved using an effective gage & tool tracking solution:
Calibration / preventive maintenance visibility
Tools can be automatically scheduled for recalibration, repair, and preventive maintenance saving valuable time and improving accuracy. Online calibration steps and instructions are available within the system to assist operators. In addition, the software ensures that tools are prevented from being used that are due for calibration. Calibration certification letters serve as record of acceptable standards.
Gage & tool check-in or check-out
Both durable and consumable tools can be electronically tracked to efficiently manage inventory and determine reorder point. Users can scan bar-coded serial numbers on tools and gages, as well employee ID numbers to immediately locate available equipment. Automatic notifications can be sent to assignees when assets are overdue for check-in and an escalation notice can be sent to supervisors if a warning notice is ignored.
Locate and track customer-owned assets
Government or customer-owned assets can be hard to track without an automated process in place. With an effective tracking solution, movement of assets from a particular location to the stockroom is effortless.
Automate calibration / preventive maintenance recall
Tools can be automatically calibrated, and measurements can be captured using tolerance control. The system provides the capability to adjust frequency between calibrations based on good/bad calibration results. An automated recalibration schedule can be created based on completed calibrations.
An effective tracking solution ensures that operators have the necessary skills prior to inspection and/or measurement, and the skills are accurately recorded in the system.
Gage repeatability and reproducibility analysis
Using statistical process control, the solution monitors variance in measurement. The analysis studies variations in parts, appraisers and reproducibility to initiate the appropriate actions to improve quality.
An effective gage & tool tracking solution helps to streamline manufacturing workflow, reduce production costs and ensure industry compliance. Tooling, test devices, and other required equipment traceability data is collected within the system and validated back to required calibration and re-certification intervals.
TIP Technologies offers asset tracking within its TIPQA Quality Management Solution, including fully linked nonconformances for gage & tool repairs. With TIPQA, gage & tool usage is integrated with inspection results to provide a more comprehensive record. Data is pulled from equipment in an easy-to-view format and are organized into a user-friendly workspace to maximize departmental efficiency.
Contact TIP Technologies today for a demo of our TIPQA Quality Management Solution and learn how to gain better control of your valuable assets.