WO2007046801A1 - Parts marking system and method - Google Patents

Parts marking system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007046801A1
WO2007046801A1 PCT/US2005/037666 US2005037666W WO2007046801A1 WO 2007046801 A1 WO2007046801 A1 WO 2007046801A1 US 2005037666 W US2005037666 W US 2005037666W WO 2007046801 A1 WO2007046801 A1 WO 2007046801A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
part
data
gui
label
parts
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2005/037666
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Nancy Regan
Original Assignee
The Force, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US72700305P priority Critical
Priority to US60/727,003 priority
Application filed by The Force, Inc. filed Critical The Force, Inc.
Publication of WO2007046801A1 publication Critical patent/WO2007046801A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/08Logistics, e.g. warehousing, loading, distribution or shipping; Inventory or stock management, e.g. order filling, procurement or balancing against orders
    • G06Q10/087Inventory or stock management, e.g. order filling, procurement, balancing against orders
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/06Resources, workflows, human or project management, e.g. organising, planning, scheduling or allocating time, human or machine resources; Enterprise planning; Organisational models

Abstract

A parts marking system (100) has a memory (202) for storing data (230) indicative of at least one algorithm associated with at least one object material and logic (214) configured to display the at least one algorithm to a display device (210) and receive a user input for at least one part in response to the displayed algorithm.

Description

PARTS MARKING SYSTEM AND METHOD

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U S Provisional Application No 60/615,058, entitled "Parts Marking System and Method," filed on October 15, 2004, and U S Provisional Application No , entitled "Parts Marking

System and Method" filed October 15, 2005, both of which are incorporated herein by reference

BACKGROUND

[0001] Oftentimes, large entities, e g , a government or a large corporation, manage and maintain numerous assets such as fleets of vehicles or other heavy equipment, e g , delivery trucks or tanks In so managing and maintaining, these large entities sometimes find it difficult to gather and retain complete and reliable information for

life cycle management of property and equipment Thus, such entities are oftentimes

unable to determine that all assets are reported, verify the existence of inventory, substantiate the amount of reported inventory and property, or optimally use historical information for physical asset management

[0002] In light of the foregoing, it is difficult for the large entities to achieve goals of

financial reporting and accountability, e g , legislative goals set for government entities related to financial reporting, accountability, and life cycle management In this regard, the entities are oftentimes unable to know the quantity, location, condition, and value of assets it owns, safeguard its assets from physical deterioration, theft, loss, or mismanagement, prevent unnecessary storage and maintenance costs or

purchase of assets already on hand, and determine the full costs of programs that use these assets, e g , government programs [0003] Thus, it is possible that those who manage government assets are not receiving accurate information for making informed decisions about future funding, oversight

of federal programs involving inventory, and operational readiness

[0004] As an example, each vehicle in a large fleet is made up of a plurality of parts,

each of which is owned and inventoned by the entity However, information related

to parts used in maintenance or parts that are already installed on vehicles can be

difficult to track

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The invention can be better understood with reference to the following

drawings The elements of the drawings are not necessarily to scale relative to each

other, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the disclosure Furthermore, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views

[0006] FIG l is a block diagram illustrating a part marking system (PMS) in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure

[0007] FIG 2 depicts exemplary implementation data, algorithms, and marking

options for use in the PMS of FIG 1

[0008] FIG 3 depicts exemplary marking options for use in the PMS of FIG 1

[0009] FIG 4 is a block diagram illustrating a more detailed depiction of the parts

marking system of FIG 1

[0010] FIG 5 is a depiction of an exemplary menu graphical facilitator 101 interface

(GUI) of the parts marking system of FIG 2

[0011] FIG 6 is a depiction of an exemplary Add/Search GUI of the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0012] FIG 7 is a depiction of an exemplary "When to Mark Part" GUI of the parts

marking system of FIG 2 [0013] FIG 8 is a depiction of an exemplary "Main" GUI of the parts marking system

of FIG 2 [0014] FIG 9 is a depiction of an exemplary "Part Number Status Lists" GUI of the

parts marking system of FIG 2 [0015] FIG 10 is a depiction of an exemplary "Approval Status Update" GUI of the

parts marking system of FIG 2 [0016] FIG 11 is a depiction of an exemplary report generated by the parts marking

system of FIG 2 [0017] FIG 12 is a depiction of an exemplary "Import Data" GUI of the parts

marking system of FIG 2 [0018] FIG 13 is a depiction of an exemplary "General" GUI of the parts marking

system of FIG 2 [0019] FIG 14 is a depiction of an exemplary "Label Analysis" GUI of the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0020] FIG 15 is a depiction of an exemplary "Information Worksheet" GUI of the

parts marking system of FIG 2 [0021] FIG 16 is a depiction of an exemplary "Label Consequences" GUI of the parts

marking system of FIG 2 [0022] FIG 17 is a depiction of an exemplary direct parts marking (DPM) GUI of the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0023] FIG 18 is a depiction of an exemplary DPM algorithm GUI of the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0024] FIG 19 is a depiction of an exemplary "Enter decision" GUI of the parts

marking system of FIG 2 [0025] FIG 20 is a depiction of an exemplary advantages versus limitations GUI

corresponding to laser bonding of the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0026] FIG 21 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary parts marking process

performed using the parts marking system of FIG 2 [0027] FIG 22 is a flowchart illustrating exemplary architecture and functionality of parts marking logic of the parts marking system of FIG 2

SUMMARY

[0028] A parts marking system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure has memory for stoπng data indicative of at least one algorithm

associated with at least one object material and logic configured to display the at least

one algorithm to a display device and receive a user input for at least one part in

response to the displayed algorithm

[0029] A parts marking method in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure comprises the steps of storing data indicative of at least one

algorithm associated with at least one object material and displaying the at least one

algorithm to a display device The method further comprises receiving a user input for at least one part in response to the displayed algorithm

