Increase your workshop efficiency with a warehousing system


Increase workshop efficiency with a warehousing system

Do you want to reduce tool handling costs? Cut down on handling, procurement, inventory, administration and increase efficiency with the MATRIX, a management system to control inventory, streamline purchasing and drive down costs.

It combines an innovative automated tool dispenser with MATRIX-TM, a management software. Access to an item stored in MATRIX’s locked bins is electronically controlled by the management software according to pre-defined authorisations.

AG Price, a Thames-based foundry and engineering works, has recently installed its second MATRIX from Iscar Pacific. Initially specialising in the production of steam locomotives, the company has expanded into carrying out highly technical refurbishment work for industries such as hydroelectric power generation, mining and processing; as well as winning contracts on the ANZAC frigate and the America’s Cup campaigns in 1995 and 2000.

Seeing an opportunity to decrease machine and staff downtime, AG Price decided to install an electronic warehousing system to move away from manual stock control. After running an inferior vending machine for years and finding that system lacking, AG Price started the search for a product that would track and control their tooling spending and consumption through the reporting and statistics function, as well as monitor who has taken out the tools.

“The old tool vending system sent us an email and then that would be handwritten on a purchase request, passed onto the store man who turned it into a purchase order and it then got processed so a lot of double handling,” says AG Price machine shop manager Jake Tyrrell-Baxter. The MATRIX has cut down this process, as well as providing Mr Tyrrell-Baxter with reporting tools, and future proofing the AG Price’s tool inventory systems “to the point where we could take tools and book tools through it as well, and have an open stock inventory on that front”. With the MATRIX system minimum stock levels can be set and new tools will be automatically reordered by sending an email to Iscar Pacific, with tools delivered the next day.

Up in Auckland at the EG Whiter workshop, owner Neil Goodman installed his MATRIX three years ago and hasn’t looked back. After becoming fed up with having tools kept in disarray in draws, the MATRIX was installed and now his workshop efficiency has improved because tools are in one place, always in stock and re-ordering is as easy as pressing a button.

Mr Goodman says training his staff was quick and straightforward. “Training is really easy so for the guys to pick it up it’s a dream, it’s just really easy for them, Iscar put the catalogue out there for me so they can use the barcode to scan it and use their Flybuys card or whatever they’ve got to log in, just a scan log in, just scan products, makes it really fast.” Employees now not only know exactly where the tool they need is and how to find it, but have also been empowered to learn for themselves about which inserts are which and the grade of each insert.

AG Price had their original MATRIX for two years and recently added their second one which has been installed to run seamlessly with the first. The MATRIX has also been able to integrate with the hardware from AG Price’s first tool vending system. Flexibility is the key to any storage solution, and MATRIX excels. Drawer configurations can be swapped-in or out, and add-on cabinets are connected with a click of a cable. Multiple cabinets can be deployed in different locations and networked to run from one common database.

Tool and die manufacturer RPM make the most of their MATRIX when it comes to reporting. The MATRIX shows you what you’re spending, what you’re ordering and gives you stock value of the machine which RPM chief executive Chris Vincent appreciates. The reporting function of the MATRIX allows the administrators to access reports with the full transaction history by item, employee and cost code; and consumption statistics for better planning and cost reduction analysis. Reports and graphs can be viewed online or downloaded in XLS, XML, CSV or PDF formats.

The MATRIX has an easy to use interface with a large touch screen that allows the user to issue, return and administer items. The plug and play technology means that the MATRIX can be up and running quickly with little training required.

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