This page will describe some of the features of the Tool Management System in more detail. You will also find some licensing information and the minimum requirements for a PC running TMS.
Administer the lending and hand out of tools (or other equipment)
Within TMS there are two methods to hand out tools to employees. When you lend a tool you expect it back within a fixed period of time. This period can be set from 1 hour up to 365 days within the TMS system. When a tool has not been returned within that period of time it will appear on the overdue items list and show red in the lends overview screen.
There are also materials that you don't want to lend but hand out for use by the employees. When tools are issued they are either consumables or personal safety equipment (like shoes) that you don't want returned. You can also issue tools if you want to lend an employee the tools for an indefinite period of time; for instance, as long as he is working for the company. In either case it is registered what and how many a person gets and TMS can show the actual depletion of your stock and therefore gives you control over what is handed out within a given period of time.
Use barcode readers and print barcode labels
TMS can be used in combination with portable barcode readers to handle lends and returns. Applied is a handheld laser scanner that runs its own TMS data collection program and that doesn't require wires, RF equipment or a PC to operate. This makes it even suitable for large toolrooms, with a lot of steel or high voltage (EM interference) environments. The person at the desk handing out tools does not have to use a PC to do his work; all basic functions (lend, issue and return) can be done with the barcode scanner. The use of a barcode reader is not required for TMS. Multiple barcode readers can be used simultaneously. There are various barcode reader types available for TMS including ones with BlueTooth, WiFi, 3G support and in various sizes and formats.
The printing of barcode labels is fully integrated into TMS. TMS supports any Windows compatible label printer like the Brother P-Touch PC types with their laminated labels, particularly suitable for dirty and greasy environments such as workshops. Just select the employee or tool you want the label for and click on the 'print barcode' icon.
Damaged and missing tools management
TMS allows you to mark tools as damaged, in repair, missing or discard them completely. When marked as such the tool is removed from active production until you move it back to the active stock. TMS can show you the history of a tool or print reports on which and how many tools have been damaged, repaired, were missing etc. within a given period of time.
Manage inspections and checks
Within TMS there are two methods to follow up tools that periodically must be inspected or checked; one method does not rule out the other but they just fulfil different needs.
With the 'inspect' option you can remove a tool (temporary) from production to have it inspected. When the inspection has taken place (by a third party perhaps) you can return it to the stock again. In the mean time the tool can not be lend. The 'inspect' procedure is mainly intended for tools that need to calibrated or tested for safety or ISO regulations.
The 'check' option offers a method to keep tools in production and build a log of checks that have been done. Examples are quick spot checks of harnesses or stock counts. Both methods offer the option to set period of time between each check or inspection. Reports can be printed to show which tools are due for inspection or checks.
Use serialized and non-serialized tools
TMS can distinguish between serialized and non-serialized tools. With serialized tools you can keep track of each tool individually. You can see exactly which item has been lent by whom and see, for instance, when an item has been calibrated. For non-serialized tools like simple screwdrivers or consumables it is only important to know how many you have on stock and who has the tools. You don't want (and don't need) to track each screwdriver individually.
A cluster is a special kind of tool that contains other tools (i.e. a toolbox or tool set). Clusters are always serialized and can contain both non-serialized and serialized tools. If you lend a cluster all tools within that cluster are lend as well. A cluster can also have an end date that differs from the lend term. This end date can be used to assemble a cluster for a project and then lend it to a person or workgroup. A report with expired cluster end dates reminds you which projects have finished and which clusters should be recalled.
Store notes, documents and links (attachments)
Notes, documents and links can be stored with a tool on either product or item level. The document can be stored within the TMS database or you can create a link to a document or website. This way all documentation concerning a product or item is always at hand and can be opened, edited, copied and mailed to others.
Minimum requirements for TMS with SQL express edition
(client and server on the same machine)
PC with Intel Core 2 or compatible/better processor
512 MB of system RAM (1GB recommended for use on Windows 7).
1GB of free hard disk space for application and database.
Super VGA (800x600 256 colours and 15” monitor); 1024x768 or better preferred
Microsoft Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/2008; Windows 7 recommended.
1 available USB port when used in combination with a barcode reader.
One or more Datalogic WinCE barcode readers.
Windows compatible label printer (for example Brother P-Touch PC models).
A4 printer for reporting (f.i. a small laser or inkjet printer)
TMS starts with a site or basic license which contains one TMS database (capable of managing tools in one warehouse) and a single workstation license. The combination can run on a stand-alone machine or in a network. Additional workstation licenses can be bought according to need. You are allowed to install TMS software on more machines than licensed but you cannot work with TMS on more than the number of licensed workstations simultaneously. Contact us for information and prices.