My company uses what we call intelligent tool cabinets in several assembly areas. They are accessed via the employee's ID card. The system logs time, date, user, tool(s) removed and logs the same information when they are returned. They are quite expensive, so they are not something a homeowner could afford for their garage or work area.
The larger tools have a RFID chip built into them. The smaller tools like sockets have tip switches in the slots where they go in the drawers. These are matched up by the processor to the tool numbers. Reports show who took or replaced each tool and on what day and time. If a tool is missing, the screen shows who checked it out and when. A handheld wand can be used to track it down if it is left somewhere. Our purpose for them, besides keeping tool inventory, is to ensure that no tools are left inside an assembly when it is shipped from our facility.
Eleven years ago one of those rare, brilliant moments emerged from the crack staff of Design News: Let’s put the tinkerers among our audience community to work in designing and building some truly wacky devices. And Gadget Freak was born.
Followers of Design News’ Gadget Freak blogs will have the opportunity next week to take home a wireless remote demo package that can be used to build garage door openers, tire pressure monitors, keyless entry systems, and much more.
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