Tooling Management
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Video Transcript

– Good morning everyone. All right. Good morning everyone, thanks for joining us today. Actually let me start my video. Hey, good morning Ronald, Nathan, Jerry, Jeff, six one six number, Emily, Adam, Lan. All right. People are pouring in here.

– Yeah, very good. Nice, awesome. Good to see people this morning.

– I’m gonna start sharing my screen. So you would know you’re in the right webinar ‘Cause I’m sure you’re jumping from one webinar right into the next and 2020 has been the year of webinars, isn’t it?

– Absolutely, yeah.

– You can’t get together in person. All right. We’re gonna give it just a minute longer, let folks continue to kind of trickle in here. You wanna do the housekeeping while we’re getting ready, Brian?

– Yeah, sure. So here with the Zoom meeting, there’s a few sort of key things that we wanna keep in mind. We do have a chat, so if you’ve got an issue or something like that maybe you can’t hear us or whatever just let us know with a quick chat. There’s also a Q&A section, so if you have any specific questions if you can use the Q&A section that’ll let us sort of filter through those things and answer them, maybe we can answer them live or we can answer them directly to you but we’ll do our best to try to answer everything that comes in and hopefully toward the end of the hour we’ll have just a little bit of time for a full Q&A session. Again, if you have any issues, chat would be the place to go and then Q&A section at the bottom of the screen would be just for asking questions as we move through, so don’t be shy about it, we’ll answer anything we can.

– All right, well, let’s go ahead and get going. We got a pretty decent crowd here. Bill is already with a question, will you be talking about lathe tools, holders and locators? Yeah, most of what we’re gonna talk about is certainly universal in the way that it’s organized. We’re not gonna get super specific into lathe tools and holders but yes, definitely the concepts apply to basically all kinds of tools. All right. So I’m gonna go through and jump through some slides here, Brian and you can take us through a little bit of the history of why we’re here, where we came from.

– Yeah, so ProShop was actually built in a machine shop. So back in 1997 the founders created Pro CNC right out of college. As you can see here some pretty humble and modest beginnings as they grew the company, we actually were focusing on complex assemblies, engineering, anything that we found that, sorry, you wanna go to the next slide there Paul?

– Yeah, sorry.

– Yeah, all right. Anything that we found that our customers needed. Of course, when you’re a small business you tend to take in any work that comes through the door. So we had our fair share of that but being in the Pacific Northwest, we definitely did focus on a lot of our aerospace industry, in 2000 which happened to be the year that I came on board as a machinist, we were still using Excel and at the time we were pretty pushing it pretty far as you can see, we had some very complicated spreadsheets and we just really couldn’t continue to grow with Excel, we really hit a wall there, so we started searching for other options. Didn’t really find anything that would work, so at that point we created ProShop and we started development in 2000 with the idea that we were gonna build all the tools that we needed to build to meet our needs from the shop floor and this is really where I think we really wanna be really specific about how ProShop is built. So as a machinist and all the founders as people that were all working on the shop floor we all had this idea of what we wanted it to do whether somebody’s doing purchasing, somebody putting tooling together, any of those types of things those are all things that we actually brought together in terms of how the software is developed. So in the first eight years or so, we just continued to build it for all of our needs and then we had our customer approach us and you can see here this gentleman, Rich Olson and he actually works for us on the weekends moonlighting and he went back to his original company and he said, “hey, you guys gotta check out this software, this is pretty great” and they approached us about buying ProShop to manage their business. Of course, we were a machine shop. So we said, “hey, what do we know about software?” But they were very persistent and we basically said, “all right” and we helped them implement that in the first year and you can see they saw such a dramatic improvement, 20% overhead reduction, 90% reduction in late orders, 400% planning throughput increase that everybody just kinda stood back and said, “well hold on a second, maybe ProShop is really kind of a key for how machine shops, how manufacturers can be efficient.” So we continued to grow the software over the next several years. The company sold in 2014 the manufacturing company and spun off ProShop and we’ve been focusing on ProShop ever since. So really what we’re trying to do is help shops thrive by organizing their data into a paperless system. We wanna be able to free up the things that you have to do and have the system do those for you. You’ve got enough to do, you’ve got to worry about deadlines. You’ve got to worry about personnel, machines all that kind of stuff. So we want the system to actually build the things that you need to build. We’re gonna do it in a paperless environment and with where we are now as Paul mentioned earlier, we’re actually in an environment where you can work remotely, everything that you see on the left-hand side of the screen, all the office, all the upfront work that can all be done remotely from anywhere that you have access to the system whether that’s in the cloud or a VPN through on-premise or anything like that you really only need to be in the system or in the shop rather to do the physical things. Receiving, job kitting, actually running, production, set up and inspection and that sort of a thing. Everything else you can actually do remotely.

– Yeah. So thanks for that, Brian, appreciate it.

– Yeah.