DETATLED DESCRIPTION

[0030] Embodiments of the present disclosure generally pertain to parts marking systems and methods Specifically, a parts marking system (PMS) of the present disclosure facilitates making optimal choices regarding the application of an identifier on a part, hereinafter referred to as an "object identifier" (OI), and the object identifier's location on the part Furthermore, the system facilitates in identifying a

technically appropriate parts marking application Exemplary types of marking

applications include, but are not limited to labels, dot peen (DP) marking, laser bond (LB) marking, mk jet (IJ) marking, and chemical etching (CE) Note that such list is not exhaustive and other parts marking applications in other embodiments are

possible Note that label refers to any article that can be attached to an object for

identification or description purposes, e g , a slip, a tag, a data plate, or tape

[0031 ] When determining whether a label is technically appropπate for a part and

determining what type of label is technically appropπate for the part, an exemplary PMS is used to perform a label analysis A label analysis, among other things, includes

identifying functions, functional failures, failure modes, failure effects, and

consequences associated with each label analysis Notably, the PMS provides a proactive analysis technique that enables the identification of plausible failure modes related to marking a part with a particular label, so that appropπate action can be identified to manage the consequences of such plausible failure modes

[0032] Furthermore, when determining whether a direct parts marking (DPM) application, e g , DP marking, LB marking, IJ marking, or CE is technically

appropriate, an exemplary PMS is used to facilitate a direct parts marking (DPM) analysis In the DPM analysis, the PMS facilitates selecting options corresponding to particular technical limitations associated with available parts marking applications Whether a parts marking application is technically appropπate for a particular part depends on a plurality of factors, which are described further herein [0033] FIG 1 illustrates a PMS 100 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure Prior to beginning a parts marking analysis using the PMS 100

in accordance with an exemplary embodiment, a facilitator 101 and any required team

members gather implementation strategy data related to the types of parts that are to

be marked, the kinds of materials that the parts will consist of, entity restraints related to the marking of parts, e g , government regulations or corporate guidelines, monetary factors related to the marking of parts, safety factors, whether the entity desires to track particular parts, and the like In addition, technical limitations

corresponding to specific equipment that may be used to perform DPM techniques is gathered Such list is not exhaustive, and other types of factors may be considered in

other embodiments

[0034] The PMS 100 is then configured to reflect such gathered information, which

wi i! now be described in more detail with reference to FIGs 2-4

[0035] After the PMS system 100 is configured according to the implementation

information and strategies, the facilitator 101 gathers with a plurality of team members 102-106 The facilitator 101 requests data identifying a part for analysis, which is described in more detail hereafter, and the facilitator 101 queries the team

members 102-106 in accordance with the implementation strategy data with which the

PMS system 100 was configured In this regard, the PMS system 100 provides a plurality of options from which the facilitator 101 may select corresponding to particular factors, as described herein, related to the implementation strategy The

team members 102-106 preferably communicate data corresponding to such requests to the facilitator 101 The number of team members 102-106 shown in FIG 1 is merely an exemplary number and other numbers of team members are possible in other embodiments [0036] Notably, the facilitator 101 leads a parts marking analysis for an identified part(s) by requesting particular data from the team members 102-106 associated with

the implementation strategies In particular, the facilitator 101 and the team members

102-106, hereinafter referred to as the PMS team, perform a parts marking analysis so

that an optimal marking application and marking location for the identified part is

achieved

[0037] As the facilitator 101 queries the team members 102-106, the team members

102-106 provide information corresponding to the queries of the facilitator 101 The facilitator 101 enters data or selects displayed options corresponding to the

information provided from the team members 102-106 into the PMS 100 Furthermore, as the facilitator 101 enters the data into the PMS 100, the PMS 100 communicates the entered data to the visual device 1 10 Such process is descπbed in

more detail throughout the present disclosure

[0038] The team members 102-106 preferably comprise a group of individuals who are knowledgeable in a particular technical area directly related to the identified part For example, if the part that is the subject of the analysis pertains to the aerospace

industry, the team members 102-106 may comprise a system engineer, a mechanic, a depot representative, a person responsible for technical publications, a maintenance test pilot, an instructor pilot, a crew member, and/or an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Such a team comprising the members 102-106 provides a

knowledge base relative to the technical area that is being analyzed Note that the

depot is a maintenance area, where particular pieces of equipment are taken, for example, to be overhauled or repaired

[0039] During the course of an analysis by the team members 102-106 and the facilitator 101 using the PMS 100 of the present disclosure, there may be required data identified during the analysis that the team members 102-106 are unable to

provide In such a scenario, the PMS 100 retains information corresponding to the

data needed for a complete analysis, so that such data may be sought from other

sources, e g , other experts not on the team

[0040] Prior to initiating the parts marking analysis, the facilitator 101 preferably

compiles implementation information and strategies related to a plurality of assets and

corresponding parts Thus, some information related to such parts is already stored in the PMS For example, the implementation information and strategies may identify a list

of parts that are to be marked, including part numbers, common names for the parts, nomenclature related to the parts, and the like Additionally, the implementation information and strategies may include a list of marking equipment available, for

example, dot peen equipment, laser-bonding equipment, chemical etching equipment,

and/or ink jet equipment The marking equipment information may further compπse technical limitations associated with the marking equipment available Additionally, there may be desired factors associated with marking the selected parts For example, an

entity may desire to mark all parts that cost more than $10,000, mark each part that may

result in safety consequences if the part fails, mark each part that may result in environmental consequences if the part fails, or mark each part that the entity desires to track generally Note that the options for inclusion in the parts marking implementation and strategies noted above are merely exemplary Such information and strategies may change and adapt depending upon the use of the PMS 100

