Machine Shop Organization Ideas

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A machinist working on bells for a historic church.
A machinist working on bells for a historic church. (Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

In machine shops, production is critical to revenue. Delays in production can lead to increased costs and missed deadlines, which ultimately can lose a business clients. Efficiency helps make production run smoothly and eliminates wasted time. Keeping the parts, tools and production departments of a machine shop organized helps streamline workflow and keeps projects running on schedule.

Setup Cart

Setup carts are essential to quick and easy functionality in a machine shop. These carts are loaded with the tools and parts necessary to complete a particular job. They can be prepped with items necessary for routine work or for a specialty project. Regardless of the daily use, keeping these neat, organized and uncluttered improves their effectiveness. Shop managers can prepare a list of all the tools that go on the cart and a chart that maps out where they should be stored. At the start of each day or week, the carts should be stocked with the necessary tools.

Label Tools and Parts

Machine shops have many work areas, from shipping and receiving to assembly to production, and tools and parts are related to each. Color-coding all tools and parts and having the colors correspond to a certain area of the machine shop helps keep all the tools and parts in their correct place, eliminating the need to hunt them down and also eliminating clutter around the shop.

Drawer Organization

Machine shops typically have drawers for storage of various parts and tools. These can quickly become a jumbled mess with daily use. Using containers and inserts in the drawers, clearly labeled for what belongs in them, helps eliminate confusion and reduces time waste. They make it easier for workers to find the parts or tools they need.

Magnetize and Mobilize

Adhering magnetic strips to the sides of machines can help to keep commonly used tools organized and easily reached. For example, a set of Allen wrenches can be organized this way because these tools are lightweight and frequently used. Add wheels to tool and storage bins to make them mobile and allow workers to bring the bins wherever they are needed. This keeps loose parts and tools from being strewn about the machine shop.

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