This looks very neat and a great resource for teams!
Just a word of warning:
Our team tried to implement something like this with a physical “PARTS” (Parts and Resources Tracking System) board a few seasons ago. The theory was that the CAD team designs the part then deposits the drawing in a bin. A small tag on the corner of the drawing was generated from the part name based on a naming scheme (ie, shooter was CRR_SHO_001 or something like that). Implementing a naming scheme was a great idea because before that, we had a great deal of parts named “twistything.ipt”. Anyways, the tag got cut out and pinned to a board with various tasks listed on it. All parts started in rough cutting and moved down towards finishing, with the person who did the work moving the tag to the next task. A corresponding tag was taped to the part.
In theory, the board worked great. There would always be work to do and people could see easily what needed to be done and the progress and congestion of our machining system. Unfortunately, it required an immense amount of babysitting and fell apart within the first week of heavy machining. People didn’t move tags around and people relied on the system instead of the leaders to tell them what to do. When the system didn’t work, things got stuck.
This can be solved by strong leadership and making sure everyone knows the ins, outs, and benefits of using a system like this. Industry uses stuff like this (we actually pulled our flowchart from one of our sponsors, which we saw when giving a demo there) but in industry, there are actually professional engineers and managers. It’s difficult to get this kind of expertise and knowledge on an FRC team (though it certainly is possible in the culture of many teams - 254 is one of them and I respect them immensely for it).
It can also be solved by eliminating excess complication in the process: for us, that was removing the board from the system.
We replaced it with a shelf that drawings were placed on, and machinists could just pick up at their leisure to do. As the part got closer to completion it moved down the shelf. Top level was rough cutting, the next facing, the next drilling and so forth. There was no meta tracking system and it worked out better for us.
I guess the lessons we learned from our experiment was to eliminate steps that were unnecessary for our team and secondly, if we are implementing a new system, make sure the leaders remain just as strong and don’t rely on it as a crutch.
Again, this looks like a really cool tool and I might prod my team to try another part management system, but I think it will be good to go into it with some prior knowledge.