– So let’s dig in now to kind of, so the meat and potatoes of this about tooling management and when we wanna start a little bit of a higher level and talk about some of the lean concepts behind what we’re gonna talk about and we’re gonna start with what value added work is, value added work is something that your customer is willing to pay for, they’re willing to pay for the material that you’re making their parts out of. They’re willing to pay for you to actually cut the parts, machine the features, do anodizing, whatever outside processes, they’re not actually interested in paying you for setting up your machines, for prepping tools, for making scrap, for troubleshooting your code. Like those are the kinds of things that they are not interested in paying you for. So we wanna minimize those as much as possible and keep our spindles working as much as possible. We think that it should be a goal that when a machinist walks up to a machine they should not have to leave that machine until they have their first good part in their hands. If you are leaving your machine that means that setup that you were doing is gonna take longer, it means there are things that you probably could have prepared up in advance and had right there at your machine so you can keep your spindle time maximized, so we’re really then talking about how do we take all the the items that you need in a setup and make them external to the machine instead of being internal. Internal setup is something that can only be done with the machine. An example would be loading fixtures into your machine, loading tools actually into the carousel and anything that is internal that is set up is going to or if you’re doing things that could be external, I’ll say that are doing internal, that’s gonna cause spindle downtime. If you can do it externally before the machine is actually needed, prepping jobs in advance then that does not cause mental downtime. So our goal here with tooling is to make as much or all of the setup as external as possible. So we’re gonna start with when a machinists needs to get a tool they’re gonna be typically working from the programmers, sort of set up sheet or work instructions unless the machinist is setting up and programming like right at the machine, for example but even in those cases, we wanna get very specific about what tools these programs are gonna use. We go into hundreds and hundreds of shops and we have seen lots of shops where the programmers are putting together a list of tools that are very sort of general in their description, they need a half-inch on mill with four flutes and it has to have a 60,000 Warner Rad. Well, the shop probably has half a dozen tools that actually meet that actual description. So then machinists are then trying to decide which funded the program are mean and they’re just grabbing something that might work and that is causing frustration and chaos and we’re gonna talk in just a few minutes here and we have one of our customers David Pannell from Faircloth Machine Shop on the phone and he’s actually gonna share his story about this, so.

– So and yeah, I was gonna say Paul I can remember the many times that I would walk back and forth between a machine, the programmer’s desk and the tooling area just to find that the tool that wasn’t specified in the very early days and a lot of the things we’re gonna look at today were in response to those kinds of issues that we felt on the shop floor,

– You bet. Absolutely. So let’s see here. So we’re gonna pull David here in just a second but basically this picture on the screen, this is what we see a lot when we go into shops, this is like a drawer where they keep tools and you got different kinds of end mills, all conducted together, you got drills, you got used tools, you got new tools, you got a little bit of organization but really not much and it really can be chaotic. So I’d like to pull in and David you’re on the phone here with us. I know. Can you hear us?

– [David] Sure, can you hear me?

– We sure can. First of all, thank you very much for joining us.

– [David] Oh, no problem. I was gonna ask you how you snuck into my shop and took a picture of my tool drawer. ‘Cause have seen that drawer.

– So, yes. So, David, are you able to see our screen or you’re just on the phone.

– [David] Yeah, I got you.

– Okay. All right, awesome. So David’s been with us since 2017 and he actually this, so Dave and I sort of got talking about tooling management a couple of years later after he started, he wrote me an email and he said, “hey, Paul, we just went through this significant little change here” and we ended up turning it into, he wrote us a letter, sort of, we actually turned it into a blog post and put it on LinkedIn and such, but David I’m hoping you can share with me or share with everyone here, just a little bit of your backstory, tell us a little bit about your shop and then what it was like in your shop around tooling and then sort of what epiphany you had and what translated into some changes.

– [David] Sure, I’ll try to be brief. If you wanna read in the blog post would probably tell your customers exactly how I was feeling one bed or then I’ll do it now but to give you this summary, we were a job shop, we were just working onesies and twosies for people and we were pretty good at it, I think, and we’re business was growing and it started growing a whole lot quicker than we really could manage it, I guess kind of like a nuclear reactor running away. We realized that we were gonna fly apart pretty quickly unless we did something and so we were way behind the curve but that’s when we started looking for software and we got ProShop and we started trying to desperately implement that as quickly as we could to, so that we could manage the growth that we had and it was kind of a hairy thing for us because we knew that we were gonna spend apart, eventually we would start failing if we didn’t do something. So, and then a little bit later, we had to add a second shift and I was coming in on second shift pursuant to this tooling discussion because they were having some trouble and I came out on second shift to help him set up and I was confronted with just what I was confronting my machinist with on a daily basis. Now, as a lot of you guys know when the business starts growing and you start getting some really neat toys that you’ve always wanted, you can’t play with them anymore. You’ve got to go in the office and do stuff and so I did not realize just how frustrating setting up had become in my shop. I knew to set up for too long but I didn’t really know why. So I came in to help set up on second shift and realized just what a disaster this was. I almost walked in my office and closed on myself, it was so bad. I looked at this and I said we are way too smart to be the statement and so I started investigating the tooling management functions that we already had in ProShop and I saw just what was possible that there is gonna be a lot of work to get these tools entered. It was gonna take a lot of work to get them matched to the job in ProShop but once we had it on these repeat jobs, we’d have it. Once we had the tool in there, then the tool was in there. We only had to do it once and I decided pretty quickly, like a lot of decisions, a lot of business decisions, I was gonna pay for this now and get it or I was gonna be in the position later of having paid for it and not having it. So I got everybody on board, we started adding all the tooling and the person who had to do it, did not wanna do it because it was a boring, tedious task and once he did it though he came back in to my office unbidden a month or so later and said, “I really doubted you on this but you were right, this is the way we should do it.” So, my machinist could not figure out what tool he needed based on the tool description that he had.

– So were your programmers doing that same basic thing? They would just describe the tool in just..

– [David] In very general terms. Absolutely. Very general terms, half engine mill. Well, that’s great. Unless they knew what they meant but what if they forgot to tell them that it had to have a corner radius?

– Right.

– [David] So they got a problem. So once we keyed our CAD-CAM software to the tools that we had and put those in ProShop, they don’t get a description. Well, they do get a description but they get a tool number. This is tool A167, for example, then you go to the matrix, you type in that number and that spits and there’s a lot of ways to do that.

