The Challenge

For many manufacturers, machine tool inventories can easily number in the hundreds, if not thousands. Between CNC tools, molds, and others, even small manufacturers could have a large number of tools in circulation at any given time. Tracking these tools is a labor intensive, highly manual process.

Tool location is recorded manually, and the status of a given tool may not be reflected in real-time. Manual records are prone to error, and don’t provide the visibility manufacturers need to plan production or manage inventory.

Further, current tool tracking methods rarely record critical data on usage. Without information on usage, it’s impossible to track the condition of a tool through its life-cycle. It’s also difficult to correlate usage with possible causes of damage.

For manufacturers large and small, lack of real-time visibility into the status, location and condition of tools can be a significant source of inefficiency.

Tulip’s Solution

Tulip’s no-code platform lets manufacturers design apps for tracking tools across the shop floor in real time, without errors. Tulip is flexible, and can be customized to meet specific tool tracking needs across industry and scale.

Using Tulip for tool tracking, we’ve seen customers eliminate time spent looking for tools, and dramatically reduce time spent accounting for tool state and location. This information has improved overall line efficiency by as much as 75%.

Tool tracking app image
Example of a tool tracking app with Tulip

Real-Time Visibility

Using IoT connected devices like barcode scanners, RFID sensors, cameras, and break beams, Tulip records the location of tools in real-time, letting operators locate the exact tool they need, when they need it. Whether ready in the tool crib, attached to an asset in a workflow, or in use in a rework loop, Tulip provides full visibility into the location and status of tools so that no time is wasted locating a drill bit or a mold.

With better visibility, there’s less downtime on the shopfloor, resulting in more efficient workflows–and tangible cost savings.

This visibility can be leveraged beyond tool tracking, and can assist with WiP tracking, product genealogy, and workflow optimization.

Choose a tool app
Tulip lets you log location and usage of all tools

Condition Tracking

Tulip automatically tracks data on usage, giving manufacturers a granular view of tool life-cycle. Whether measured in hours in use, units produced, or other metrics, Tulip helps manufacturers understand the relationship between usage and condition.

This usage data leads to more accurate root cause analysis. Information about tool condition can be compared with other production data, allowing engineers to correlate tool usage with possible causes of damage. This data can also be used to determine the number of tools necessary for a given production order.

Further, engineers can use Tulip’s no-code logic to create triggers that send operators an alarm when a tool crosses a certain threshold. This let’s operators remove tools from production when they are likely to break, or their usage could result in rework.

No-Code Tables

Data is useless unless it can be easily accessed. Tulip lets engineers tie their applications to easily accessible data tables. In a single table, Tulip can be set to account for hours run on a tool, which assets it was connected to, whether a tool is ready for use, and the current location of a tool. Operators and engineers access tables of tool data without writing a SQL query.

Without writing a single line of code, manufacturers can access real-time information on tools. This information can easily be compared with other vital production data, for example, batch data or defect logs, and used to gain insights into OEE or product quality.

What results is production visibility that extends beyond tool location. Using Tulip for tool tracking, manufacturers can understand their processes from a more connected, holistic perspective.

Ready to upgrade your tool tracking efforts? Starting building tool tracking apps with a free trial today.