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Tool Control Cabinet

The Red Box tool control cabinets are high quality, purpose designed, electronic locking cabinets. Drawing upon years of accumulated experience in electronic tool control, these cabinets are designed to be user friendly and highly functional. User identification is performed via proximity readers, rather than swipe cards or keypads, which means quick, convenient and easy access. These cabinets are rugged and designed to accept future electronic upgrades to protect your investment.

Red Box tool control cabinets are ideal for the controlled sharing of hand tools on the shop-floor and as part of your overall tool control regime.

  • Simple to use, easy to maintain
  • Proximity reader access system
  • Generous drawer capacity
  • Open drawer detection
  • Auto-lock feature
  • Master-Lock feature
  • Tough 1.6mm sheet steel construction
  • 7. 8, 9 and 10 drawer options
  • Battery option available
tool control cabinet
download specifications sheet

Two cabinet sizes:

Red Box Pro 550:
656mm wide, 500mm deep, 1060mm high (including castors)
550mm x 400mm x 800mm drawer stack
1 tonne static capacity

Red Box Pro 950:
1056mm wide, 500mm deep, 1060mm high (including castors)
950mm x 400mm x 800mm drawer stack
1.2 tonne static capacity

Both cabinets can be either fixed or mobile. Additionally, cabinets can provide additional space by adding an extension cabinet which shares the locking control system.


Cabinet Features:

The Red Box tool control cabinets include market leading features.

  • User authentication via proximity reader
    Use printable plastic cards, jelly wrist bands or key fobs. No PIN code to remember, no magnetic strip to wear out
  • Positive lock electronic mechanism
    Reads and enforces the lock state of the cabinet and cannot be defeated by shaking the cabinet
  • Master-Lock feature
    Electronically “seals” the cabinet via privileged card. The cabinet remembers and resumes master lock state even after loss of power. Groups of cabinets can easily share a single Master-Lock card
  • Auto-lock feature
    Automatically locks the cabinet when not in use, with configurable time-out duration or disable option.
  • User configuration via front-panel 
    1. Add and remove user access via front panel
    2. Set Master-Lock card
    3. Clear all use
  • Visual feedback of cabinet status
    1. Locked/unlocked
    2. Drawer open
    3. Master lock
    4. Power levels
    5. Programming mode

  • Connectable to computer

Cabinets can be connected to a computer database to record usage. Optional software available for maintaining numbers of cabinets


Optional Extras:

In addition to our range of high quality hand tools we can provide the following:

  • Metal tray lid
  • Hard wood bench top
  • High-grip rubber drawer liners
  • Custom machined foam trays for Visual Tool Control
  • Laser engraving of tools
  • Lighting canopy with back-panel for part-bins or peg-board
  • Panel for mounting power distribution panel
  • Battery Option
  tool control cabinet

Keep Track Of Those Tools


Every mechanic has awakened in the night to this nightmare: you've just buttoned up a beautiful aircraft after extensive work under tight time constraints and you are watching it taxi out for the first flight after the work. Just then you glance into your toolbox and wonder where that screwdriver is. . .

Conscientious maintainers use many methods to ensure that this nightmare, which can not only cost tremendous amounts of money but can also cause the loss of priceless lives, never becomes reality. One of the methods that has gained tremendous acceptance in the industry is the use of toolbox-organizing systems as part of a total FOD-control program.

"The safety net to reduce these forms of accidents is tool inventory after each job," said Gordon Dupont, CEO of System Safety Services, a British Columbia (Canada) human factors training company.

Dupont, a former technical investigator for the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, said that accidents caused by FOD due to lack of tool control account for about 10 percent of maintenance errors. That data came from James Reason, author of the resource Managing the Risks of Organizational Errors.

Dupont stressed the importance of inventory after each job and said, "This is made easy by having your tools organized and by the use of shadow boards. If we can lower that 10 percent, equipment, lives, as well as tools, will be saved."