– Yeah, here’s an example picture.

– [David] Sure. So then he’ll look in ProShop and he’ll see the tool sequence calls out to A164, for example. Well, okay. He sees, goes over the matrix. He typed in A164 and that tool comes out and if there’s any question we have a picture of that tool in ProShop, so you can say, “oh yeah, this is exactly right” and so it eliminates all that. It eliminated that from the mission frustration from machinists of trying to guess what tool he needed, it eliminated all that and so just all that time of hunting for the tool of wondering if you had the tools of the machinist trying to guess what the program that was eliminated a hundred percent. All I got to do is get the tool put it in there and we’re done, that’s it. So that worked out huge, I would say there’s probably just from that change alone, I would say we probably say 5% or 10% on setup times just from that change alone and we saved a huge intangible in employee morale. I don’t know how you measure that but it’s just easier to set up now it’s more pleasant and that’s certainly something that’s worth doing when you can do it.

– Now, before you move to this or even once you did, were they still going and pulling those tools while they were doing their machine setup or where they then started prepping things in advance? Or is that where you’re going next?

– [David] This is not an AA meeting. I don’t wanna pull up my scars and tell you just how bad I was, I really don’t, it was awful, it was atrocious, we were growing as a company, we were at one point just three or four people and so everybody just sort of knew where everything was and you knew what to do but when you get 15 or 20 people on the floor, not everybody knows everything. So at the time we were doing all of our setups as internal, so this was a part of, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on and like on lean manufacturing and specifically what Dr. Deming says that you can’t, in his opinion, you can’t install, in manufacturing It’s what happens when you’re doing everything right and that gave me some hope that we don’t have to go out and buy a consultant and try to do this program. Like you’re unwrapping a box, we just start doing things right. So it was sort of a gradual step, a baby step sort of approach, we can at least tell the machine is what tool to get and then we started looking at all right what stuff are we doing internal that we can separate and so that, I think I sent you that picture of our Ben kits. We decided, this one particular job, it takes 20 tools, it takes 20 tools to set this job up and so, we just said, you know what we’re gonna end up paying for all these tool holders anyway, we are gonna end up paying for every single one of them but not having them. So let’s just set the tools up in there and never take them out and so, I don’t have the offline presetting, so a lot of what we do is we use the software to insert the offset at the beginning of the program on these tools and stuff. So, but we just leave them set up. So when you go to set the job up your external guy pulls this kit and puts it on your cart and with the raw material in the machinist gets it and he can just put these tools right in and as you saw an example there, that one is labeled RTA 14. On the other side of it is a tool number. So he knows what tool to put in when he’s done, he does his internal breakdown, pulses tools out of the Ben kit, takes them up to the final inspection area and then they get put out from there and so you verify that the kit’s been returned all these things are labeled. So you know that he knows when he got the kit it’s complete and when we put the tool up kit up we know that everything has been put up. If somebody does leave something out as Paul I’m sure will tell you if it’s labeled RTA 14 you go right to ProShop and see what parts you use that on, somebody left that out, in a month later, if it’s not labeled you would look at that and go, “gosh, what do I use that for?” Well, with ProShop, you can go to see it’s RTA 14. You can see exactly what jobs you use, that particular RTA on and oh, it probably came out of this kit and you go to the kit and you’ll see there’s empty hole just waiting for it . I really liked the, oh, sorry, I should say, I really liked what you did there with the PVC in that Bin and the expanding foam to make your kit Bins, that’s really clever, I hadn’t seen that one before, so good job on that.

– [David] No problem. I’ll charge you for that. It’s funny. I was going to get some material, we were gonna start machining these things out and I just knew it wasn’t the way to go and I was in the parking lot of this place where I was gonna buy some material and my shop foreman called me and said, “hey, look at this” and he texted me this, you get these Bins from my mastery and said, “what if we just did this?” And I said, “you know what? That’s a fantastic idea, let’s just do that.” No machining and so we make these things for a few dollars and you got them and there you go.

– That’s pretty cool. Yeah. We inserted another picture from another customer that they sent to us and I had also hadn’t seen these before either of these little things you can screw right down into your plastic carts. So David, it looks like this picture down on the lower left, you might make a family of parts. It looks like there’s four different parts that different dash numbers that looks like that you make. Is that the case?

– [David] Yeah, in this one our particular customer here has a family and they’re all the same thing and so this particular kit does all four of those parts and so it doesn’t necessarily not every job needs all of them but what we do is we just held the machinist install the whole kit, so that way you’re not thinking do I need tool one, do I need tool two? You just put tool one into one, tool two into tool two and it calls up the tools that’s neat and you break them down and so there’s less possibility for mistake that way. I think the second or two to put them in it’s quicker to put them in than it is to wonder if you should put it in.

– That’s a great point, that’s an interesting point. So just for those that we’re using some terminology here, David’s talking about RTAs, in ProShop that stands for Rotating Tool Assembly and what it allows you to do is basically take a combination of holder and call it and cutting tool and inserts and stuff and say, this is an assembly that whenever we pull this, it’s gotta be the whole thing. It also eliminates chaos because in certain jobs where the hangout is specific or where somebody might not hang it out, as far as they should the RTA tells you how far to hang it out. So you avoid a machine crash report gouge by actually defining that tool in the RTA.

– Right. So this is a great example of repeat work and just pulling this kid out every time. Can you tell us what you do for, I mean obviously you must do a one-off jobs or jobs that don’t repeat when you have new work, how are you specifying the tools you need?

