Tool Room Assessment Check List

Check List

by STEVEN ALAN BALL

Machine ToolsI can usually assess the health of an entire tool room by poking around for an hour. Through experience, I’ve learned to run through a simple checklist as I look for the following items:

1. Documentation

  • Is guidance posted?
  • Are forms properly filled out for each toolbox?
  • Are tools accounted for?
  • Was the box properly checked in and out?
  • Where’s the box or individual tool that is missing?
  • Are calibrated tools such as torque wrenches current?
  • What happened to the broken ones?
  • Who has the CTK that isn’t in the tool room?
  • If I go and look for it, will it be with the one who supposedly has it?
  • Are all lost items properly looked for? Documented? Tracked?

2. Tools Identified

  • Is every tool in the kit identified for that kit?
  • Is every tool singly identified (no double etching)?
  • Do identical tools such as torque wrenches that are stored together in a kit have a home? For instance, if five torque wrenches are all removed together, do you know which one goes in each spot in the drawer?
  • Are tiny items such as drill bits stored in a larger container so that they can be kept together as a group?
  • Is the larger container or sub-tray specifically identified for that kit?
  • How are your rags controlled? Do you count them out and count them back in again?

3. Tools Clean and Serviceable?

  • Pick each one up.
  • Are the kit and kit contents dry?
  • Are they free of corrosion?
  • Free of excessive oil and grease?
  • Are there any foreign objects in the box underneath where the tool lay?
  • Are there any foreign objects under the toolkit foam?
  • Is the toolkit interior and exterior in good repair?
  • Is the padlock on a lanyard?
  • Is the padlock etched?
  • Does each toolkit have a FOD bag or FODCAN?

4. Test Equipment

  • Is it current in calibration?
  • Are accessories identified for that item?
  • Do individual training records document certification on high cost or special test equipment?
  • Are all items properly stored?
  • Are all items accounted for?
  • Is there a calibration schedule for all test equipment items?
  • Is there an equipment brochure available?
  • Are handles, knobs, dials and viewing surfaces tight and clean?
  • Are all screws, bolts, fasteners and general hardware accounted for?
  • Are power cords and adapters in serviceable condition?
  • Are batteries free of corrosion? Are they stored separately?

5. Leadership

  • Do managers and supervisors periodically visit and help inspect the tool room?
  • When it gets busy, do toolkit check-ins and check-outs become top priority for everyone in the tool room?
  • Is guidance and policy directed from the top down? Is there a good feedback process from the most junior member of the team back up to leadership?
  • Do supervisors reward top performers? Do they guide and lead by example?
  • Do supervisors assess their own toolkits regularly?

6. Quality Assurance

  • Does your QA inspect the tool room each month?
  • Are they fair in their assessments?
  • Do they share trend information with tool room personnel?
  • Do they spend time to teach and train?
  • When they walk into the tool room, do people fear their tread? (I hope not.)

7. Individual Tool Items

  • Are all separate items marked?
  • Are they checked in with the same care as a small toolkit?
  • Does each have a clearly marked home?
  • Are all the holders, racks and shadowed spots inventoried before the off-going shift is released from duty?

8. Bench and Operating Stock

  • Is the exact number of needed items counted out before they are handed over the counter?
  • Do technicians and mechanics have free access to bench stock?
  • Should you expect the old items back?
  • Do you trade an old bolt for a new? Should you?
  • Are similar containers of liquid clearly marked so you don’t hand out the wrong stuff?
  • If what the customer is asking for doesn’t sound right, do you question it?
  • If you hand out disposable brushes, sponges, paper and such do you know where they all went?
  • Should you be asking for them back?

9. The Non-Punitive Policy

  • What’s going to happen to the person who left the tool in the jet?
  • Have you implemented a non-punitive policy (quick to admit — all is forgiven)?
  • If you haven’t, what do you think might happen?

Want to learn more? Contact us for guidance on developing your FOD program.