[0041] The parts marking analysis preferably comprises numerous parts For example, the analysis might compπse a label analysis for determining the physical aspects of the label, i e , one-part label, two-part label, and/or other type of label known in the art and for determining if a label is a possible marking technique for a particular part Further, the PMS team populates an information worksheet, which includes functions, functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects, as described

hereinabove, and a label consequences analysis to determine the consequences of a label falling off of a particular location Furthermore, the PMS team might analyze the use of DPM for a particular part, including separately analyzing the use of a

particular DPM technique for each part

[0042] FIG 2 further illustrates how the PMS 100 uses a portion of the

implementation strategy data 2800 that is gathered by the facilitator 101 or other ιndividual(s) As described herein, the PMS 100 is to be used by the facilitator 101 and the PMS team to determine how a part will be marked, e g , a label or via DPM, the location on the part where the part will be marked, and marking instructions

technically appropriate for each part

[0043] Further as described herein, the implementation strategy data 2800 comprises data indicating the types of DPM equipment that will be used and the type of labels

that may be used to mark particular parts Furthermore, the implementation strategy data 2800 may comprise data defining the technical limitations of the DPM equipment

and/or the technical limitations of the labels For example, some DPM techniques may only be able to be used on certain types of metals, e g , aluminum or titanium, or some labels may not be applicable to a part because of the label's technical limitations, e g , the label's size or the type of adhesive that is used on a particular label

[0044] Therefore, the PMS 100 is configured such that marking options identified in the implementation strategy data 2800 are those desired by the implementing entity, mandated by the available equipment, or necessary for a particular part material and are available for selection by the facilitator 101 as identified by the PMS team Data that may be identified in implementation information and strategies and used to

configure the PMS system 100 will be identified throughout

[0045] As shown in FIG 2, the implementation strategy data 2800 is preferably used

to generate a plurality of algorithms 2801-2804 An "algorithm" in this disclosure is a compilation of technical limitations associated with one or more particular parts

marking techniques, and the technical limitations may be expressed in the form of

questions having selectable options, e g , yes/no, 1/0, or the like The algorithms 2801 -2804 are generated based upon the implementation information and strategies,

including the type of mark, e g , label or DPM and the type of equipment that will be used to adhere the mark to the part or directly mark the part in order to determine one

or more technically appropriate marking techniques

[0046] Therefore, an exemplary algorithm 2801 may be generated for determining a technically appropriate DPM technique for a part consisting of a particular material,

"Material A," where a plurality of options is available Note that exemplary materials might be, for example, aluminum, titanium, rubber, composite, or the like Such list

is exemplary, and other types of materials are possible in other embodiments

[0047] For example, the algorithm 2801 indicates that for DPM for a part consisting of Material A, the following marking techniques are available, including a "Dot Peen Marking Option" 2805, an "Ink Jet Marking Option" 2806, a "Chemical Etching Marking Option" 2807, and a "Laser-Bonding Marking Option" 2808 As will be

described further herein, while each of these techniques may be available, the parts marking analysis will further indicate, based upon any technical limitations of the equipment or the technique, which of the marking options 2805-2808 is technically appropriate for the particular part [0048] In another example, the exemplary algorithm 2802 may be generated for

determining a technically appropriate DPM technique for a part consisting of a particular material, "Material B," where only two marking options are available

Notably, the algorithm 2802 indicates that the "Dot Peen Marking Option" 2805 and the "Chemical Etching Marking Option" 2807 are technically possible for "Material

B" and so is available for analysis As described herein, while each of these techniques may be available, the parts marking analysis will further indicate, based

upon any technical limitations of the equipment or the technique, which of the marking options 2805 and/or 2807 is technically appropriate and therefore possible

for the particular part

[0049] In another example, the exemplary algorithm 2803 may be generated for determining a technically appropriate DPM technique for a part consisting either of

"'Material C" or "Material D " In this regard, a particular algorithm 2803 may be used for parts consisting of different kinds of metals For example, the algorithm 2803

may be used to analyze parts consisting of titanium or consisting of aluminum The

algorithm 2803 indicates two available marking options "Ink Jet" 2806 and "Chemical Etching" 2807

[0050] In another example, the exemplary algorithm 2804 may be generated for

determining a technically appropriate label for a part In this regard, a particular algorithm 2804 may be used to determine whether a "One-Part Label Marking

Option" 2809 or a "two-part Label Marking Option" 2810 is desirable As described further herein, such an algorithm 2804 for determining whether a label should be used and what type of label should be used may include a failure modes and effects analysis, as described further herein [0051] FIG 3 further describes the marking options 2805-2810 In this regard, each marking option that is available in a particular algorithm 2801-2804 (FIG 2) further

comprises a plurality of technical limitations 1161-1 164 and 1188-1 189 For

example, the "Dot Peen Marking Option" for a particular metal, e g , aluminum, may

only be plausible if the part under analysis is less than or equal to "54" on the

Rockwell Hardness C-Scale, if the part is not used in a high pressure operating context, or the part is greater than 020 inches thick Thus each of the foregoing is a "DP Technical Limitation" 1 161 corresponding to the particular marking option, e g ,

dot peen Such technical limitations are preferably displayed to the facilitator 101

and/or PMS team in the form of questions and/or statements, which is described in

more detail with reference to FIG 18 Such technical limitations may be associated with a plurality of options for the user to select, e g , yes/no if the limitation is in the form of a question Further, however, some technical limitations may be in the form

of a statement, and the facilitator 101, with input from the PMS team, enters data

addressing such statement For example, the One-Part Label Technical limitations 1 188 may comprise data indicative of failure modes and effects analysis Technical limitations are described further here

[0052] Furthermore, in each algorithm 2801-2804 there may be general limitations related to DPM For example, DPM may not be possible if the surface roughness is

not between 8 and 250 micro-inches, which may be a general technical limitation to using DPM Thus, if the marking area can not be prepared for DPM applications, then DPM may not be technically appropriate at all for the particular part and thus not available to the PMS team as a marking option