– [David] Obviously it’s not worth making a whole kit on jobs can repeat once a year or so on those we just specify the InMail that used and frequently you’re gonna give those one-off jobs. So a little bit more experienced operator who can kind of figure out how long it’s got to hang out but the key thing is you make sure the operator knows what tools he needs so he doesn’t have to guess he goes right to the kit and we still try to do that as an external set up get those tools laid out for him and get them into a tool holder but we don’t worry about the RTA for those. We just put in, use this in mil just to get it done and that eliminates the chaos of trying to figure out what it should be, which is really important, that that really is frustrating especially when you’re rushing it. A lot of our work is rush work where the customer needs it right now. You don’t wanna spend 30 minutes trying to guess what tool that’s just irritating knowing what tool it is makes it a lot better.

– Yeah, Dave, I’m curious also, do you have the program or specify things like out of holder as well? I know that before we had gone to a method of always specifying that I would find myself routinely searching the G code and saying, “okay, well what’s the most depth that this tool is going to go?” And then I would set the tool accordingly and so we quickly as we identify that that was a big time consuming pain. We would have the programmers note that right within ProShop to be able to see, okay, even on a prototype job or one-off job, okay, I knew it was this specific half inch end mill of B242 and I knew that it had to be three quarters of the main a holder and that was enough for them as an experienced setup person to go and set that tool up and maybe whatever holder I wanted but at least I didn’t have to dig through the G-code. Do you guys do stuff like that? Or is that really..

– [David] What we’re allowed on this time is just an experience guy to know that if you have an inch and a half shoulder that you got to have the tool sticking out a little bit further inch and a half just kind of looking at the print right there on the part and figuring out how on the print on the ProShop, figuring out how far it’s got to stick out.

– Yeah, now, I mean, that makes sense. Like I say, a lot of times I’ll see things done differently and I’m always curious to what every company does but that there may be a place where if your programmer knows when he’s doing it, “hey it’s a three quarter inch stick out, they can just put that in right next to the tool number and ProShop and then that hopefully would eliminate some time for your machinist at the machine, just food for thought.

– Another question for you, David when you have a longer running job or a job that might be consuming more tools like it’s titanium or some hard metal, how are you communicating that up into your purchasing to know that, “hey, we need to buy more, a bunch more of these tools for this job that’s coming up?”

– [David] Well at the current time, we’re relying on the planner is a fairly experienced guy and he’s looking at jobs coming up and making the estimates on what he’s gonna need. and then we’re relying on the machinist what they start breaking them or having problems to let him know it gets more in here. That’s what we’re currently doing. I don’t think that’s the best way to do it but that’s just where we are.

– Are you using tool life kind of, or tools, what did we call it Brian? parts for tool in the sequence detail? David, are you using that?

– It’s called quantity usage, yeah.

– [David] Not yet.

– Okay.

– [David] Like I’ve said many times I don’t wanna tell you how bad and out of shape I was we decided that we wanted to run a marathon and that we weighed 700 pounds and we’d literally have Cheetos on our belly right when we decided we wanna run the marathon we had to get in shape first and it’s just kind of the fun of business, I think too is that there’s always room to improve. We’ve made a lot of improvements, we’ve gotten a lot better and there’s and we’re just finding out, hey there’s a lot more we could do doing that and using the purchasing dashboard for tooling properly is probably a next project. We’re working very hard or a new building to make sure that this internal and external is done and separated, that’s where we’re really focusing right now.

– Okay. Yeah. So once you did take, you said you saved 10% just by getting specific with tool numbers now that you, yeah, go ahead.

– [David] I’m sorry. It is an estimate.

– Oh, it’s all good.

– [David] Because when we look at the situation we started changing a lot of stuff and it’s really hard to say. So for example, we changed our meals so that we never take devices off the meals, there is a cooling plate so that everything is always in the same place? We were taking the device off on a sub plate to move it one set of holes over for no reason, just because it was set up that way. So it took some time to get every program so that the devices never have to come off. We bought some extra devices that we have plenty of stations to put them in. So we had to do that and we did the internal and the external setups and the Ben kits and we did all this stuff so quickly. It’s really hard to say exactly what contributed the most but like this, I can give you a specific example this job over here, this one that had all these, this Ben kit you’re looking at it used to take four hours to set this job up cold, it took four hours to set it up. We did a study with a video camera going from cold, start with all the stuff over there to starting to make chips. Once we had done all of our improvements, it went to 15 minutes. So we went from four hours to 15 minutes, we haven’t had that success and everything we had.

– That’s amazing.

– [David] Well, I’m embarrassed to admit this but I can’t tell you how many times. I had to make a fixture again, that we know we had made previously, we just couldn’t find it. So we had that week. So we got all the fixtures in ProShop and now they have a location and a fixture and a fixture number. So we’ve eliminated that, we’ve almost eliminated having to look for stuff either fixtures or tooling and that’s been huge. That is huge. That’s just really huge.

– That’s awesome. That’s amazing. Well, thanks for sharing all that. I know that you are getting ready to leave on vacation so you are welcome to stay for the rest of the webinar and chime in on anything you see, we talk about but of course, if you need to, your wife’s waiting for you in the car, you’re welcome to head out and thank you so much for sharing.

– She didn’t do it and if I start talking much more I’m gonna betray my ignorance. So we’ve got the bottom of my knowledge right now. We don’t wanna mind any deeper we’re gonna hit dirt, you know everything I know now. All right, guys, I’ll talk to you later.

– Thanks so much David.

– [David] Bye bye.

– Bye.

– All right Paul, I noticed we have a few good questions. Maybe it’d be, I know it’s a little bit out of sequence. Maybe we wanna jump over into ProShop and we can kind of answer some of these questions live about how we manage tool, stick out.

