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Tracking Tools/Molds/Fixtures in Propel: Best Practices and Instructions

Propel customers whose products contain custom injected molded parts, or other fabricated parts, may wish to track their tools and tool usage in Propel. In addition, customers who track fixtures, such as test equipment, may also wish to track which fixtures are associated with which parts. For example, your product may have a custom injection-molded plastic fastener. That fastener is created by a tool, sometimes called a mold. That tool has a certain number of cavities (molds), and the tool has a useful life during which it can be used to create a given maximum number of parts.

Tools are significant assets, and lead times for procuring new tools can be several weeks. Therefore, it is useful to track the tool usage over time to anticipate the need to order additional tools.

This article explains how to track the tools that are used to make a given part. The data stored will vary from customer to customer.

Time Required to Configure Tool Tracking: 6+ Hours, plus additional time for testing. If you don't have the time or administrative knowledge to set this up yourself, please send us a note and we can put you in contact with Propel Implementation Services, who can send you a quote and then configure tool tracking for you.

Here is an example of tool attributes in a custom Salesforce object called Tool.

tool1.jpg

 tool2.jpg

Notice that information for the tool itself is stored in several custom fields. At the bottom of the screen is a Related List that displays another custom object, Tool Production Runs.

Formulas on the Tool object calculate information such as Current Total Shots and Tool Life Remaining.

At the Propel Item level, you can go to the Related tab and see the list of tools that make a given part:

tool3.jpg

The rest of this article explains how to set up the above examples. You will need to do several things:

1. Create two custom objects: Tool, Tool Production Run

2. Create several custom fields on each object.

3. Write a Process Builder to automatically fill in a field in the Tool object.

4. Create several formula fields and other custom fields.

5. Modify the Item object to show the related list, Tools.

6. Modify permission sets so your users can see the Tool data.

7. Create List Views and modify Search Layouts.

 

Part A. Creating the Custom Object "Tool"

In this section you will create a custom object and tab.

1. Create a new custom object called Tool. Use these settings:

Label: Tool
Plural Label: Tools
Object Name: (use the default)
Description: Tools used to create parts
Context-Sensitive Help Settings: (use the default)

Record Name: (use the default)
Data Type: Text

Allow Reports: Yes
Allow Activities: Yes
Track Field History: Yes
Allow in Chatter Groups: Yes

Allow Sharing: Yes
Allow Bulk API Access: Yes
Allow Streaming API Access: Yes

Deployment Status: Deployed

Allow Search: Yes

Add Notes and Attachments: Yes
Launch New Custom Tab Wizard: Yes

Save.

Tab Style: Choose an appropriate style, such as a Hexagon or Star.
Splash Page Custom Link: None

(Next)

Apply one tab visibility to all profiles: Default Off (you will set up tab visibility in Permission Sets instead)

(Next)

Add to Custom Apps: Choose only Propel (PDLM__Product_Lifecycle)
Append tab to users' existing personal customizations: Yes

(Save)

 

Part B. Creating the Custom Object "Tool Production Run"

In this section you will create another custom object and tab.

1. Create a new custom object called "Tool Production Run". Use these settings:

Label: Tool Production Run
Plural Label: Tool Production Runs
Object Name: (use the default)
Description: Tool usage data
Context-Sensitive Help Settings: (use the default)

Record Name: (use the default)
Data Type: Auto Number   <-- Important!
Display Format: PRODRUN-{000000}

Allow Reports: Yes
Allow Activities: Yes
Track Field History: Yes
Allow in Chatter Groups: Yes

Allow Sharing: Yes
Allow Bulk API Access: Yes
Allow Streaming API Access: Yes

Deployment Status: Deployed

Allow Search: Yes

Add Notes and Attachments: Yes
Launch New Custom Tab Wizard: Yes

Save.

Tab Style: Choose an appropriate style, such as a Lightning Bolt.
Splash Page Custom Link: None

(Next)

Apply one tab visibility to all profiles: Default Off (you will set up tab visibility in Permission Sets instead)

(Next)

Add to Custom Apps: Choose only Propel (PDLM__Product_Lifecycle)
Append tab to users' existing personal customizations: Yes

(Save)

 

Part C. Create Custom Fields on Object "Tool Production Run"

In this section you will create a number of custom fields.

1. Create a Master-Detail field:

Field Type: Master-Detail Relationship
Related To: Tool
Field Label: Tool Name
Child Relationship name: Tool_Production_Runs_Mold
(Next, Next, Finish)

2.  Create three additional fields:

  Field Label Field Type
  New Shots Number(18,0)
  Production Date Date
  Comment TextArea(255)

 

3. Edit the Page Layout so it looks like this:

01toolProdRunLayout.jpg

 

Part D. Create Custom Fields on Object "Tool"

1. Create the following fields, shown below in alphabetic order:

Field Label Format Help Text
Cavity ID Numbers  Text(100)  
Initial Date of Service  Date  
Lead Time for Reorder  Text(100)  
Mold Finisher  Lookup(Account) Name of entity that performs shaping/smoothing/finishing/polishing of molds
Number of Cavities  Number(18,0)  
Part Material  Text(100)  
Related Part/Revision  Lookup(Item Revision) Related Part Number AND Revision that this tool makes. Format PartNumber:Revision
Related Part filled by Process Builder  Lookup(Item)  
Tool Description  Text(200)  
Tool Location Text(100) Current physical/geographic location of tool
Tool Notes  Long Text Area(32768)  
Tool Quote  Currency(16,2) Price of the Tool
Tool Size  Text(100)  
Tool Vendor  Lookup(Account)  