[0053] FIG 4 depicts a PMS 100 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure The exemplary PMS 100 generally comprises a processing unit 204, an input device 208, a display device 210, a projection device 212, and an

output device 240

[0054] The PMS 100 further comprises parts marking logic (PML) 214 and a parts marking database (PMD) 216 The PMD 216 comprises part data 226, information

worksheet data 218, consequence data 225, label analysis data 221 , report data 220,

transfer data 219, import data 281 , DPM data 227, and algorithm data 230 The algorithm data 230 further comprises DPM algorithm data 231 and label algorithm

data 232 Each is described further herein

[0055] In the exemplary PMS 100 shown by FIG 4, the PMD 216 and the PML 214

are implemented in software and stored in memory 202 In other embodiments, any of the foregoing components may be implemented in hardware and/or a combination

of hardware and software

[0056] The processing unit 204 may be a digital processor or other type of circuitry configured to run the PML 214 and/or other software components of the PMS 100 by

processing and executing the instructions of such components The processing unit 204

communicates to and dπves the other elements within the PMS 100 via a local interface 206, which can include one or more buses Furthermore, an input device 208, for example, a keyboard, a switch, a mouse, and/or other types of interfaces, can be used to

input data from a facilitator 101 of the PMS 100, and display device 210 can be used to output data to the facilitator 101 (FIG 1)

[0057] The PMS 100 may further comprise a projection device 212 that can be connected to the local interface 206 The projection device 212 may capture information that the facilitator 101 enters into the PMS 100 via the input device 208 An exemplary mput device 208 may include, but is not limited to, a keyboard device,

serial port, scanner, camera, microphone, or local access network connection An exemplary display device 210 may include, but is not limited to, a video display

[0058] As noted herein, various components, such as the PML 214 and the PMD 216,

are shown in FIG 2 as software stored in memory 202 Such components can be stored and transported on any computer-readable medium for use by or in connection

with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device, such as a computer-based system, processor-containing system, or other system that can fetch the instructions

from the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device and execute the

instructions In the context of this document, a "computer-readable medium" can be any means that can contain, store, communicate, propagate, or transport the program for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device The computer readable medium can be, for example but not limited to, an

electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, device, or propagation medium Note that the computer-readable medium could even be paper or another suitable medium upon which the program is printed, as the program can be electronically captured, via for instance optical scanning of the

paper or other medium, then compiled, interpreted or otherwise processed in a

suitable manner if necessary, and then stored in a computer memory

[0059] As described hereinabove, portions of the data, including the algorithm data

230 and a portion of the part data 226, may be pre-populated based upon the implementation information and strategies 2800 (FIG 2) Thus, when a parts marking analysis begins, the facilitator 101 may request information identifying a part for analysis, and when the facilitator 101 enters such data, the PML 214 may retrieve data describing the part under analysis from the part data 225 and display the retrieved part data 225 to the display device 210 and the projection device 212 If the logic 214

does not locate data corresponding to the identified part in the part data 225, the

facilitator 101 can add a new part to the part data 226 for analysis

[0060] If the PMS team desires to perform a label analysis on the part, the facilitator

101 initiates a label analysis via the input device 208, which is described further herein, and the PML 214 displays label algorithm data 232 to the display device 210

As described hereinabove, the label algorithm data 232 may compπse a series of

technical limitations in the form of questions Further, the algorithm data 232

comprises selectable options corresponding to each of the technical limitations and may include a failure modes and effects analysis and a consequence evaluation, each of which is described further herein

[0061] Thus, the facilitator 101 elicits selections corresponding to the label algorithm

data 232 and the facilitator 101 enters such selections via the input device 208 The

PML 214 stores such responses in label analysis data 221 for the identified part under analysis In this regard, label analysis data 221 preferably comprises general data related to attaching a label or labels to the identified part For example, the label analysis data 221 may comprise data indicative of whether the part is conducive to a

two-part label or a one-part label described further herein Such information is merely exemplary, and other label analysis data 221 is possible in other embodiments The facilitator 101 enters label analysis data 221 via the input device 208, and the logic 214 stores such label analysis data 221 in memory 202

[0062] The facilitator 101 elicits information worksheet data 218 from the PMS team corresponding to the identified part Information worksheet data 218 preferably comprises data identifying functions, functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects corresponding to attaching a label to the identified part Information worksheet data 218 is described in more detail with reference to FIG 15 The facilitator 101 enters Information worksheet data 218 via the input device 208, and the

logic 214 stores such information worksheet data 218 in memory 202

[0063] The facilitator 101 elicits consequence data 225 from the PMS team corresponding to the identified part Consequence data 225 preferably comprises data

detailing identified consequences of a label falling off of an identified part Consequence data 225 is described in more detail with reference to FIG 16 The facilitator 101 enters consequence data 225 via the input device 208, and the logic 214

stores such consequence data 225 in memory 202

[0064] If the PMS team desires to perform a DPM analysis on the part, the facilitator

101 initiates DPM analysis via the input device 208, which is descπbed further herein,

and the PML 214 displays DPM algorithm data 231 to the display device 210 As

described hereinabove, the DPM algorithm data 231 may compose a seπes of technical limitations in the form of questions or statements Further, the DPM algorithm data 231 comprises selectable options corresponding to each of the DPM

technique technical limitations

[0065] Thus, the facilitator 101 elicits selections corresponding to the DPM algorithm

data 231 and the facilitator 101 enters such selections via the input device 208 As descπbed hereinabove, the DPM algorithm data 231 composes questions corresponding to the materials, environment, and DPM application limitations related

to the part The PML 214 stores such responses in DPM data 227 for the identified part under analysis In this regard, DPM data 227 preferably composes general data related to marking a part via one or more DPM techniques For example, the DPM data 227 may comprise data indicative of whether the part is metallic or nonmetallic, whether the part is coated, and/or what type of metal makes up the identified part DPM data 227 is described in more detail with reference to FIG 17 The facilitator