– Yeah, let’s do that for maybe three or four minutes and then we’ll jump back into the slides. So let me stop my share and you wanna share?

– Yeah, let’s do that. All right. So, Bill, thank you very much. Actually stick out or Hangouts are crucial for quick set ups.

– Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. Let’s just take a quick look at how we do that in a couple of different areas. So, right. From, let me jump over to a work order page. So this is what we call work order. It’s essentially like a job traveler, right from this page. I’m gonna be able to do a few specific things. Now, this one is a million example but I’ll be able to do a few specific things that will feed into purchasing. It’s gonna feed into set, it’s gonna feed into some of that tool tracking and if I come right to here and click on my tool icon, I’ll be able to see that some of these tools, well one specifically is in stock and the rest have been queued for purchasing. So what I get is the system is calculating for me how many tools I need to order. It knows that based off of what we call par, what did I just call that? Tool quantity usage. So this is actually something that you can set in the planning phase and say, well, these tools I should use about one per a hundred parts or one per 50 parts or whatever. Now that feeds back into how many pieces the work orders for and then it does a calculation and don’t worry about the fact that it’s a partial quantity that the system does the math and it’ll round up, et cetera. So we get some purchasing activity writing here from a programmer’s perspective, schedulist perspective. I can also set, when do I need these tools? And this is what triggers my purchasing dashboard. So if I know that I need these tools by the 27th, I’ve queued them up and now the purchasing team can see that and do purchasing right away as far as how the tool is set up. Again, I can see that, I know each tool is gonna do I can see what my out of holder’s going to be. All of that’s gonna be specked different ways, greater than 1.5, a specific tolerance, stub length, what holder is intended to use. So in your programming, if you’re actually modeling in your holders and you and this is really critical for five axis machining or even four axis machining, a lot of the time really the size of the holder makes a big difference. So you can specify what holder should be used right here and then again, over here, of course, here’s all my links to the actual tool and what I’m gonna use, what holder or RTA if as we had sort of mentioned and then that’ll sort of predefine, what tool holder combination as I move forward and this is gonna go into sort of tracking the individual tools. I can actually load this caddy and I can specify per operation per machine. However, I wanna do that in this case that system is gonna default to operation and I’ll just load my caddy. I’ll just go here and now I’m gonna transfer all these tools into a digital caddy so I can start working on pre-processing this. Now I know that we’re, we’ll talk more about this here in just a moment but as I move through the system and want to take all of these tools kit them up into a caddy and get them ready, I can set my tool length offsets and then track these again, from this caddy and into a specific machine, let’s say I wanna move them into the end 20. I’m gonna clear all existing again and hit go. So, at this point, let’s just say for a moment that I’ve done my length off sets or any tool presetting that I needed to do all that data would transfer over as well. Now on this, this is where you can start tracking some of that tool life. So it’s not, well, not yet a totally integrated system but you do have some fields here where you can track tool life right in the system. The system now knows that here, my end 20 this machine has these tools in it and any of the information that I wanna track and of course, as I move through the system I can even take any of my offsets that are put in here. I can export an offset file in the form of a G-code program. In this case, I think my G-code would be a G 10 or something like that. Well, it’s, I don’t have any offsets in there. So this one comes out blank but this system will be able to pull that all of that offset information a tool where all that kind of stuff together. So it, like I said, it doesn’t automatically track it as in machine monitoring but it does give you a place to sort of keep track of that, some of that kind of stuff. I just wanted to mention one of the other questions that Bill had specifically was about turning tools. So here’s an example of a turning tool setup where based on the machine that I choose when I’m planning this table will actually flip, it’ll go from sort of a milling structure to a a turning structure. It’ll allow me to put in what location of the tool. So you can see here, this is a combination of a holder and an insert and where’s it gonna go on the turret? What’s the tool knows if you’re using like that, that tool knows number one through eight or whatever, it might be, obviously the radius that you can put in, et cetera. So again, there is a little bit of tailoring depending on if you’re setting up a million type machine or a turning type machine and then that information will kind of flow down when you actually sort of link those things together. Do we wanna jump back over to some of the tool organization stuff now, Paul? Sure. Yeah, that sounds good.

– I mean, just stop that there and go back to you.

