Die Libraries: 3 Ways Tooling Tracking in an MIS/ERP for Packaging and Label Printers Drives Down Costs

Tools Tracking MIS Packaging
Tools Tracking in HiFlow’s MIS for Packaging

Archiving tools and dies reduces labor costs, setup cost and re-make costs.

Tools Tracking MIS Packaging – Like a giant cookie cutter, a cutting die is essentially pressed into the substrate to form the desired shape of a package. Early in packaging manufacturing, die-cutting aided in mass production, and today die-cutting is an essential process for today’s producers’ custom work. For custom packaging and labels, the die is their DNA—unique to the design of one particular job. Die-cutting ensures precision accuracy, whether it is custom packaging or rolls of die cut labels.

Each die is custom fabricated in virtually any shape, design or pattern. A packaging, label or flexible packaging producer will have hundreds or thousands of dies and tools in their inventory. Having an organized system of labeling, storing and updating tooling can dramatically cut make ready times, downtime, labor costs and re-makes.

Three things an MIS optimizes in die & tooling

An end-to-end digital label and narrow web MIS system allows you to store dies and tooling in a database that allows accuracy and eliminates excessive time in searching for specific tools. A vast amount of information is available about a die/tool – and it is all stored in one database. An MIS tooling and die registry feature can streamline the job process by first coding the individual die/tool, then adding it to the database.

HiFlow takes a consultative approach in providing flexible business management solutions for the printing and packaging industries.

(1) A Tools Registry offers comprehensive information

Listing and tracking tools in a registry is the first step towards an efficient storage system and expediting the make ready process. The MIS database will store all the information about dies and tools and make it available for authorized users.

When a die is designed by CAD department, or ordered from an outside vendor, it is added to the registry with its code (identifier). An image is also uploaded so shop floor can proof the die against the image.

Re-makes, downtime, labor costs—lowered. Just by organizing your tooling library.

Tools Tracking MIS Packaging
Tools Tracking MIS Packaging

What else can be stored in a tools registry?

  • Name – typically it is descriptive (e.g., product name, product category name, product size) – it is extensively used for searching the tool
  • Location – shelf number / row – so you know where die is/ is stored to find it quickly
  • Production parameters (substrate, sheet size, finish sizes (folded box size), flat sizes, number of pieces on sheet) – those are pulled to estimate so estimator can choose the die and parameters are automatically filled in the estimate
  • Files – a PDF file which can be viewed in dies list – but also is automatically available at the job preparation step and at the shop floor (for operators)
  • Status (Designed, Ordered, Available, In-Renovation, Archived)

(2) You will know precisely how many times a tool was used, when, and on which job & machinerehensive information

An operator who adds the die to a task (makeready, run) knows exactly how many times the die has been used and a variety of additional information. A dies history is collected by the MIS shop floor data collection feature.

Tools Tracking MIS Packaging

Tools history includes:

  • When die was used
  • By whom
  • On which Job
  • On which machine
  • On which task (makeready, run)
  • How many makereadies, sheets, were done

(3) Know when you need to repair or replace a die

A Tools Registry gives information on the actual durability of each die. It describes the life cycle of the die from purchase to exhaustion. This is invaluable in preventing downtime, as when a tool is retrieved from the library but is blind or broken.

After the die reaches its limit of durability (or is broken during production) a notice is created and it can be taken to be renovated (replacement of cutting knives, for example). Or it needs to be replaced which triggers a purchase order alert. Either way, the system can label its status as “In Renovation”.

HiFlow manages:
Cutting dies
Foil stamping dies
Embossing/debossing dies
Flexo printing forms
Anilox cylinders

Tools Tracking MIS Packaging
MIS Packaging

What you know about a tool/die’s history:

  • Durability of die (filled when adding new die)
  • Exhaustion (how many impressions)
  • Exhaustion % – compares exhaustion to durability
  • Date of last use – it is used to find tools which are no longer in use – to archive them (e.g. not used in 6 months)

Consider an MIS with tools registry features.

Find tools fast and easily.

Cut down on labor costs.

Find tools easily and quickly

Make readies flow quickly because the right tool in the right condition is found.

Inventory of dies and tools is kept updated and repairs done as a matter of course rather than making emergency repairs.

Dies and tools are expensive assets. An MIS optimizes tool use and maintenance. You save downtime, labor costs.

An MIS for packaging or label producers can help you reduce downtime, labor costs and re-makes and eliminate redundant steps so that your packaging and label business saves time, resources and money.

Jack J Lafler

Jack J Lafler

VP, Sales & Technology

Office: +1.786.757.9248