101 enters DPM data 226 via the input device 208, and the logic 214 stores such DPM

data 227 in the PMD 216 in memory 202

[0066] As described hereinabove, the DPM algorithm data 231 preferably comprises specific inquiries for determining whether a part is conducive to a particular DPM

application, i e , chemical etching, laser bonding, ink jet marking, dot peen marking,

etc Further, the DPM algorithm data 231 comprises data indicative of which types of DPM techniques are identified for use in the implementation information and

strategies for a particular implementing entity Such data is used in order to configure the PMS 100 specific to each implementing entity, including options related to such

inquiries as described hereinabove DPM algorithm data 231 is described in more detail with reference to FIG 18 The DPM algorithm data 231 is pre-populated in the

PMS 100 prior to a parts marking analysis via the input device 208, and the logic 214 stores such DPM algorithm data 231 in memory 202

[0067] Furthermore, data related to the parts marking analysis is stored in the PMD

216, and the PML 214 generates reports 220 corresponding to the data stored in PMD

216 For example, the PML 214 may generate a report detailing the status of a

plurality of parts, e g , whether the parts have been analyzed, whether an analysis of the parts has been sent to a validating authority, or whether the parts marking analysis and recommendations have been approved by an approval authority

[0068] FIG 5 depicts a graphical user interface (GUI) 300 in accordance with an

exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure

[00691 The "Parts Marking" GUI 300 preferably composes pushbuttons 301-305, and each button 301 -305 displays a window, each of which is described further herein, when selected by the facilitator 101 (FIG 1) [0070] The "Add/Search Menu" pushbutton 301 enables the facilitator 101 to add a

particular part and its associated data to the PMD 216 and navigate existing parts stored in the PMD 216 When the facilitator 101 selects the pushbutton 301 , the PML

214 displays to the display device 210 an "Add/Search Menu" GUI 400, which is

described in more detail with reference to FIG 6

[0071] The "Part Number Status Lists" pushbutton 302, when selected, displays a

plurality of pushbuttons (not shown) that enable the facilitator 101 to retπeve lists of

part numbers from the PMD 216 based on specific criteria Thus, the pushbutton 302,

when selected, displays a "Status Lists" GUI 1900, as depicted in FIG 9

[0072] With reference to FIG 9, the GUI 1900 enables a facilitator 101 to view a

plurality of status lists corresponding to a part or a plurality of parts

[0073] The GUI 1900 composes pushbuttons 1901-1912 The "All Records" pushbutton 1901 , when selected, displays a list of parts and corresponding parts marking information and where such part is in an approval process As described further herein, the PMS 100 is used in order to generate parts marking procedures for

a plurality of parts Such procedures for marking the parts may undergo an approval process, e g , the team generates the information, a validation team reviews the

information, and an approval authority approves the information Thus, the "All Records" pushbutton 1901 may further display where each part is in the approval process

[0074] The "Batch Numbers" pushbutton 1902 may display, when selected, a window

that enables a facilitator 101 to display a plurality of parts associated with a batch number In this regard, the facilitator 101 may enter the batch number and all the parts associated with that batch number are displayed, including the parts' common names and approval status [0075] The "In Queue to Validation Team" pushbutton 1903 may display, when selected, a window that exhibits a list of parts that are to be sent to an approval

authority, e g , a second or third tier In this regard, an analysis has been performed on the parts, and the parts and associated information are to be provided to another tier for validation For example, the list may indicate part numbers, common names

and nomenclature for those parts in queue to the validation team

[0076] The "Approval Status" pushbutton 1904 may display, when selected, a window that exhibits a list of part numbers and their associated approval status when

that status is chosen

[0077] The "Type of Object Identification" pushbutton 1905 may display, when

selected, a window that exhibits a list of parts and status by their associated type of

object identifier, when that object identification is chosen In this regard, parts may be listed indicating DPM, DPM candidate, or Label Note that a DPM candidate refers to a part that is waiting for a DPM analysis to be performed

[0078] The "Investigate DPM" pushbutton 1906 may display, when selected, a window that exhibits a list of parts that is waiting for a DPM analysis In this regard,

such a list comprises part numbers associated with parts that the PMS team desires to analyze for a DPM method

[0079] Further lists that may be generated include a list of parts by date entered by

selecting the "Facilitator by Date Entered" pushbutton 1907, a list of parts having parking lot data by selecting the "Parking Lot" pushbutton 1908, or a list of by

analysis date by selecting "Analyzed by Date" pushbutton 1909 Furthermore, a facilitator 101 may generate a status list showing a list of parts having action items by selecting the "Action Items" pushbutton 1910, or a list of parts that are not parts marking candidates by selecting the "Not a Parts Marking Candidate" pushbutton

1911

[0080] The GUI 1900 further comprises an "Approval Status Update, Transfer Data to Validation Team, Import Data from Validation Team" pushbutton 1912 When

pushbutton 1912 is selected, a GUI 2100 is displayed as depicted in FIG 10 The

GUI 2100 enables a facilitator 101 to review data related to the status of a part or a

batch of parts, change data related to the status of parts, and/or transfer data related to a part or a batch to a validation team or an approval authority, e g , manager or the

like, so that they can add to or comment on the data

[0081] GUI 2100 comprises a "Choose Cπteπa to Populate List Below" menu 2050, a

"Select New Status" menu 2051, an "Update Current Status" menu 2052, and a "Set

List for Transfer" menu 2053

[0082] The menu 2050 enables a facilitator 101 to display a part or a list of parts m the listing window 2054 In this regard, the menu 2050 comprises a text field 2101

for selecting data indicative of the current status of a part or a batch of parts Thus, for example, if the facilitator 101 selects data indicative of a status "In Queue for Validation Team," as described hereinabove, then the PML 214 displays the parts in

the window 2054 from the part data 226 associated with the status identifier entered by the facilitator 101 Note that the exemplary window 2054 lists the parts by part