– All right. So we’ve talked a little bit and there are some good questions coming in and we’ll get to more of them near the end. So the question now, the concept of using specific tool ID numbers hopefully has gotten across. So then how next question in our mind is how do you store that stuff? How do you organize your tool crib? There’s lots of different ways obviously the more sort of standardization, the better overall and as you heard David talk about in his company as they started standardizing toolkits and even their vice locations, they were taking four hours setups taking them down to 15 minutes, just kind of amazing results. So most of these pictures we’re gonna share with you today are actually from customers that they’ve sent to us. So here’s an example of a shop down in the Portland, Oregon area. They’ve gone to really more of the tool cabinet type of setup but they have a ProShop screen right up there so they can easily pull those tools as they’re prepping jobs in advance. That’s another really important part of it is that taking that internal setup and making it external. So let’s jump through here. So yeah, this is again from two different customers one on the bottom there that’s sort of, we call it the before and the upper one in the after, if you are leaving it up to a machinist to look through drawers of parts or sort of tools you know of this is more general descriptions rather than being very specific that’s just gonna end up taking a lot more time and if you can search digitally before you actually have to go look and say, oh, do we have this tool? Yes, we do have enough of them, where you’re searching a database rather than just an actual physical drawer that can certainly help save time. So here’s another example sent by a customer. Again, they’re using the drawer set up but each drawer has unique tool ID numbers on it and those match their CAMs system and match of course their tool library in ProShop. One of the key points that we wanna talk about here is the idea of not organizing tools by type. This is I think the most common way to organize tools. This is certainly how we organized our tools for long time. I had a customer tell me recently that they used to organize tools by type. So they would have, maybe this upper drawer would be quarter-inch on mills and the next drawer would be three eight end mills and the third drawer would be half inch end mills but as their company grows over the years and they bring on new part numbers and more machines and they need to add to that library. You maybe you need a half inch end mill that you’ve never had before. Maybe with a special coding or maybe with a special helix or something, very specific application and if you have a drawer of half inch end mills that’s full and now you need to add more of them, what he said he had to do every two years. They would basically tear apart their whole tooling system add more capacity and then re-put it back in and then two years later they would run out of capacity again. So this whole idea of organizing by type, again it’s super common but it does have some pitfalls. Another thing that we’ve seen with organizing by type is, you have two drawers right next to each other that have a nearly identical tool and you put that tool back in the wrong location and then someone pulls it out later, doesn’t measure it, doesn’t look at it carefully, put it in a machine and they’re making bad parts. So you’ll see in this example, there’s tiny tools right next to bigger tools, right next to taper tools right next to long tools and tiny tools. So when you have a more random selection, which is organized by a tool ID number that you then relate to a database that also helps to really eliminate the possibility of putting the wrong tool in the wrong location or does grabbing the wrong tool when you’re going to pull something out for a setup and of course the tool numbering scheme is infinitely scalable and so here’s an example of, well, making it more digital as well but in this example here, right, just they’re using AkroBins and we have some other examples of that as well, where you need more capacity, you just add more Bins, keep at another rack of shelving add more Bins and you’re ready to go. Yeah, Paul, I wanted to mention when we started doing our tool organization, the concept was really sort of foreign to us at the time, like, yeah, but if it’s a flat end mill, it should go with flat end mills or if it’s drill it should go with drills but in practice it was really easy to know if I needed a B242 I walk up and I know exactly where that’s going to be. It’s gonna be between 241 and 243. I don’t care what 241 and 243 are. I know that tool that I need is right there and then I let the database do the searching for me in that case. So, I wouldn’t spend a bunch of time sort of rooting through the bands to find, okay this is the one with the right radius. I would find that before I walked up to there and then like in this picture here, he’s got a tablet which I think is another great way to do that. You can just kind of take it with you and find what you need.

– So we just had a great question come in from John. I think this is a pertinent time to talk about it. The question is, so let’s say you have hundreds of tools, sizes, codings corner radiuses, when you get a new tool how do you know you don’t already have a spot for that type of tool rather than making a new spot? And John, that’s a great question and that really comes down to the database and maybe at the end, we’ll pull up another page, lathered life page, and ProShop ‘Cause we don’t have a slide for it but, and Brian you could maybe show, searching half-inch end mills and all the parameters that are available. So basically you’d search for it. You say, do we have a half inch end mill with four flutes that has a 60th out corner rad that has a 30 degree helix. That has three, maybe three quarters length to cut and it’ll just pair down those parameters until you can see what tools you have and if you don’t have one, then you make a new one and there is actually another question here from Nathan that might be worth talking about now, too. Nathan says that we have a lot of unique tools that are slightly different that have been accumulated over the years. What would you recommend for consolidating the number of tools we use and what would you do with all the tools we no longer wanna use in the system? It seems wasteful to throw them out, it’s a great point, Nathan, it’s hard to get rid of things that you spent good money on and I would say if the tools are unique in that they have certain parameters that make them different and from something else, I mean then it may be worth keeping them and you can go to a higher density of tools. Let me see if some of these other slides, I mean here’s some examples on the left here this was insert tooling for lades on the right-hand side this is actually from our old shop. Some of those are kind of dirty but you can see that we use these AkroBins and then just little cups inside them. So, it was a pretty minimal expense to keep unique tools but if you find tools that really are just completely redundant then maybe they are worth getting rid of or maybe they’re worth, putting in over by the manual area where you can just grab a tool you might need to make a little cut and make a little fixture or something and it’s not part of your standardized tool library.

– Yeah, there was two specific things that I’d like to mention. One is that in ProShop, you can archive tools. So if it’s something that you don’t intend to use and you wanna take out of the current sort of scheme of things, you can just mark it as archived in the status and that’ll sort of flag it within the system. Another thing is that we donated a lot of tools to the local tech schools and any programs that could, could benefit from it because what we realized was that it was not worth our time to manage these tools to keep track of these tools in case we might need them and somebody else could use them. So repurpose seen for a good cause is always a great move.

– Yeah, thanks Brian. That’s a great point. So here’s digging a little deeper just in on the storage, this is actually is from a different customer of ours that went to this sort of cabinet set up with Bins in it and you can see they just use the little Label Printer to print off a label on the front of these and you’ll notice there’s a combination of tools that are in original packaging and those that are in some tubing. In fact, I think on the next slide. Yeah. So here’s yet another example, Brian you might wanna talk about how we did this.

– Yeah. So what we did was we wanted to be able to quickly identify any tool that was used and we realized that new tools always come in a very sort of typical sort of packaging, so we bought the tools like you see here or the tubes rather that you see here very similar to this. I don’t think we bought them from McMaster. I think we had a different source that was slightly less expensive but we would buy them and we would cut them to length and use them for identifying all used tools. So when you walk up to the Bin a used tool was in one of those. Now the rule was a used tool, if it went back in the Bin it was still good enough to use for pretty much any job and if it wasn’t good enough to use for any job, it wouldn’t go back in the Bin and we would retire that tool which seems expensive at first, until you realize that one time you take a used tool that wasn’t quite good enough and use it in a setup, that’s cost you more than that tool probably cost you in the long run but yeah, simple little shipping tubes like this made quick work, we just had bulk Bins of them. You just grab what you need cut it to the right length, put the caps on it and then when you open the drawer use the used ones first and preserve the new ones ‘Cause they had more life in them. That was the basic rule of thumb that we had in our shop.

