The Rolling Tool Cart

By Ron Pereira Published on February 24th, 2010

I recently came across the video below and was intrigued by many aspects of this “rolling tool cart.”

Here are some of the things I liked.

  • It was made for around $50 according to this article.
  • It’s on wheels
  • It can be moved to point of use eliminating motion
  • It seems to be relatively safe to use
  • It doesn’t take up much space

Here are some things I think could be improved.

  • Do we really need that many tools on one cart or should we only focus on the tools we use most?
  • If something was missing would we know?
  • While labels are not everything… I’d at least like to see the drawers labeled.

What do you think?

What do you think of this?  Thumbs up or thumbs down?

  1. Matt Hayes

    February 24, 2010 - 9:10 am

    Mostly thumbs up. agree there are probably too many tools on this. Would probably create a few carts. In fact, really thinking of how to convert our changeover carts into something more like this organizing the tools in the order or use. Thanks for sharing. I have forwarded to my maintenance colleagues to get one made up this week to test it out.

  2. J. Lee Powell

    February 24, 2010 - 3:26 pm

    I would use that more to display tools on a machine for a user versus used by maintenance. I think the maintenance guy would worry about everyone steeling their tools if they were left out in the open like that.

    That being said, I like the rack for display and usage purposes. Machine operators could also use that concept to roll their tools out during each shift to ensure they have everything they needed each day! Thanks.

  3. Tim McMahon

    February 24, 2010 - 7:10 pm

    Thumbs done. While there is an advantage to have a portable solution this example is very poor from a 5S point of view. You can’t tell what or how many. Are these tools even stored at the right location. I think this company called Lean Innovations offers a better example. http://www.leaninnovations.ca/index.html

  4. Robert Anderson

    February 25, 2010 - 7:10 am

    The casters alone probably cost $50.

  5. Alicia Simmer

    February 25, 2010 - 10:35 am

    Thumbs up! Emergency Departments (EDs) are a good example of how this is used in healthcare. New EDs are commonly planned and designed with standard rooms – meaning that the equipment and size is the same for each room to improve flexibility of patient placement. So, you don’t need to have 5 people waiting for a specific type of room, when you have 3 other rooms that aren’t being used. These standard rooms are supported by specialized carts with a standard set of supplies/equipment, which are wheeled into the room according to patient need. Some common examples of this are gyno and a pediatric cart.

  6. Jim Scott

    February 25, 2010 - 12:58 pm

    While I understand the criticisms, I give it a Thumbs-Up!

    We don’t know who uses this cart or why… Is it the shop’s mechanic? He needs everything available because he doesn’t know what will be needed next or where?
    If it is within a cell or value stream, it is probably too much. And it would probably be better to have the specific tools at their specific point of use. But we run into the common problem of ‘scattered’ tools becoming lost…

    Painting the peg board to be a shadow board would probably satisfy many critics – but have you ever painted a shadow board? It is a tedious process – unless you don’t mind all-black tools! I have found it is easier to mark or outline with a Sharpie ™. It may not look as nice, but it wins the functionality vs. pride contest…

  7. Mark R Hamel

    February 25, 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Sexy music but poor 5S. I like the sentiment and the obvious effort, but this is not something that I would hold out as a best practice example. The first give-away was the lack of 5S in the background before the cart even appeared on screen. While the mobility and tool accessibility and visibility are quite good, it reminds me of a rapper with lots of “bling.”

    It seems that there may be an excess of tools and tape. I typically ask folks to identify, by themselves and then amongst their co-workers, the tools and materials that they think they absolutely need. Then the haggling begins and we often negotiate (justification is required) to a smaller subset of tools and materials. With that locked in, we then determine the necessary surface area to accommodate the tools and materials and then create the right-sized pegboard (rolling, if it makes sense). After that comes the shadowing, labeling, etc. Pretty sure with the video example if I snuck in and grabbed a tool or two, it would take a long while before anyone figured out what was missing. ..And the drawers, well no way from the outside to tell contents or standard quantities, etc.

    Just my humble opinion. That said, I would love to have the apparent energy and moonshine expertise of the creators in my gemba!

  8. Trish

    February 25, 2010 - 5:57 pm

    Sorry thumbs down. How would you know if something is missing? Too much clutter-especially in the drawers. It’s a 5s project looking right at us!

  9. Phillip DeMarra

    February 25, 2010 - 10:13 pm

    2 Thumbs Down for me.

    I see many issues that I am not in favor of with this rolling tool cart.

    !. Peg Board: My experience is that after a short time the peg holders fall out easily and you wind up attempting to tape or try to find a solution to hold the different tool holders to the board. The peg board also collect dirt and dust. The surface is not finished or painted for easy cleaning. I also found that my labels at home did not adhere well to the masonite material. They tend to roll up after a short period of time.

    2. The castors are too small and will catch on power cords, air hoses, and thresholds. Managing a cart of this size could be difficult and lead to injury over thresholds.

    3. As mentioned earlier, the abundance of tools seems to exceed the need. It appears to have more tools than typically needed for a specific task as suggested in my understanding of 5S. My interest was to outfit each work station with just the tools required and to have them available. It could defeat 5S by having the cart shared or moved to several locations.

    4. Cost is my last consideration of meeting the needs for the facilities that I have worked with to outfit 5S. My goal was to find the best solution and then shop. I still like putting tools into labeled drawers. I like the neat clean look and everything put away. I think it is just my preference.

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