Tool Control Pushes Food Safety to New Levels for KP Snack

Tool Control Pushes Food Safety to New Levels for KP Snacks

Tool Control Pushes Food Safety to New Levels for KP Snack

Tool Control Pushes Food Safety to New Levels for KP Snacks.

KP Snacks, which is part of the Intersnack Group, has been manufacturing quality snacks across the UK since 1953.

The company employs around 1,800 people across its 5 manufacturing sites & headquarters, producing savoury snacks, including brands such as McCoys, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts Pom-Bear and Phileas Fogg, as well as retailer brand products.

Food safety is a critical component of any food manufacturing process, typically covering everything from handling and preparation to storage. But with new legislation and tighter controls on health and safety, KP Snacks has announced that it is taking food safety to another level, with the introduction of tool management onto the production line.

Whilst KP Snacks had multiple tools on the factory floor, there was no system in place to track specific tools or carry out audits.

Jeremy Derbyshire, Site Director at KP Snacks explains: “For KP Snacks, tool control was very much an embedded standard in industries such as aviation but very few suppliers had made the crossover into the food industry. The food safety of our products is of paramount importance to KP Snacks and we take every step possible to safeguard our consumers, constantly challenging ourselves to improve and exceed our customer requirements.

“Researching the market, the same name kept coming up as market leaders in tool control: Snap-on Industrial. The company has a solid track record in dairies and an understanding of the challenges that food manufacturers face when it comes to tool control.”

KP Snacks started working with tooling solutions specialist Snap-on Industrial in 2013, initially gaining an understanding of the way it could control and manage its tool system within its manufacturing sites.

KP Snacks signed up to Snap-on’s Level 5 NTC (Networkable Tool Control) system. This offers staff the opportunity to manage a virtually unlimited number of lockable tool storage units simultaneously for complete system control. It also allows tools and assets to be controlled in real-time, reducing the risk of foreign objects in food.

The keyless entry allows authorised staff at KP Snacks access to the tools they need, while the operating software within the NTC system tracks access based on employee ID key cards. All tools are serialised and linked to a specific toolbox via laser etching. The NTC system enables the user to report tool events such as being lost, broken or away to calibration (and other locations) directly at the toolbox. This information, plus toolbox access records, is stored within log files on the toolbox and can be viewed or printed at any time. This provides a full audit record of toolbox access (or declined access) by user, time and date and a complete history of tools with events marked against them such as being lost or broken.

Snap-on’s solutions gave KP Snacks the level of customisation they required.

Gareth Dughan, Engineering Manager at KP Snacks and responsible for the tooling project, explains why an easy to use, real-time tooling system was so important: “Each area of our factory requires different tools so we found that we needed to tailor the tool inventory to each specific area. The level of customisation Snap-on provided allowed us to make this project more cost effective by ensuring that we only purchased the tools needed for a certain area, thus avoiding unnecessary and costly duplication. We were also impressed by the laser etching service that ensured that each individual tool could be identified to further improve our traceability.”

This has produced important time savings for the staff on the production line, explains Gareth: “Producing an inventory of tools every day wasted precious time with over 100 members of staff spending up to 15 minutes a day managing their tools across three shifts. Using Snap-on meant we were able to manage our time better and the NTC system has helped make the process seamless.

Jeremy concluded, “The tool chests have enabled us to easily demonstrate that, when it comes to the safety of our products, we are willing to invest in the very best solutions available. Food safety and compliance has continued to improve across our factories and our factory floors have benefited from having all the tools in easily accessible storage units.”

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Safe. Secure. Snap-On.


Eurostar adopts Automatic Tool Control system from Snap-on Industrial

Eurostar adopts Automatic Tool Control system from Snap-on Industrial

Eurostar adopts Automatic Tool Control system from Snap-on Industrial

Eurostar adopts Automatic Tool Control system from Snap-on Industrial.

It all began in 2013 when Eurostar acquired some ControlTech industrial electronic torque wrenches from Snap-on and were looking at options to control them at point of use along with other high value, specialist & calibrated tooling.

After careful consideration of various different options Eurostar decided that the Snap-on ATC tool boxes would best suit their needs, primarily because it was the most user friendly and least intrusive system for their end users.

Once installed at point of use the ATC tool boxes only require the user to touch their company ID pass against the card reader and the tool box automatically accesses the users account & unlocks the box. The convenience of use is the main reason why the Snap-on ATC tool boxes have been so well received by the end users at Eurostar.