– And if we look close at this picture we can see this customer is actually using a Sharpie and writing the word used right on the original packaging, which is another strategy. We decided that we wanted to go to the standardized just clear tubing for use tools but they’re putting them back in the original package and they’re just writing used on them which certainly can work as well. So hopefully that gives you some context and some ideas about tool storage and tool organization. Let’s talk about sort of making tools external and doing that kitting process. As you heard David talk about with making tool kits that helped dramatically reduce his setup times. So the idea of in advance prepping, all the tools that you need for a job down to the specific tool ID numbers. The specific extension length, what kind of holder it’s in, obviously pull studs will be important if you have different poll studs on your machines but if we can take as much of that work as possible and do it in advance that’s gonna help us reduce those setup times and as we point out here in one of these points that doesn’t have to be a fully fledged machinists, we’ve had clients and we ourselves did quite a range of things where machinists that had some extra runtime maybe they’re running a job that has a long cycle time and they just don’t need to attend to that machine for the whole time. They’re looking in advance at the jobs coming up on their machines and then going and prepping those tools. So they’re ready to go. Sometimes the volume of that gets enough that it makes sense to have a dedicated tool crib person. We have a customer in Idaho who when they went all in on the tool module they decided to hire a full-time sort of toolkit, a tool cat, excuse me, tool crib manager, who prepares all the tools, gets all the fixtures ready, basically is in charge of kitting all the jobs and they also saw probably 50% on average setup time reductions by doing that and in our shop, it was our practice to do that kitting, maybe a day or two in advance have these tool caddies, these virtual caddies also that matched in ProShop the physical caddy on a cart with your fixtures with your gauges, with everything you needed. and we actually have a video that we did, about a month ago we did a webinar on setup reduction and that goes into a lot of the, sort of the more general topics for that. So we’ll share a link to that when we share the recording of this one too. Brian, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how how offline tool presetting sort of incorporates in and what we did at our shop and how that intergrated in

– Yeah. So offline presetting is something that we found to be really incredibly valuable in terms of reducing the amount of time that somebody stood in front of a machine. So, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the, take a half inch pin approach or even a total touch off base or any sort of number of things to get the offset into the machine. Now, of course, more modern machines. A lot of them now are just coming with tool setters, built into the machine. Those are great but keep in mind that they do still take time. So if you don’t have a machine that has a standard tool set, a tool setting within the machine is still gonna take some time. So you need to account for that in your allotted setup time. Whereas offline presetting, if you have some optical or physical presetter or something like that you can have all of that information predetermined, in ProShop as I sort of showed before, as you migrate tools from a caddy to a machine all of those offsets that you preset can follow and then you can output your file, your offset file directly into the machine. So you can say, okay, well you you’re running your G 10 program or whatever your specific control uses that’s gonna dramatically reduce the amount of time that it takes to set individual tools. It’s gonna dramatically reduce the amount of time to actually maybe hand type in offset which that we all know that fat fingering, just one number on a tool offset can have catastrophic repercussions. So offline presetting, even though the actual physical presetters are kind of spendy, you might run an ROI and you might see that they will pay for themselves in pretty quick order. If you started taking all of these things into approach, we certainly did that and as we grew, we ended up buying a better sort of faster presetter and optical one versus a physical one. We got better results, just it’s one of those things that I think that you can utilize and it can grow with you and then help you build your process sort of around the the efficiency that you can get with it.

– Yeah, thanks and for those of you that follow the top shops, conference and survey for Modern Machine Shop Magazine, they clearly represent some correlation maybe causality, shops that use these presetters are more productive, have more revenue per employee and per machine and more profitable than those that don’t, well we’re kind of wrapping up the end of our sort of canned session. We still have some questions to get to if you have any questions about anything please feel free to put them into the Q&A and we’ll get to those and I thought it might be worth Brian, having you share your screen again and pull up like the search page for an InMail or something like that.

– Sure.

– Let me stop my share and you go for it. So I’ll get to this question while Brian’s pulling it up from Glen. Do we also work with other tools, storage vendors like ToolBox or CribMaster? Well, I’ll first point out what David was actually talking about is his matrix system. There isn’t actually a connection at this point between ProShop and his matrix system. So when they buy a tool, they put it in their matrix system but they have that tool described in ProShop and that’s what the machinists are using to pull up, what tools they’re supposed to set up for their jobs but there’s not an actual connection to those two pieces of software but we are working diligently and are about to release an API, which will allow ProShop to connect to other software packages and connecting to tool vending machines is certainly on our roadmap. So we haven’t done that yet, so it’s still kind of exploratory phase but I would expect that the common tool systems we very likely will develop integrations with, go ahead and tell, Brian why don’t you just show us an example of searching for a half inch end mill.

