Tool management and inventory control at the push of a button from M.A. Ford Europe

The latest addition to the M.A. Ford Europe TMS range of tool management, inventory control and vending machines has been introduced by the company, which provides fully automated stock control and tool management solutions on-site.

For almost 5 years, M.A. Ford has been providing automated stock control machines to customers, in conjunction with its specialist partner IVTS Ltd, enabling instant access to M.A. Ford’s high precision tooling at the push of a button with no waiting, lost production or hassle.

The new TMS-VX500 is a carousel type machine, which has a small footprint of only 0.85m2 yet can accommodate up to 628 individual SKUs that can be accessed securely from the large colour LCD touch-screen. The screen can also be configured to display a range of product information, images and reporting data.

All TMS machines are linked to a web-based portal, allowing customers to generate a range of inventory and usage reports, as well as automatically generating purchase orders for replacement stock direct to M.A. Ford Europe. This data can also be used to manage cutting tool expenditure and monitor costs in greater detail.

Security parameters and authorised access can also be easily set up, to allow differing levels of access depending on the individual operator’s role or seniority, as well as the ability to work with key-cards and other sensor based access solutions. Alerts can also be set up to notify by text or e-mail if unauthorised access is attempted or if some other critical parameter is triggered.

Mark Dainty, M.A. Ford Europe’s Technical Sale Manager and TMS specialist, explained: “For many of our customers with a high use and inventory of our tooling, we supply the TMS machines, as part of our ongoing relationship with them and is part of the service.”

He added: “However over the past couple of years, we have also experienced a significant increase in customers wanting to install our TMS tool management systems and software, purely to enable a more controlled process for cost management and production control.

“In almost every case, companies have been able to reduce costs, manage stock and operate with a higher level of management information than before, so there are some clear benefits. We’re also planning to increase the range further during 2021 with more options to meet demand from manufacturers of all sizes.”