Using advanced digital imaging technology and proprietary software every drawer open, close & tool transaction is recorded at the speed of use and stored both locally on the box and in a central database that can be accessed remotely using the intuitive ATC admin client software. As soon as the user has the tools they need, the ATC is locked and secured with a single press of the touchscreen and they can then continue with their work.

The convenience of use is the main reason why the Snap-on ATC tool boxes have been so well received by the end users at Eurostar.

The first ATC was installed in the bogie drop facility during 2014 as a trial and proof of concept, the location was selected as it is the harshest environment on site, the work is heavy, dirty and temperatures can vary widely whilst the shed doors remain open for the duration of the work.

Following this successful trial 3 more ATC’s were installed at ground level between roads 4 and 5 in the main maintenance shed to cater for the 374 fleet introduction in 2015.

A further 4 ATCs were installed on the high level gantries on roads 3 & 4 in 2016 to provide tooling for roof mounted equipment work also on the new 374 fleet. Then one more ATC was installed at ground level outside the team leaders office in the main shed containing keys and uncommon tooling not found elsewhere, bringing the total number of ATC boxes in service at the depot to 9 by the end of 2016.

Snap-on ATC

ATC Positioned at Point of Use in the Centre of the Main Shed

Fast forward to today building on the success of the ATC programme, expansion of the 374 fleet and further modification of the depot to maintain them, Eurostar have now increased the number of ATC boxes in service at Temple Mills to a current total of 23, making them one of the largest adopters of the Snap-on Automated Tool Control system in the UK, and they are currently distributed as follows:

  • Bogie Drop x 1
  • Main Shed Ground Level x 10
  • Main Shed High Level Gantries x 12

Eurostar have increased the number of ATC boxes in service at Temple Mills to a current total of 23, making them one of the largest adopters of the Snap-on Automated Tool Control system in the UK.

Based at the depot there are around 20 teams of engineers, all of these have a basic personal issue tool kit, and most of them also had two team tool cages each in the 450 Meter long shed. One of the objectives of the ATC project was to provide tool availability at point of use that would then allow Eurostar to reduce the need for these team cages by 50%, by removing any calibrated and specialist tooling from these cages and placing them into the ATCs so that they are accessible to everyone 24/7.

Half of the engineering teams work a 7 days on 7 days off shift pattern, so the tools contained within their team cages were locked away for 6 months of the year. This was obviously not a great use of the company’s expenditure on tooling, and with regard to hand tools these teams had all amassed a varied selection over the last 25 years, so no two teams had the same tool inventory and until recently no one person knew the contents of all of these team tool cages.

Snap-on ATC

ATC Located Outside Team Leader Offices Containing Keys and Non Standard Tooling

Today Eurostar have around 300 registered ATC users and as the ATC coverage within the main shed has grown, more and more tools have been placed under ATC control so the engineering teams have come to rely far less on their personal and team tools, instead going to the nearest ATC to obtain what they need from there.

They have also found the ATCs a great help when carrying out repairs or unplanned interventions, when they are far from their team cages or the Stores, as they can easily grab a pressure druck or fluke from the nearest ATC, instead of walking all the way back to the stores or their team cage. This is another reason why ATC was so well received by the shop floor engineers, it’s convenient and makes their life easier plus the business has benefited from far less unproductive time

Half the engineering teams work a 7 days on 7 days off shift pattern, so the tools contained within their team cages were locked away for 6 months of the year.

The ATC admin software tracks everything that happens both at the ATC and via the software then stores it in an easily searchable way, thus making it very useful for record keeping and audit purposes. The software also allows some feedback by the ATC to the end users and vice versa, so if a tool is removed by an ATC administrator for calibration or repair, a status can be set against that tool either via the ATC touchscreen or the admin software. Conversely if a user wishes to report a broken tool and request replacement or repair, they can do this via the touchscreen on the box which will then send an alert to the ATC administrator.

Scott Seacombe, Industrial Engineer and ATC Project Manager said: “The ATC software is an absolute gem, it’s amazing how useful keeping accurate transaction history for tools can be, and the images generated from each drawer open and drawer close can be extremely helpful.”

Through 2019 Eurostar have further plans to add at least one more ATC and are also considering Snap-on’s TC Max asset management software to control all remaining tooling still held in the stores, this software will also be capable of managing consumables and free issue items. Perhaps the biggest advantage of TC Max is that it will work seamlessly with the existing ATC admin software ultimately providing a single searchable database of every tool the company owns together with its current location and usage data.

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Safe. Secure. Snap-On.