Management of tool inventory in mission-critical operations to actively prevent FOD and save time.
Tool tracking plays its role in mission-critical operations where effective tool inventory management and accountability are key to actively preventing FOD incidents and promoting time savings.
RFID tool tracking generates a positive return on investment by primarily saving costs for replacing lost or stolen tools. Furthermore, it provides valuable data on the history, usage, and preventive maintenance of each tool, enabling informed decisions regarding purchasing or selling tools that contribute to saving both time and money for the company.
Aerospace tool control procedures traditionally rely on visual tool identifications such as tool foam organizers for toolboxes and drawers. Tool cribs and sign-in/sign-out procedures provide another level of control but with limited efficacy and accuracy.
Aircraft MRO operations have been early adopters of tool crib software and solutions, setting the standard for how other industries can address their own safety, compliance, and productivity challenges.
Automated Tool Control (ATC) solutions are now available that bring tool control RFID systems to drive safety, efficiency, and digitization.
The ATC solutions are built around multiple smart RFID-enabled mobile and fixed tool storage options, including tool crib, tool trolley, tool cart, tool cabinet, CICO kiosk, tool room, toolbox.
Aerospace and industrial operations have first-hand experiences of the limitations of manual tool tracking relying on tool foam organizers, sign-in/sign-out procedures, visual identifiers, or barcodes.
UHF RFID is preferred for tool tracking systems because it has a longer read range compared to other tracking technologies such as barcodes or QR codes.
The longer read range enables systems to inventory many tools simultaneously, automatically in an RFID-enabled tool crib, or using a handheld UHF RFID reader that also allows for tool locating.
Passive UHF RFID (aka RAIN RFID) in particular does not require any battery, therefore reducing costs and limiting the need for additional maintenance.
Moreover, RFID tags are rugged and durable, making them suitable for physically demanding environments.
A tool tracking system automates all tool inventory management procedures by using wireless tags and RFID readers, with the option to deploy smart tool storage such as an RFID toolbox and customized tool crib software, to identify, track and control tools in real-time throughout their workflow and lifecycle.
The solution will integrate all the components for optimal accuracy at long and short ranges, and for work in a high density of metal surfaces:
Common questions faced when deciding on implementing a tool tracking system:
The steps involved in determining the right system for tool tracking include evaluating the specific requirements of the organization, understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technology, considering the cost-benefit analysis, and assessing if it can effectively address the identified challenges in tool tracking.
Xerafy has developed a unique range of rugged RFID tagging solutions, built on overcoming several challenges of traditional RFID technology relating to tool tracking when it comes to metal interference, harsh environments, and long-range read distance requirements.
Connected Tools are professional tools coming with native RFID features to enable tracking, identification, location, usage data capture.
Unlike retrofit tools that gain RFID features at point-of-use, Connected Tools see the RFID chip integrated into the very design of the item and embedded by the manufacturer.
Xerafy has pioneered this new approach with leading manufacturers such as Stanley Black & Decker (for its Cribmaster, Proto, and Facom brands), Kyoto Tool, SnapOn. Tool manufacturers respond to the strong interest for evolutions in tool management and FOD prevention.