Tool Control Solutions
Coplan has developed solutions that help some of the largest aerospace and manufacturing organisations in the world to ensure their tools are controlled and fully audited. Our approach to Tool Control has always been flexible, from consultancy to complete design and supply.
Why do we need tool control?
Tool control is a vital element of operational efficiency in manufacturing and maintenance environments.
To understand the important of tool control, let’s consider what happens when a tool goes missing:
- Productivity dips while working search for the necessary tool.
- Production / work may need to be delayed or halted.
- In the short term, a replacement must be sought from elsewhere onsite to facilitate immediate use.
- If another similar tool isn’t available, the job may not be completed until a new tool is purchased.
- The tool might be substituted by one that is not fit for purpose, thereby increasing the risk of accident or damage.
- If the tool is deemed missing, at a minimum, the business will need to purchase a new tool.
- If the tool has found its way into machinery onsite or into products being produced, this opens up a new risk of performance issues and, potentially, accidents.
- Product may need to be recalled.
- Loss of reputation or business / sales as a result of product recalls or accidents.
- Accidents also bring the risk of legal proceedings, injury or death.
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
How should tool control work?
The risk of leaving a tool behind after a maintenance job or other work can be significantly reduced by ensuring all tools are accounts for at the completion of the task.
To achieve this, tools must be checked before and after each job. Visual Tool Control solutions make it easy for tool checks to be carried out quickly and accurately.
Tool control works by making it easy to identify when a tool is in use or missing.
- Assign every tool a unique “place”.
- Create clear visual clues (e.g. using colour) which marry each tool to its individual place.
- Specially designed cases make it impossible to put the tool back in the wrong place.
Staff must commit to ensuring that tools are returned after use.
- Each tool should be replaced in its unique “place”.
- Staff can see easily when a tool is missing, so are prompted to look for it and return it.
Processes should be adapted to ensure checks and audits are carried out.
- Tool control makes it easier and faster for staff to complete a visual check.
- Processes should include tool audits or checks at the start and end of each job.
Visual prompts, often using colour, enable users to check the status of a tool at a glance.
- When a tool is required, users know exactly where to look for it.
- When a tool is not in its place, it is easy to identify that it is missing.
- Action can be taken quickly to locate a missing tool.
It is important that you make it easy for workers to report a missing tool.
- Instigate a clear process for reporting a missing tool.
- Encourage employees to report any missing tools.
- Have clear processes and identify decision makers who can stop or release the process / job in cases of a missing tool.
Tool Control for Aerospace
Delivering FOD/Tool Control improvements is our passion. Foreign objects will always be difficult to monitor - but ensuring that all tools are accounted for, and not misplaced, goes a long way to helping organisations with their compliance.
Tool Control for Manufacturing
Our solutions ensure that tools are not ‘left behind’ when used within the manufacturing environment - protecting our customers from the serious implications of processing foreign objects.
Tool Control for Service and Maintenance
We provide solutions for both fixed and mobile tooling kits, to ensure that engineers can react quickly to maintenance and service jobs - knowing that their kit is complete and fit for the job.