High Tech Tool Tracking

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PHXPhlyer
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High Tech Tool Tracking

#1 Post by PHXPhlyer » Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:28 pm

I am watching a program on the Science Channel on helicopter maintenance.
One of the operators featured is Era Helicopters operating out of Louisiana in support of Gulf of Mexico oil operations.
Their mechanics' tool chests are key card locked and every time a tool drawer is opened a camera records an image of the drawer's contents and shows what tools are removed and returned. :-o
At the end of a shift the screen must show all tools accounted for.
I wasn't aware of this high tech approach to tool tracking.
I wonder to what extent Boeing makes use of this technology as they seem to have problems in this area, among others. :-?

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#2 Post by G~Man » Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:06 pm

We use a slightly lower tech approach, in tha all our mechanic drawers are photographed, at the end of working on a mjor project, the mechainc must match his tool drawers to the pictures.
B-) Life may not be the party you hoped for, but while you're here, you may as well dance. B-)

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#3 Post by PHXPhlyer » Wed Mar 27, 2024 6:22 pm

A quick Google search came up with this:

https://snaponlevel5.com/
SnapOn website doesn't play nice even when allowing cookies. ^! [-X :((

Edit: This one seems better #:-S
https://www.snapon.com/Aviation/Aviatio ... ontrol.htm

https://henchmantrak.com/kabtrak

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#4 Post by Wodrick » Wed Mar 27, 2024 11:38 pm

A long time ago one of our DC10-10s had a very minor fuel leak from the center tank, no choice we had to crack the tank and reseal it in the area of the leak.
Chap was designated and in he went, not too long after he appeared at the open panel with the biggest grin you have ever seen as he handed out a toolbox complete.

Goodness knows where that had come from, the Aircraft came to Airtours from the Danish arm and who knows before them.

That's the best foreign object I have ever heard of my personal best is a pair of Robinson Wire Locking Pliers found in a 727 E+E bay. Still got 'em and still use 'em.

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#5 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Mar 28, 2024 12:06 am

Back in my CFI days I took two students on a cross country to tick off the requirement for take-offs and landings at a towered airport.
One flew up and did his takeoffs and landings. We then took a break and when reading for the return home I instructed the other student to do a walk around. He groused that a walk around had already been done before we left home base.
I told him to "Just do as told".
While checking the oil level of the Cherokee's engine he spotted a screwdriver on top of the engine case between the cylinders.
"See" I said, "That's why we do walk arounds." I also got to chide the student who missed it on the the first walk around before we left base.
The next morning I walked into the maintenance hangar and asked whose screwdriver it was.
The mechanic told me whose it was and said that he would give it to him. I told him that I would return it myself.
When I gave it to its owner he thanked me and asked where I found it.
He was more than a little red faced when I said... Tucson. :D

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#6 Post by Boac » Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:22 am

Wodrick wrote:Goodness knows where that had come from
Quite possibly from the factory! Story of a three-legged stool found in the main tank of an Electra where the guy had been sitting rivetting during manufacture. :-o

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#7 Post by Wodrick » Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:02 am

Boac wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:22 am
Quite possibly from the factory! Story of a three-legged stool found in the main tank of an Electra where the guy had been sitting rivetting during manufacture. :-o
Quite possibly, one doesn't go into tanks often.

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Re: High Tech Tool Tracking

#8 Post by llondel » Thu Mar 28, 2024 3:40 pm

One of my previous employers has a fancy solution for tool tracking on production lines. Mostly cars, but I think they've got pictures of an aircraft line too. For cars, it's possible to set things up so that as a car comes into the area, the system wirelessly programs the torque wrench to the correct setting[*] and can detect that it has been operated the correct number of times near each activation point (think four wheels, with four nuts each) and records the torque reached. The tool also won't work if taken outside its work area, which stops others from borrowing it. They can probably set an alarm to let people know it's gone for a walk in case it gets left on/in the vehicle.

[*] Modern car lines can have multiple variants in the queue, which may require different settings, and sometimes even different tools.

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