Date of Submission
Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering
Adeel Khalid, PhD
The Siemens Energy, Inc. Tool and Instrument Facility is an internal tool rental center that assembles tool kits and ships them to power generation sites. When miscellaneous, broken or extra tools are returned, they are sent to the eReturn area, where tools are processed and reentered into inventory. The current eReturn system is long and complex. The cluttered area causes tools to remain in eReturn for extended periods before being reentered into the inventory. The additional time causes unnecessary ordering and prevents tools from being used in more kits. The team's objective is to determine a solution that will allow tools to move quickly through eReturn and reduce the error and inefficiency that currently plagues the eReturn system. A Voice of the Customer (VOC) was conducted to determine how Stakeholders (Management and Kit Assemblers) felt about the current system and improvements that could be implemented. Using the information from the VOC, the team concluded tool identification was a major concern. We created a data collection log to determine the amount of time kit assemblers spent completing an eReturn. After looking into many possible techniques for tool identification, barcoding was determined to be the optimal method. A Cost Benefit Analysi s was then created to compare the financial advantages of using engravers or stickers. After our research and analysis, we have determined that implementing an identification system is the preferred method to begin rectifying the existing problems in eReturn. An identification system will greatly reduce the amount of human error, decrease build up in inventory, and will allow the tools to be processed back into the inventory rapidly. These are some of the impacts that directly concern the eReturn system. However, this implementation will also positively impact other aspects of the facilities operations. Some of the additional benefits to implementing an identification system, is that this system will facilitate making the tools traceable, reduce employee training time, allow more kits to be processed, facilitate quicker kit turn-around time, and create a substantial financial gain for the tooling facility. For the initial implementation, sticker tagging is the most cost effective identification method. Sticker tags should be used on the majority of the tools. It may be necessary to use tag engraving rather than sticker due to some of the tool’s work environment. To bring this program to conclusion there are other steps that need to be completed. These steps can be subdivided into projects. The following steps will compete the program’s objective of revamping the eReturn system:
- Institute a labeled FIFO rack storage system based on classification.
- Install a computer, barcode reader, and work surface area.
- Employ or jointly employ a dedicated eReturn supervisor.
- Set up verification method using the created tools so that there is continual improvement.