Check tools out for tool control and accountability on the shop floor. Scroll down for a list of barcodes you can scan to check tool out, and back in again.




Start with the basics

Here are the basics of checking a tool out using barcodes.

  1. Scan your username (this is the operator checking the tool out)
  2. Scan the tool name
  3. Scan CHECKOUT

Now the tool is in the care of an operator, and is expected to be returned in the same shape it was taken in. When it’s checked back in, the hours will be added to the total.


What’s the point in tool control?

Accountability is the biggest value of tool control. Checking tools out means you are now responsible for them. Managers know who checked them out last, where they are, and when they were checked out. That is usually enough information to keep track of them. The next reason to check tools out is to accumulate hours for actual use. Each time an employee takes a tool, hours are accumulated. You’ll know how many hours the tool has been in use. Preventative maintenance can be periodically scheduled, based on actual use.


Get started with a serial number or tool name

Many tools have their own serial number, and many have a barcode label with that serial number affixed to them. You can use this existing label to check status. Just scan it. But before you do, you must enter that number into the software. Choose Tools, Tools Control. Then create a new tool and enter the number. You can enter it as the name, or the code, or the serial number. Any of these items can be scanned, so your number can be placed into any of these fields.


If you don’t have a preprinted barcode label

You can print your own labels with MS Word and a barcode font. You can download a free barcode font from the web named IDAutomationHC39M_FREE.otf. See the link below. Once downloaded, you can install and use it in any word processor or spreadsheet just like any other font. Create your tool serial number in MS Word, select the text, and choose the barcode font to turn it into a label.


Download barcode font here

Click to download a barcode font you can use in MS Word or Excel.


Create sticky labels

If your tools don’t already have barcode labels affixed to them, consider printing barcodes on Avery labels. You can do this with the font above using MS Word. Once printed, you can stick them to the tool and scan them to check out, and back in again.


Things you can scan

Create barcode labels for any of the items below. After creating tool records in the software you can scan these things in the barcode window.

Scan this



Scan your username before checking tools out or back in


Name of the tool


The “code” field in the tool record

Serial number

The “serial number” field in the tool record


Check a tool out (previous scan was the tool)


Check a tool in (previous scan was the tool)


Include tool name to check this tool out with one scan


Include tool name to check this tool back in with one scan


Just checking tool status

If you scan just a tool (name, code, or serial number) without anything else, you’ll just be checking the status. In other words, you’ll just check to see if that tool is checked in or out. The scan does nothing but check status. You’ll see the date/time of the checkout, and who checked it out.


Checking out, and back in

If you scan CHECKOUT or CHECKIN after scanning the tool, you will check it out or back in. Make sure to scan your username before anything else. That ensures that you are the one assigned to the tool.


Accumulate actual tool hours

Checking tools out and then back in again accumulates usage hours. Administrators will see how many hours each tool has been in actual use just because it has been checked out and in again.


Does this software do anything else?

Yes, actually tool control is only a small part of the full functionality. Use the app for time and materials tracking, inventory, bill of materials, and project management. See "Shop Floor Basics" for a summary.

Click here to learn how to set up your shop floor for barcode scanning.




Back to Videos


Also see: Inventory ManagementShop Floor Status Work In Progress Video 


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