Even during times of advancing digitalisation, many tasks in panel building still require a lot of manual work. Manual assembly and wiring account for around 72% of the time spent working on the installation, in a classic panel building project for example. By standardising tool chests in which the tools and work materials are optimally organised according to the area of application, efficiency can be increased by 10%. With tool chests developed in line with 5S and lean principles, and which are smartly equipped to the highest quality, users can save costs and time. But what does using this kind of tool chest look like in practice? We interviewed Mr Rubén Carballo, Head of Panel Building at K. Schweizer AG, about how his company uses 15 Weidmüller tool chests.
In workshops for electrical engineering and electronics especially, individual workstations often become chaotic. Besides cutting and stripping tools, crimping tools and screwdrivers are left lying around, pliers sit in between test tools, and cables add further chaos to the workstation. At the start of the working day, searching for the right tool "eats up" the employee's valuable working time. At the end of the day, there's often not enough time left to tidy up the workstation. This vicious circle is further intensified when an employee has to take over the workstation of a colleague and cannot find their way around the mess. In order to solve this problem, Weidmüller has devised a complete solution that is impressively efficient. The tool chest is fully equipped with inlays and tools and is supplied ready to use. The electrical installation company K. Schweizer AG from Basel took this opportunity to equip its employees with 15 tool chests. "We're in the process of modernising the building at one of our three locations, and as part of this we're also converting the entire workshop at the site. It was important for us to standardise everything during the modernisation process", Carballo emphasises.
Weidmüller's tool chests are ideal for standardising all workstations, as their internal structure can be set up identically. Maximum flexibility was achieved in the individual drawers. Thanks to the internal, three-part foam inserts, the drawers can be laid out according to the specific application. Each item in the workshop tool chest has its own fixed position in the foam insert cut-outs. Standard tools are positioned directly within reach, and tools that are often used together are positioned alongside each other. This well-thought-out arrangement alone reduces the time spent searching for, reaching for, tidying and checking tools by up to ten per cent. Each inlay is individually adapted to the customer, which makes it unique. The individual inlays can be replaced and combined with each other. This means they can adapt to the specific workflow in the particular area of application. This aspect also won over K. Schweizer AG. "We planned the layout in the tool chest ourselves, in a way that allows us to get the best out of it for our applications", explains Carballo. "All the other tool chests were then set up identically, so that later on, tool worker A can also work with colleague B's tool chest and immediately knows where the right tool is located."
Using clearly visible markers with a designation and item number, the tools can be allocated correctly. The QR code attached to the tool links directly to the online catalogue providing further technical or product-specific information about the tool. Thanks to the part number, missing or defective products can be requested directly if necessary.
Weidmüller's tool chests are developed according to 5S and lean principles, for the purpose of standardising workshops. Each tool has its own place in the chest, is clearly identified and clearly marked. This improves efficiency and saves time. If the company wishes to take further modernisation steps or it expands the work carried out by its teams, additional elements can be added to the tool chest later on thanks to the standard perforated walls at both ends, and also optionally at the rear.
K. Schweizer AG is a large controller and plant manufacturer. Specialising in installation and panel building, it focuses on distribution cabinets in the building sector, as well as building automation and classic control engineering. The tool chests from Weidmüller are used at the company every day and they help with the wiring of controllers, house junction boxes and many other electrical wiring tasks. The Weidmüller tool chests are used to optimise the work processes at K. Schweizer AG, and by standardising the workstations they have led to further savings. When the tool chests are used frequently, as is the case at K. Schweizer AG, a company can make very noticeable time savings.
The collaboration between the two companies actually first began with another project. "We joined forces tendering for a major project, which thankfully we won. The fact that we worked together on this project for many years ultimately paved the way for the integrated process of the Workplace Solution", recalls Mr Stefan Ebi, Field Sales Engineer North at Weidmüller. "It then gradually became clear that the tool chests with their internal, flexible layout were exactly what K. Schweizer was looking for." Both companies have nothing but positive things to say about their collaboration. "From our point of view, the relationship has always been friendly, very correct and above all effective", praises Carballo. In the future, other Weidmüller products, such as printers and markers, will be added to the K. Schweizer range.
"By standardising workplaces, we hope to achieve valuable additional savings. Being able to quickly find missing tools also plays a part in this", summarises Carballo. "Marking with MultiCard markers and QR codes helps too. With the introduction of new tool chests, we wanted to create modern, efficient workstations and optimise the work opportunities for our employees. Thanks to Weidmüller, we've been able to do this." Each Weidmüller tool chest is unique and tailored to the wishes and needs of each customer. This means that when future users purchase a tool chest, they can be sure that they will receive a complete solution for their workstations that has been optimally adapted to their needs and is guaranteed to increase efficiency.
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