Useful Life (# of shots)
API Name: Useful_Life_Number_of_shots__c

 Number(18,0) Total number of shots in the useful life of the tool
Vendor Part#  Text(100) This number should also be listed on the Propel Item, Manufacturers Tab. Please list it here again for easy reference.
Vendor Tool#  Text(100)  

 

 

2. Now create a number of formula fields:

Formula (Percent)
Field Label: % Capacity Expended 
Formula:  Current_Total_Shots__c / Useful_Life_Number_of_shots__c
Help Text:  Current Total Shots / Tool LIfe # of Shots

Formula (Percent)
Field Label: % Tool Life Remaining 
Formula:  1 -(Current_Total_Shots__c / Useful_Life_Number_of_shots__c )
Help Text:  100% - Capacity Expended

Formula (Number)
Field Label: Current Total Parts Created 
Formula:  Current_Total_Shots__c * Number_of_Cavities__c
Help Text:  Current Total Shots * Number of Cavities

Roll-Up Summary (SUM Tool Production Run)
Field Label: Current Total Shots 
Summarized Object: Tool Production Run
Field to Aggregate: Tool Production Run: New Shots
Help Text:  Sum of all production run shots

Formula (Currency)
Field Label: Part Cost 
Formula:  Related_Part_Revision__r.PDLM__Master_Item__r.Cost_Roll_Up__c
Help Text:  Part cost recorded on the Propel part that this tool creates

Formula (Text)
Field Label: Related Part 
Formula:  Related_Part_Revision__r.PDLM__Master_Item__r.Name
Help Text:  (none)

Formula (Text)
Field Label: Related Part Description 
Formula:  Related_Part_Revision__r.PDLM__Description__c
Help Text:  (none)

Formula (Text)
Field Label: Revision 
Formula:  Related_Part_Revision__r.PDLM__Revision__c
Help Text:  (none)

 

3. Edit the Page Layout so it looks like this:

02_tool_layout.jpg

03_tool_layout.jpg

 

4. In the Page Layout, add the related list, "Tool Production Runs".

5. Arrange fields like this:

04_tool_layout.jpg

6. Sort the Related List by Production Date, Descending.

7. Save.

 

Part E. Create a Process Builder to Fill in Item Field

Tools are typically tracked per item revision. The Item "Related" tab shows relationships between items and other objects, not item revisions and other objects. You will need to set up a Process Builder to fill in the Tool "Related Item" field, based on the item revision that the user selects.

1. Go to Setup, Create, Workflow & Approvals, Process Builder.

2. Click New.

3. Fill in fields like this:

Process Name: Tool Fill in Related Part

Description: When user selects related item revision, fill in related item.

The process starts when: A record changes

(Next)

Criteria Name: If Item Rev has a Value

Criteria for Executing Actions: Conditions are met

Field: [Tool__c]Related_Part_Revision__c

Operator: Is null

Type: Boolean

Value: False

Conditions: All of the conditions are met (AND)

(Next)

Immediate Actions: Update Record

Action Name: Fill in Item Field

Record: [Tool__c]

Criteria for Updating Records: No criteria--just update the records!

Field: Related Part

Type: Reference

Value: [Tool__c].Related_Part_Revision__r.PDLM__Master_Item__r.PDLM__Latest_Revision__r.PDLM__Master_Item__c

4. Save.

5. Activate.

 

Part F. Modify the Item object to show the related list "Tools"

In this section you will modify the Item Page Layout to show the Related List "Tools".

1. Go to the Item object.

2. Edit the Page Layout.

3. Add the Related List, "Tools".

4. Arrange the fields in the Related List so they look like this:

05_item_related_list_setup.jpg

5. Save.

 

Part G.  Modify Permission Set: Propel Custom Fields - Full Use

You will now modify Propel permission sets so that your users can see the new objects and fields that you have created.

1. Locate and open the permission set "Propel Custom Fields - Full Use", or whatever permission set in your org fulfils this function.

2. Go to Object Settings.

3. Open Tool Production Runs.

4. Make the tab Available, but not Visible.

5. Enable the permissions Read, Create, Edit, Delete.

6. Assign Read and Edit access to all fields.

7. Save.

 

Part H.  Modify Permission Set: Propel Custom Fields - Read Only

1. Locate and open the permission set "Propel Custom Fields - Read Only", or whatever permission set in your org, if any, fulfils this function.

2. Go to Object Settings.

3. Open Tools.

4. Make the tab Available and Visible.

5. Enable the permission Read.

6. Assign Read access to all fields.

7. Save.

 

Part H. Create List Views

Now you will make it easy for your users to search for Tools.

1. Create a List View that looks like this:

06_tool_list_view.jpg

  

Part I. Modify Search Layouts

In this section you will modify the "Recent Tools" list and the Tools search results.

1. Go to Setup and open the Tool object.

2. Go to Search Layouts.

3. Edit the Search Results and Tools Tab to look like this:

07_tool_search_layouts.jpg

 

Part J. Test the New Configuration

Now you need to confirm that all object relationships are functioning correctly and that non-admin users can see Tool and Tool Production Run data.

 

Part K. Load Legacy Data, If Appropriate

If you want to import legacy data into your new Tool and Tool Production Run objects, you will need to use the Salesforce Import Wizard. Because the quantity of tool data is not likely to be large, you may find it faster to manually enter tool data directly into Propel screens.

 

Part L. Wrap-Up

Congratulations on following these long and detailed instructions! We at PropelPLM are very excited when customers use the power of the Salesforce platform to go beyond standard Product Lifecycle Management functions, such as tracking tool data. Please let us know if we can answer any additional questions, and then we'd love to hear your stories about how tool tracking is working for you!

 

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