Snap-on boasts more than 20 years of experience in tool control and has designed a five-level system to deal with many different needs. "Thorough evaluation of tool kit requirements is the cornerstone for an efficient and lean tool-control solution," said Pat McDevitt, manager global business development at Snap-on. Once a final tool list has been made, that bill of material is input into Snap-on's CAD layout system. Once that system has constructed the layout and checked it for errors, the result is e-mailed to Snap-on's foam-cutting machine and the drawer liners are cut.

The five-level Snap-on system has increasing levels of control. The levels run the gamut from limited accountability all the way to high accountability. Level I starts with hand-cut foam that is not shadowed with not all tools controlled. Level II includes machine-cut foam, tool traceability, more defined FOD prevention procedures, policies, and accountability. Level III adds foam machine-cut to net shape of tools, high degree of standardization, silhouetted or shadowed pockets, laser-marked to specific set, and chits used for gang boxes. Level IV has a goal of absolute standardization and includes laser-marked serialization, serialized pocket ID, tethering/locking pins, and cut wire retention. Level V adds, among other things, electronic keyless entry that reads an individually encoded badge or ID card for access to the toolbox. Only authorized employees can unlock it and the box will re-lock itself in a predetermined time for added security.


Lista International

Lista International has introduced foam drawer liners for protecting, organizing, and controlling tools. "It's a tool-control system," said Devin Lause, regional sales manager for Lista. "The basic concept is a foam liner that shadows the tools. It's used for protecting, identifying, and controlling expensive tools and for safety issues like having a tool left inside or sucked into an engine."

The shadowed foam drawer insert liners use a two-layer system. The bottom is a yellow foam liner that shows through the upper blue foam liner. The upper blue foam serves to protect tools in cut-out tool shapes and the yellow shows through to alert users to missing tools. The foam complies with military specifications and resists damage from jet fuel, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and other chemicals according to Lista.

The liners can be customized to hold the specific tools needed in the toolbox. The liners can be ordered in self-cut liner kits or custom-cut liners. "We have custom-fitted liners to go with any drawer size," said Lause. "There are two ways to do this: custom cut and design or go with a precut liner. With the custom-cut liners the customer is provided with a kit and specific instruction on how to cut it. There are tools included like an Xacto knife, ruler, vellum sheets, tracing tools, and the person would cut the liner using these tools and the instructions."

Alternatively, the customer could provide the company with silhouettes or the specific tool numbers and all the info needed for the layout. "Communicating with the customer [when designing the liner] is important," said Lause.


Stanley Proto

Stanley Proto is launching a multidivisional effort to offer a total turnkey solution for custom kitting as FOD prevention and overhead cost control. "Custom tool kitting evolved from the military," said Alex Tyler, government and sales manager for Stanley Proto, "but we're finding that it's migrating into the commercial market."

Stanley Proto's latest product is a mobile workcenter that includes a full set of Stanley Proto tools, laser-etched, and placed in foam drawer liner inserts with the profiles of each tool.

"We can also customize the liners to suit a unique requirement," said Tyler. He mentioned that aircraft-specific tools and even parts can be custom cut into the foam. "We have the flexibility to meet a customer's unique bill of material," he added.

"Many of our customers are military but now we are seeing more airlines utilizing these systems as a way of controlling overhead via tool accountability, especially if there may be a pilferage problem," Tyler said.


Matco Tools

Matco Tools offers kitting solutions from portable 2-6 pallet bags, all the way up to customizable toolboxes. "We offer a fully integrated program complete with kitting, etching, and foam," said Chad Johnson manager, strategic market development for Matco.

Kits can be customized with configured foam layouts made to the customer's preference. These FOD-control tool cases are like a soft-sided book bag according to Johnson. The portable soft-sided bags contain pallet-type inserts with tool cutouts for tracking tools when working away of the hangar, on the tarmac, etc. "A smaller case like this makes a technician really think about what tools he will need [when away from the hangar]," said Johnson. The foam inlay can be customized from color to layout depending on storage needs.

Matco stressed that the company is flexible enough to design and develop kitting solutions for both large and small operations, based on the needs of one technician or a whole hanger. "We've put a priority on this for the last 10 years," Johnson said

The above Article Was Published by Aviation Today
aviation today magazine
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