number and associated procedure number, nomenclature, batch number, and current status identifier In addition, the facilitator 101 may retrieve parts for display in the

window 2054 by selecting a batch number in text box 2102 or by entering a procedure string in text box 2103 The text box 2104 displays the total number of parts, i e , records retrieved Further pushbutton 2180, when selected, displays all part numbers associated with all batch numbers in the part data 226 For example, if text box 2101 indicated "In Queue to Validation Team" and the text field 2102 indicated batch number "3" for example, if the facilitator 101 selects "All Batches," then the PML 214 removes the "3" limitation on the search and displays all records from all batches

that have a status of in queue to validation team

[0083] Note that the window 2054 comprises a plurality of text boxes 2112-2115 for

displaying part numbers retrieved based upon critena entered in menu 2050 Only four text boxes 21 12-2115 are shown for exemplary purposes However, the number of text boxes 2112-2115 displayed will directly reflect the number of parts retrieved based upon the criteria entered Furthermore, text boxes 2116-21 19 display

alphanumeric codes identifying parts marking procedure, text boxes 2120-2123 display nomenclature, text boxes 2124-2127 display batch numbers, and text boxes

2128-2131 display current status identifiers corresponding to the part number text boxes 2112-21 15, respectively

[0084] After the facilitator 101 has selected one or more parts for display to the

window 2054, the facilitator 101 may then change the status of the parts listed In this regard, the text boxes 2128-2131 display the current status of each part listed The facilitator 101 may select a new status identifier, e g , awaiting approval, or approved,

and enter the new status in a text box 2105 The "Populate Temp Status" pushbutton, when selected, then populates "Temp Status" text boxes 2132-2135 with the new

status selected in box 2105 Note that "Delete Temp Status" may be selected in order to delete the new status identifiers populated in the "Temp Status" text boxes 2132- 2135

[0085] Once the facilitator 101 has selected a status identifier for the "Temp Status" text boxes associated with each part, the facilitator 101 may then update the "Current

Status" text boxes 2128-2131 by selecting the "Update Current Status with Temp Status" pushbutton 2108 When the facilitator 101 selects the pushbutton 2108, the PML 214 changes the data stored in the PMD 216 associated with the corresponding

parts to reflect the new status identifier In addition, the PML 214 also displays the

new status identifiers to the current status text boxes 2128-2131

[0086] The "Set List for Transfer" menu 2053 comprises three pushbuttons 2109-

21 11 When the "Transfer Database" pushbutton 2109 is selected, the PML 214 generates a transfer data 219 that the PML 214 stores in memory 202, as described herein In this regard, the PML 214 retrieves data describing the parts associated with

the part numbers displayed m window 2054 The PML 214 then generates the PMD

219

[0087] The GUI 2100 may further comprise a pushbutton (not shown) that, when selected, displays a window (not shown) for receiving recipient information, e g , email address or web site address Thus, the facilitator 101 may then select a transfer button (not shown) based upon the recipient information entered, and the PML 214

transmits the PMD 219 to the recipient Thus, the listed parts and associated parts marking data making up a record in the PMD 216 may be transmitted to a validation team and/or an approving authority for review, as described herein

[0088] In addition, the GUI 2100 comprises an "Import Database" pushbutton 2110

When the pushbutton 21 10 is selected, the PML 214 may retrieve import data 281 and store the import data 281 in the PMD 216 The PMS 100 may receive import data 281 from a validation team and/or an approving authority, and the received import

data 281 may comprise changes to a previous transfer data 219

[0089] Thus, the GUI 2100 further comprises a "Compare/Transfer Data" pushbutton

2111 When the pushbutton 21 11 is selected, the PML 214 displays a window 2300 as depicted in FIG 5F [0090] The GUI 2300 displays a window 2301 populated with data related to a part number currently stored in the PMD 216 Furthermore, the GUI 2300 displays a window 2302 populated with data related to the same part number, however, the data displayed is retrieved from the imported database 219 The GUI 2300 further comprises check boxes 2304-2313 corresponding at least a portion of the data contained in each of the "PMD Record" 2301 and the "Import Record 2302 " Note that the records 2301 and 2302 have a plurality of text fields 2316-2328 and 2329- 2341 , respectively

[0091] When a facilitator 101 desires to transfer augmented data from the "Import

Record" 2302 to the "PMD Record" 2301, facilitator 101 selects a check box 2304- 2313 corresponding to that portion of the data 2316-2328 and 2329-2341 that the facilitator 101 desires to transfer and selects the "Transfer Checked Items" pushbutton 2315 The PML 214 then replaces the data related to the data checked in the PMD for the currently displayed part number data in the "Import Record" 2302 Additionally, the facilitator 101 may select the "Check All" pushbutton to move all the data in the "Import Record" 2302 to the "PMD Record" 2301

[0092] The "Report Menu" pushbutton 303 enables the facilitator 101 to request reports 220 from the PMD 216 corresponding to the PMD 216 and the algorithmic data 230 described further herein When the facilitator 101 selects the pushbutton 303 from the GUI 300, the PML 214 displays to the display device 210 a list of reports that the PML 214 can create or has already created Thus, the facilitator 101 can retrieve a report and display it to display device 210 or pπnt the report to an output device 240 or display such report to the display device 210 or visual device 110

[0093] An exemplary report 2400 is illustrated in FIG 11 The report 2400 depicts a label procedure report for a part named "FWD Rotary Wing Blade " The report 2400 provides the part number "118P229-71," a common name "FWD Blade," a procedure number "CH88-PM-07-888A," and a date "12-May-2005 "

[0094] Additionally, the report 2400 provides a labeling procedure including the type of label, "2-Part Label," and a label location, "on the damper attachment lug " The report further exhibits a photograph or drawing that may show the label location and the placement on the part and any special installation instructions

[0095] The "Miscellaneous Notes" pushbutton 304 may display a window (not shown) that enables the facilitator 101 to enter notes regarding a particular part of analysis

