Designing high-performance tools : 5 keys to success !

Are you encountering difficulties concerning the lack of workforce, some non-quality or even low productivity ? Several solutions are available to you, but high-performance tools may be the answer you need. It increases your productivity by working faster while limiting the risk of error.

Real support for production, well-designed tools offer better working conditions for your operators by increasing the rate without neglecting quality.

Aware that the design of efficient tools means investing time and money, Merkur presents 5 keys to success for efficient, quality and safe installation!

1- Determine the functionality of your tooling.

The first key to success necessary for the design of high-performance tools consists in determining functional specifications. This document is where we can find the main and the secondary functions that your tools must meet.
To guide your choice, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the primary purpose of this tool ? Does it have one or more functions to fulfill ? And if so, which ones are essential ? Which are optional ?
  • Who will be using the solution? How are we going to use it?
  • In what environment will it evolve? For example, the selection criteria will differ if the tooling is used in a clean room or a production workshop. The required robustness will not be the same.
  • The type of maintenance, the choice of materials, fluids, temperature, etc., all these elements will impact the solution.
  • What interface do you want between the user and the equipment ? The machine is supposed to adapt to the man, and not the other way around. Read more about it 

Note that by digging into the functionality of your tooling, you may need to redirect the design. Sometimes, we may have had a preconceived idea of our tools. However, by questioning the real issues, other more suitable solutions could be detected.

As you can see, all of these decision factors must be taken into account. A multi-disciplinary team will allow us to review these issues by looking at all the important aspects.

2- Define the performance criteria of your tooling.

Know that a relevant equipment for your production line will not necessarily be relevant for your competitor or partner, and vice versa. The notion of performance is subjective. Thus, the crucial step in designing a high-performance tool is to define your needs.

Therefore, by orienting your tooling towards specialization or flexibility, the criteria will not be the same. If you are looking for more performance on a specific aspect, the field of application of your tooling will be reduced. It is a question of finding the right compromise between a versatile equipment and a dedicated tooling, ensuring an optimal quality and safety.

In other words, question your performance criteria; they will define the objectives to be reached and will specify the deliverables of the specifications. The objective of these performance criteria is to ensure that your tooling meets the specificities and constraints of your end user.

Merkur has a real added value. Our experts help you identify your end-user’s needs and communicate them to the designers. Contact our teams to get support for your tooling design projects.

3- Analyze the normative environment of the tooling.

To be efficient, your tooling must adapt and respect the environment in which it will evolve. To do this, we must understand the context and how it will impact the tools. 

To carry out a normative watch is then a necessity. The following questions can help you identify the standards for your tooling:  

  • What are the fields and sectors of application of the solution ?
    What type of industry is it ? What sector of activity is it ? What are the environmental, health, social or other risks associated with the equipment ?
    What are the points of vigilance in terms of safety, ergonomics according to the type of equipment ? 

All these standards must be listed in the specifications. Merkur, which operates in many sectors, regularly monitors standards and their versions. We can then assist you effectively in this exercise. 

4- Define your budget.

It is difficult to discuss the performance of a tool without considering the budget. When designing a tooling, one must also think about its profitability. The budget of the tooling is thus a significant criterion of choice.

Consider the cost/benefit ratio that is expected from your tooling. The return on investment (ROI) must be aligned with the results and performance that the solution will bring you. 

This pre-project period constitutes a necessary and relevant analysis phase. It allows to include the financial aspect to the performance criteria and to choose an adapted proposal in terms of budget and solution. 

5- Engage end users from the start.

The notion of performance of your tools being specific to your needs and your reality, there is nothing better than to involve the end users in order to understand their expectations.

By sharing the information with the operators or technicians of the production line, you will be helped to define the needs and performance criteria of your tooling. 

Use their input wisely. Indeed, end-users may have customer expertise and this can be a profitable feedback. In other cases, some with a less global vision of the solution will be more likely to help you define the functionality. In any case, it is a valuable resource. 

Moreover, once the tooling is in place, it will be more quickly accepted by the users if they have been involved in the project from the beginning. This contributes to an efficient change management. 

We invite you to contact our Merkur experts who will be happy to assist you in your project.


You will have understood that all the nuance of a performing tooling is based on your need and thus, on your own definition of performance.  

By following these 5 keys to success, you will surely make tooling and performance rhyme. 

Finally, it is essential to involve your end-users from the start in order to clarify their needs and establish the performance criteria of your tooling. 

We recommend that you take into account, within a precise specification, a multitude of aspects arising from your needs. The most important aspects would be your budget, the functionality needed, and your normative environment in order to design the most adapted tooling. 

Merkur’s team is dedicated to manufacturing projects and will be pleased to assist you in the implementation of your new tool: from the study of your needs, to the analysis of the functionality, through the design of the tooling and up to its production launch.  


MERKUR is a firm of experts in manufacturing performance and innovation and has been doing so for over 25 years. From strategy to execution, its sole objective is to make Quebec’s manufacturing companies more efficient by offering innovative solutions in product development, operational excellence, manufacturing engineering, automation and smart factory. Merkur is proud to contribute to innovation and productivity in Quebec!

KHROME PRODUCT TRANSPORT is a manufacturing integrator located in Drummondville specialized in the design and manufacturing of train car interiors and exteriors. Its strength comes from its great engineering capacity and its manufacturing agility. Among its customer portfolio, there are major manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.

SYNKRO is a software developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. SYNKRO gives you a real vision of your operations. SYNKRO is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your offices

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