Toolcrib streamlines production setups

Toolcrib streamlines production setups

A Lista toolcrib puts C&D Aerospace's tool in one place.

C&D Aerospace's ( metalworking division in Huntington Beach, Calif., needed to increase usage of capital equipment and add value to its overall operations by consolidating all its metalworking equipment. The consolidation included machining, tooling and sheet metal production, whose parts are for composites manufacturing. As part of this initiative, C&D also recognized the necessity for storage and retrieval of non-recurring equipment such as cutters, holders and tooling, and that entailed building a strategically located toolcrib within the confines of the manufacturing floor.

The shop consulted Dmark Corp. (, a Southern California machine and tool sales group that designed and implemented products from Lista International ( for the C&D project. Lista's toolcrib organized all C&D's non-recurring tools and equipment, improves its control over tools and equipment, provides tool-preparation workspaces and is aesthetically pleasing for customer visits.

Prior to the toolcrib, manufacturing engineers spent 20 to 30 percent of production time preparing tools for machines. This percentage is now drastically reduced and when a tool is needed, manufacturing engineers fill out a work-authorization form that is routed to the toolcrib. Toolcrib team members prepare tools, set up orders and send tools and materials to the appropriate machines via one of 15 Lista tool transporters in the shop.

Engineers spend less than 8 percent of production time outfitting a machine with tooling. "The reduction in tool preparation and machine setup time is outstanding. We can now focus our production time where it should be — on producing parts. Additionally, we have better control over our tool inventory because we can track all tools and parts throughout the facility using the work authorizations," says Gary Reece, director of product support at C&D.

C&D's glass-enclosed toolcrib houses a system of stacked Lista modular cabinets, which provide 50 percent more storage than conventional shelving. Cabinet drawers present a variety of heights and interior configurations for a meeting C&D's wide range of storage requirements.

Pairs of cabinets are stacked onto each other and fastened together, and 10-ft-high cabinet couplings run down the length of the toolcrib for small and large-item storage. A collapsible safety ladder provides easy access. Also in the toolcrib, four Lista workstations with butcher-block tops provide rugged surfaces for the pounding and grinding involved in tool set up.

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