Tooling Management


In manufacturing environments, tools are issued and used on work orders then returned to inventory once the work order or operation is complete. Some shops also manufacture their own tools, so tools themselves must be able to be engineered and manufactured, or purchased the same as any other item in the system.

Within xTuple there is an item type specifically designed for tooling items. Tooling items can be included on bills of materials (BOM). They can also be engineered and manufactured using their own BOMs and routings. Tooling items have unique netting behavior so that when they are included on a planned order or work order they show up as both demand requirements like other materials, and as supply due at the work order due date. Finally, because tooling falls into a grey area of being both a material and a capacity constraint, tools are included in the capacity reporting available in xTuple ERP. 

Terms and Definitions

Fixed Quantity

  • Used on BOM and work order material items to specify a "flat" quantity of material required that is independent of the total quantity produced on a batch or work order.

Tooling Item

  • A material resource used in the manufacturing process that is returned upon completion of a work order—for example, a reusable mold, apparatus, fixture, or tool. It may be included on a bill of materials for an item, usually specifying a fixed quantity. Tooling items can be purchased or manufactured. A manufactured tool can have a BOM, a routing, and a work order. As with other material items, tools can be tracked as serialized items.

Bills of Materials

Users can create BOMs for tooling item types, as they can with any other item type. Batch size becomes an essential element for cost calculations on items that have fixed quantities. This quantity will be required to be a number greater than or equal to zero to prevent division-by-zero errors when performing cost calculations.

BOM Items

BOMs allow users to add tooling and reference items as BOM items. Since these types of items are not typically required to be proportional to the quantity being produced, a "Fixed Qty" field allows specifying a flat rate quantity required for a work order. To open the "Bill of Materials Item" window, follow these steps:

  • Go to "Products" from the top menu
  • Go to the "Bill of Materials" submenu and select "List"
  • Select TSUB1 and click the EDIT button
  • The "Bill of Materials" window will open for TSUB1
  • Choose the TOOL item number from the list and click EDIT
  • The "Bill of Materials Item" window will open for the TOOL tooling item:


Fixed Quantity Tooling item on BOM

For tooling and reference items, the fixed quantity will default to one and the "Qty. Per" and "Scrap Qty." will default to zero. Regular items default to a fixed quantity of zero, "Qty per." of one, and scrap of zero. An item type column on the BOM screen makes it easy to distinguish between tooling and other types of items when looking at the BOM header. Fixed quantity is also viewable as a column on the BOM header.

Note: When costing BOMs by fixed quantity (for non-tooling and reference items), the fixed quantity will be divided by the batch size specified on the BOM header so that cost for the fixed quantity will be proportional to a real world case scenario.

Work Order Material Items

The "Work Order Material Requirement" window also allows users to enter a fixed quantity. The default rules for quantity are the same as the BOM. To open the "Work Order Material Requirement" window, follow these steps:

  • Go to "Manufacture" from the top menu
  • Go to the "Materials" submenu
  • Select "New" from the submenu
  • The "Work Order Material Requirement" window will open:


  • In the "Work Order #" box, click the magnifying glass icon and choose "List" from the drop-down menu
  • The "Active Item" window will open, choose TSUB1 from the list
  • The "Work Order Material Requirement" window will now reflect information for TSUB1


Generally, all reports that use netting calculations consider fixed quantity. Additionally, several screens and reports listed below include tooling in netting: as both demand and supply:

  • Inventory Availability
  • Inventory Buffer Status
  • Item
  • Item Availability Workbench
  • MPS Detail
  • MRP Detail
  • Pending Availability
  • Reorder Exceptions by Planner Code
  • Return Authorization Item
  • Running Availability
  • Substitute Availability by Item
  • Sales Order Item
  • Transfer Order Item

Capacity Planning

In order to provide for visibility of tooling for capacity planning, the system provides the ability to define capacity information at the item site level. This definition will mirror capacity data inputs for the work center on the scheduling tab. This "Schedule" tab will only be enabled for tooling items.

To open the "Item Site" window for the "TOOL" tooling item, follow these steps:

  • Go to "Inventory" from the top menu
  • Select "Item Site" from the submenu
  • Select "List"
  • The "Item Sites" window will open, double-click TOOL from the list
  • The "Item Site" window will open for TOOL:


Schedule Tab for Tooling Item Site

Since tooling is intimately related to work centers in resource planning, it is likely engineers will want to see tools and other materials in the "Routing Item" window. For this reason, a tab for "Materials" appears in the routing item window, listing all materials associated with the routing item—with tooling items appearing in orange for special emphasis. Users can add, edit, and expire materials from the routing item screen. Additionally, they can associate materials that already exist on the BOM with the operation via the ATTACH and DETACH buttons. 

To open the "Routing Item" window, follow these steps:

  • Go to "Products" from the top menu
  • Go to "Routing" from the submenu
  • Select "List" from the submenu
  • The "Routings" window will open, select TSUB1 from the list and click the EDIT button
  • The "Routing" window will open for the TSUB1 item, select ASSEMBLY from the "Operations" box and click EDIT
  • The "Routing Item" window will open for TSUB1, select the "Materials" tab to see the list of materials:



The xTuple ERP capacity reports include checkbox options to show capacity for work centers and/or tooling:

  • Time Phased Capacity
  • Time Phased Load
  • Time Phased Available Capacity
  • Rough Cut Capacity
  • Time Phased Rough Cut Capacity
  • Capacity Buffer Status

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