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Tool Control for Manufacturing

Over the years, Coplan has worked with some of the largest manufacturers within the food, pharmaceutical, medical and electronics industries.

Our Tool Control solutions ensure that tools are not ‘left behind’ when used within these environments, protecting our customers from the serious implications of damage caused by processing ‘foreign objects’.

We love working with clients to enhance Tool Control processes, and have successfully helped to deliver a range of highly valuable specialist services – including:

  • Visual Tool Control (VTC) solutions that easily identify tools not returned
  • Mobile FOD tool control bags housing all required tools for off-site maintenance
  • Electronic solutions that restrict access of tools to authorised, trained users only
  • Electronic audits demonstrating controlled access and FOD reports
  • Automated tool calibration control

Visual Tool Control – VTC

VTC provides engineers with an instant visible audit, to ensure that all tools are present or, more importantly, which tools are still to be returned.

Our precision-cut Tool Control inserts are constructed from a robust, multi-coloured foam (usually black on top of a colour) to suit the requirements of the tools to be stored, within a secure tool cabinet.

We have adopted a 3-Phase precision tool ‘profiling’ process resulting in a 2D CAD layout profile. This ensures that the spaces cut will only accommodate the tool they are designed to take, meaning that visual audits cannot be compromised by tool being replaced in the wrong location.

Our team work with each client to ensure that any tool layout design not only works from a VTC standpoint, but also considers efficient tool arrangement based on factors such as handling and spacing, frequency of tool use, storage requirements and so on.

These foam inserts can also include ID tagging within the foam itself, which helps to ensure that tools are returned correctly.


Supply of Cabinets and Cases

We can design, specify and deliver a solution that meets each client’s complete tool control requirement. To achieve this, we partner with a number of carefully-selected tool cabinet and case manufacturers – enabling us to meet our clients’ needs, should a completely bespoke solution be required.

Once our team has profiled and confirmed the correct layout to accommodate all of your tools, we can then work to source the correct housing solution – whether that be a portable bag or case, a mobile tool cabinet, or a furniture workshop solution.

shadow foam
tool box shadow foam
Kaizen Foam Control
Kaizen Foam Tool Control

Electronic Tool Access Control

Controlling and auditing access to tools is an important process that all organisations should follow during the build and manufacturing process. The implications of missing or lost tools can be severe, and traditional methods such as manual sign-out sheets can be flawed and difficult to manage.

Coplan provides effective solutions for clients that need to automate access to tools, whilst also recording the issue and receipt of each one. Not only does this help with compliance around recording access, but it also provides a number of efficiencies - removing the requirement for paper-based reports, reducing downtime and freeing up time for personnel who previously had to manage the process.

The electronic Tool Access Control solutions which we offer can:
• Restrict access to certain tool kits or boxes to only authorised personnel, on a kit by kit basis
• Provide instant audits, to log who has accessed which tool kit and when
• Restrict further access to tool kits in instances where all tools are not confirmed as replaced
• Restrict access to tools that are not within their calibration allowance
• Provide custom reporting reports and alerts for senior staff

Contact us for more information

Tool Identification

The importance of ensuring that tools are returned to their correct location has meant that organisations also need to consider how they might identify individual tools - so that engineers and operators know where to replace them. Many companies have their preferred marking approach, but we can work closely with our clients to determine the best solution for each business - including marking solutions such as laser etching and colour coding a via specialist ‘heat-shrink’ process. We can also offer ID tagging within our foam inserts to aide in the correct return of tools.