[0096] The "When to Mark Part" pushbutton 305 displays a GUI 2000 depicted in

FIG 7 when selected The GUI 2000 enables a facilitator 101 and/or the PMS team to determine/view when a part is to be marked In this regard, the GUI 2000 comprises a pull down menu 2001 that the facilitator 101 can use to select a particular "When to Mark Part" opportunity and thus the PML 214 displays the parts to be marked at that time For example, the facilitator 101 may choose "400 HR Maintenance Cycle" and thus the PML 214 displays the parts that have been identified to be marked at the 400 HR Maintenance Cycle GUI 2000 further comprises a "Common Name" text box 2002 that displays the common name of the part, a "Part Number" text box 2003 that displays the part number of the part, and a "Type OI" text box 2004 that displays the type of object identifier, e g , a label or particular DPM technique, chosen by the PMS team to be used to mark the part In addition, the GUI 2000 comprises check boxes 2005 and 2006 that indicate if the part is subject to overhaul or to be at the depot, respectively Additionally, a "Click-CM" pushbutton, when selected, displays a current maintenance schedule for the part The GUI 2000 also displays in text box 2008 that allows the facilitator 101 and the PMS team to choose or view when the part is to be marked based on the opportunities

shown in 2005, 2006, and 2007

[0097] As mentioned hereinabove, when the facilitator 101 selects the pushbutton 301

(FlG 5), the PML 214 displays the GUI 400 (FIG 6) to the display device 210 The GUI 400 comprises a text box 402 in which the facilitator 101 may enter data, via the input device 208, indicative of a part number After the facilitator 101 has entered the

text into the text box 402, the facilitator 101 selects a "Click to Add" pushbutton 414

[0098] When the facilitator 101 selects the pushbutton 414, the PML 214 stores the

part number in the part data 226 of the PMD 216 and displays to the display device 210 the "Main" GUI 500 of FIG 8, which is described in more detail hereafter

[0099] Furthermore, the GUI 400 enables a facilitator 101 to search the PMD 216 for existing part numbers In this regard, the facilitator 101 may search existing part

numbers by part number, common name, national stock number (NSN), or

nomenclature Thus, the GUI 400 comprises an "Enter a Part Number String" text box 404, an "Enter a Common Name String" text box 405, an "Enter an NSN String" text box 406, and an "Enter a Nomenclature String" text box 407

[00100] When the facilitator 101 enters data into any one of the text boxes 404-407

and selects a "Search" pushbutton 416, the PML 214 displays a list of part numbers associated with the entered search string, i e , part number, common name, NSN number, and/or nomenclature The facilitator 101 can then select the part from the list of parts, and when the facilitator 101 selects the desired part, the PML 214 displays

the "Main" GUI 500 (FIG 8) exhibiting the selected part

[00101] Additionally, the GUI 400 enables a facilitator 101 to edit and/or view a part number Thus, the GUI 400 comprises a "Choose a Part Number" text box 420 When the facilitator 101 enters/chooses data into the text box 420 and selects an "Edit/View" pushbutton 421, the PML 214 retrieves information from the PMD 216

corresponding to a part that matches the data entered/chosen into the text box 420

The PML 214 displays the retrieved information in the "Main" GUI 500 described in

more detail with reference to FIG 8

[00102] In addition, the GUI 400 comprises a "Choose a Procedure to Edit" text box

422 and corresponding "Edit/View" pushbutton 423 that, when selected, displays the

GUI 500 of FIG 8 exhibiting the part number associated with the procedure number

entered/chosen into the text box 422 (FIG 6) Therefore, if the facilitator 101 desires to edit a procedure, the facilitator 101 can enter/choose the procedure number into text box 422, select the pushbutton 423, and the PML 214 displays the GUI 500

corresponding to the particular part number

[00103] In addition, the GUI 400 comprises a "Choose a Recently Added, Searched or

Edited Part number" pull down menu 424 Therefore, the facilitator 101 may select a

recently added, searched or edited part number and select the "Edit/View" pushbutton 425 to edit or view the part number or select the "Delete History" pushbutton 426 to delete the part numbers in the pull down menu 424 from history

[00104] Further, the GUI 400 enables a facilitator 101 to delete a part number from the

PMD 216 In this regard, the facilitator 101 can enter/choose a part number into text

box 427 and select the "Delete" pushbutton 428 The PML 214 then deletes the part associated with the entered/chosen part number from the PMD 216

[00105] FIG 8 depicts the "Mam" GUI 500 As described herein, the GUI 500 is

generally displayed by the logic 214 when the facilitator 101 elects to retπeve information corresponding to a particular part or elects to edit an existing part stored in the PMD via the GUI 400 (FIG 6) In this regard, the PML 214 retrieves desired information from the PMD 216 and populates the GUI 500 with the information retrieved

[00106] Furthermore, the "Mam" GUI 500 is displayed by the logic 214 when the facilitator 101 selects the "Click to Add" button 414 (FIG 6) The GUI 500 displays the added part number and description information and the PML 214 stores data in PMD 216 corresponding to the new part number not already in the PMD 216 In this regard, the PML 214 displays the GUI 500 to the display device 210, and the facilitator enters data into the GUI 500 related to the part that the facilitator 101 desires to enter into the PMD 216

[00107] The GUI 500 of FIG 8 comprises a text box 502 that the logic 214 populates with a desired part number, which is entered into the GUI 400 as described herein Note that the part number, common name, and/or nomenclature displayed in text boxes 502, 504, or 506, respectively, may already be stored and correlated in the PMD 216 However, as described hereinabove, the facilitator 101 may desire to enter a new part number in GUI 400 (FIG 6) by selecting the "Click to Add" pushbutton 414 after enteπng a part number in text box 402 (FIG 6) Furthermore, the GUI 500 comprises a text box 508 for displaying or enteπng data that describes the location of the part identified in the "Part Number" text box 502

