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Tracking the use of equipment that is being used

Discussion in 'Documentation Control, Procedures, Templates,...' started by Marco47, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Marco47

    Marco47 New Member

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    Hello community!

    I am not sure if my thread fits the topic, I am sorry if it does not.

    I am searching for a method of tracking the use of welding equipment. I was thinking of something like a docking station that recognizes when equipment is being taken off or being put onto it, so this data can be further analyzed in a MES or ERP system.

    Is there a widespread solution on the market for my problem?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Bar coding and scanning?
     
  3. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Do you want to track the USE of it...or when it is in someones possession (ie checked out and not available for someone else, whether or not it is actively being used)?

    For direct use...put an hour counter on it...you'll have a track of usage time. Read the counter however often you want.

    For check-in check out, simple signout form on a clipboard to barcode scan in/outs...and many ways in between.

    There are also proximity sensors readily available for <$25 USD to auto-detect when it is in dock...though you'll want to put some effort into foolproofing the dock.
     
  4. Marco47

    Marco47 New Member

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    Thank you for your answer.

    I want to track when and for how long the equipment is being used. Could I accomplish this with hour counters and are those hour counters integrable into MES Systems?
     
  5. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how often the equipment is used...and how granular you want to track it...you could simply read the hour counter and type it into your ERP...that's what I've done.
    GPS asset trackers can also give you not only "how long" but also "when" and "where".
    How big of a deal are you prepared to make to achieve this goal?

    Hour counters are cheap and easy
    GPS trackers are more expensive, more granular and take more labor to leverage (translation and data entry)
    Code enabled entry is even more expensive, but would force the user to enter use time on and off in order to use the equipment...it would also give you "who".
    - An authorized, manned check-out/check-in procedure would be close as well (have to ask someone else in order to get the welder...that second person enters the data to MES)
    Full automation of the check-out, use, check in process...but would likely run 6-figures.

    How far are you trying to go for tracking welding equipment?
     
    tony s and Marco47 like this.
  6. Marco47

    Marco47 New Member

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    By tracking the use of welding equipment, it should be possible to roughly derive the working progress. So "when" and "how long" are the most interesting values to me.

    I thought about manually typing the start of use into MES/ERP too. But in order to find the best suitable solution I also want to consider a more automated way. I try to consider several possibilities.

    I want to also track "when" the machine has been used. As far as I know hour meters only count the total time of use without association to time and date, or am I wrong? Do you know if hour meters are integratable into MES/ERP systems? Or is manually typing the data into those systems always required with hour meters?

    The welding machines will stay in the same hall on the same working station. So "where" is not an issue. GPS would furthermore probably face problems because of the concrete ceiling.

    I want to create a roadmap with several possible solutions to later decide how far I want to go. But a partly automated approach (no manual typing) without huge investments is preferable.
     
  7. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    If it were me, my next stop would be twofold:
    1. The welding rig manufacturer/seller/distributor
    2. The ERP integration support company you use.

    No sense reinventing things if an existing provider already does it...
     

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