– Sure, yeah, so we have a simple method of just using alpha characters for identifying the group. So an a group is an end mill, you can choose whatever characters you want, it’s something dead simple. As I pull this open if I wanted to look at half inch end mills I can just scroll down to the bottom of my list. You can see here, I’ve got 315 and mills here. When I wanna look for half inch, I can filter my list simply by the cut diameter. Maybe it’s specifically half inch, maybe I wanna look for anything that’s just carbide. Oops, if I stole correctly, that would help and maybe I want a two flute, so I can start filtering this really quickly and find exactly what I need and maybe I know that I need to C5 coding all that kind of stuff and pretty quickly I get down to a specific list and I can just kind of scroll across see all the different things I can zoom in, here I can see that these cutting tools are actually custom ground. So they’ve got the little CG which is an automated thing. You check a box and the system will know that that’s a custom ground tool but maybe this is the one I want and I click on that and I go into that tool and I can see all the details about the tool and where I’m gonna buy it, my inventory quantities, if they’re in the shop, if they’re actually in a machine again, ProShop we’ll track that. You’ll be able to know

– Yeah that leads right into another question we have. Can you pull up a common tool, maybe like that A9001, I think or yeah. Any of the tools that you have that might also be in machines.

– Let me pull this in here. I think this one here. So yes. Who asked that question? Pete, yes, Pete, can ProShop keep track of tools which are kept a resident in a machine? Yes, it definitely can. So if we click on that little link it’s gonna show us where those tools are used right now. Like what machines they’re actually in and if you go to that machine. So if you open that in a new tab, Brian, for example.

– Oh, sorry. Yep, there we go.

– Or whatever, this will show you which tools are in that machine and a lot of shops and ours included would keep a standardized set of tools. So it’s either, maybe on a small vertical like this, you keep tools one through 10 that are always the same or maybe it’s a big matrix in a system, a 300 tool matrix on your med horizontal and you just keep those tools in there forever. When you put tools in ProShop you can put them in there and basically not ever change them except for if you maybe you’re running a program or you need to load a few custom tools for that job, along with the standard tool set that are always kept resident. So that’s why when we see that little loading behavior at the top, we can load into starting with a certain pocket. So let’s say on this has tools one through 10 are always standard and tool 11 and above are the custom tools for that job. We can start with pocket 11 and load the custom tools only right into so there’s an example. He just loaded a caddy of tools into this machine, starting at pocket number 11 and these ones actually do have their tool offsets already done. So the original tools can always stay there and the custom ones can be loaded in and out as needed.

– Yeah and you’ll see I actually had a tool number 11 in this machine already. So because I chose not to overwrite tools, it just bumped it down and put it in, started at tool number 12. So there’s different functions depending on how you wanna preserve what’s there but the system does have that ability for sure.

– Another question from Bill, can you import as well as export to Mastercam? Yes, we can import tools through the CSV function, that is more general. That’s not specifically Mastercam but if you have a tool library in your CAM systems that you can export into CSV data or in a spreadsheet format, then yes, you could bring it into ProShop and that is typically what we do with clients that are setting up their systems for the very first time. If they haven’t had specific tool ID number before they’ll kind of go through all their library, start assigning tool IDs and then maybe export that out of their CAM system and import it into ProShop with our API coming up again, we hope that that’ll allow us to get a little deeper integration and to CAM systems where the information is a little bit freer. There is that export button right now to Mastercam which will create a tool file that can be brought right into Mastercam and that can be done on a single tool or a group of tools and we’re just about at the top of the hour but Nathan had another question

– I was to, oh, sorry. I was just gonna actually recommend Nathan maybe you chat with somebody on the service desk side. Maybe Luke would actually have some good input specifically on that question because he’s seen quite a bit and I think that it’s a matter of weighing whether or not.

– Let’s say the question. So everyone knows what it is. The question is if starting fresh with tooling and ProShop would you recommend intentionally rearranging tooling so that similar tools are not positioned next to each other? In my opinion, I’d say yes, if again, that chance if you have no nearly identical tools right next to each other or even in like in the chance in the sake of like drills. You have your number drills right next to each other. There are only a few tenths difference in dimension. That’s ripe for putting tools away in the wrong spot or grabbing the wrong tool potentially. So I think it probably would be well worth reorganizing tools. So they’re not next to each other but worth having a deeper discussion on and then there’s another question from John. If you want to list the tools by type and size along with the Bin number, can you do that?

– So the tool number that the ID and it doesn’t have to be a sequential number. This is just what we think is a really good method to do it but that sequential number is the Bin number. So when you’re organizing your Bins and you’re organizing your list and now I can take this list and I can filter it and arrange it by whatever column I want and it’s really just a matter of finding that number within the Bin. Like I said, I know 480 is gonna be right between 479 and 481. So that’s where I would go to the Bin to actually do that.

– And maybe the question was listing the size like on the Bin, just so that’s, perhaps I’m not sure Don to clarify and we would talk about that alphanumeric number, like the A we use that for flat end mills, B was for tools that had a radius on it, we went through almost the entire alphabet for different reamers and slaughters and chamfer tools and taps and yeah, you can see the and then we actually used sort of a double letter system for all the turning tools. You can see those there. Thanks, John, great. All right. Well, we wanna be respectful of folks’ time, we’re a few minutes over the hour. So I think we’re gonna wrap that up. If you have any other questions for us, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m gonna share my screen back again here.

– Sorry.

– That’s all good. So that is our contact information. If you wanna reach out to David for any reason that’s his email address right there. I’m sure he’d be happy to answer questions for you but thank you very much for joining us today. Hopefully that was useful, hopefully that gave you some ideas of ways that you can organize tooling in your shop better and of course, if you wanna have ProShop be a part of that formula, we’d love to talk with you but otherwise hopefully that provided some value and thanks have a happy Thanksgiving and a safe Thanksgiving coming up for everybody and thanks so much for your time and join us next month for the next topic.

– All right. Thank you very much, guys. Bye.

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