[00108] In one embodiment, the GUI 500 comprises a window 510 for displaying several photographs and/or drawings indicative of the part identified in the text box 502 Note that the drawing may be in any format, e g , portable document format (PDF), tagged image file format (TIFF), or a windows bitmap (BMP)

[00109] In this regard, the PML 214 may retrieve several photographs and/or drawings from the PMD 216 and display the photograph or drawing in the window 510 along with an associated caption describing the photograph or drawing in text box 512 Additionally, the GUI 500 comprises a "Browse" button 511 When the facilitator

101 selects the button 511, the logic 214 displays data indicative of the file system (not shown) of the PMS 100, and the facilitator can select from the file system a file

name indicative of a file that contains data defining a photograph or drawing of a part,

which the logic 214 can display in window 510

[00110] Furthermore, the GUI 500 may comprise an "Enlarge" pushbutton 1871, a

"Select Drive" pushbutton 1872, and an "Add/Delete Label Location" pushbutton 1873 The "Enlarge" pushbutton 1871, when selected, may display an enlarged version of the drawing and/or photograph in window 510 The facilitator 101 and the

PMS team may then be able to view in better detail that which is displayed in window

510

[00111] The GUI 500 comprises a "Record Navigation" menu 515 and a "Mark

Analysis" menu 519 The "Record Navigation" menu 515 comprises a "General" pushbutton 516 and a "Main" pushbutton 518, which generally enable a facilitator 101 to access data currently being stored in the PMD 216 (FIG 2)

[00112] When the facilitator 101 selects the "General" pushbutton 516, the PML 214

(FIG 4) displays to the display device 210 a "General" GUI 600, which is described

in more detail with reference to FIG 13 The GUI 600 (FIG 13) provides general information about the part currently selected in the "Part Number" text box 502 of

FIG 8

[00113] When the facilitator 101 selects the "Main" pushbutton 518, the logic 214

(FIG 4) displays to the display device 210 the "Main" GUI 500, which is described herein above with reference to FIG 8

[00114] The "Mark Analysis" menu 519 comprises a "Label Analysis" pushbutton

520, an "Information Worksheet" pushbutton 522, and a "Label Consequences" pushbutton 524 Each button 520, 522, and 524 provides a specific analysis

functionality with respect to an object identifier that is to be used on the part identified in the text box 502, and each is described in more detail with reference to

FIGs 14-16

[00115] Additionally, the GUI 500 compπses a "Direct Parts Marking" (DPM)

pushbutton 526, a "Return to Search Results" pushbutton 528, a "Main Menu"

pushbutton 532, and an "Edit Menu" pushbutton 530

[00116] When the facilitator 101 selects the DPM button 526, the logic 214 displays to the display device 210 the GUI 1000, which is descπbed in more detail with reference to FIG 17 When the pushbutton 528 is selected, the logic 214 displays a listing of

parts that may have resulted in an earlier search as described with reference to FIG 6

The button 532 displays the "Parts Marking" GUI 300 of FIG 5, and the button 530

displays GUI 400 of FIG 6

[00117] The GUI 500 further compπses a text box 556 for providing the status of a record, and a button 560 that, when selected, displays the status history of a record

Further, the GUI 500 comprises a text box 554 for displaying the object identifier category of the currently displayed part, a text box 552 for displaying a procedure number associated with the part, and an automation button 558 for automatically formulating a procedure number

[00118] When the part that is currently being displayed has associated validation remarks, such remarks are indicated in check box 586 hi this regard, a facilitator 101 can select "Validation Remarks" pushbutton 550 to open a window comprising an editable text box (not shown) The facilitator 101 can enter data indicative of validation remarks in the text box, and when the facilitator 101 returns back to the "Main" GUI 500, the check box 586 exhibits a check indicating that there are validation remarks

[00119] In addition, if the PMS team determines that the part currently displayed is not

a parts marking candidate, then the facilitator 101 can select the push button 548, and

the PML 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) in which the facilitator 101

can enter data indicative of reason why the part is not a parts marking candidate even though the part meets other parts marking criteria laid out in the implementation

information and strategies When the facilitator 101 returns back to the "Main" GUI 500, a check box 587 exhibits a check indicating that there are reasons indicated for

why the part is not a parts marking candidate

[00120] Furthermore, the "Facilitator Use" menu 581 comprises a "Revision

Information" check box 589 to indicate that revisions of the information related to the part exist In this regard, the "Revision Information" pushbutton 588, when selected, displays an editable text box for entering revision information When the facilitator

101 returns back to the "Mam" GUI 500, the check box 589 exhibits a check indicating that there is revision information

[00121] As described herein, a part may be a member of a plurality of parts, wherein a batch number identifies the plurality Data indicative of the batch in which the part

number belongs is exhibited in text box 590 As the approval process for parts marking descriptions for the plurality associated with the batch number is analyzed

and reviewed, the parts can be retrieved by searching the PMD 216 via the batch number

[00122] The GUI 500 further comprises a check box 562 that indicates that a part is currently listed in the "Parking Lot " Note that when a part is listed in the "Parking

Lot," such indication means that prior to making a decision on the part's marking analysis, additional information may be needed Thus, the facilitator 101 can enter data describing the reasons for the part being in the parking lot into editable text box 534 Thus, when the facilitator 101 returns back to the "Main" GUI 500, the check

box 562 exhibits a check indicating that there is parking lot information

[00123] Further, there may be additional remarks related to the part If so, then the

GUI 500 further comprises a "Remarks" pushbutton 536 and a corresponding check box 564, which behave substantially similar to the "Parking Lot" pushbutton 534 and

corresponding check box 562

[00124] The GUI 500 may further comprise a "Record Copy" pushbutton 540, a

"Spelling" pushbutton 538, and a "Master Facilitator Copy" pushbutton 563 The "Spelling" pushbutton 538, when selected, checks the spelling in the displayed descriptions and other displayed text The facilitator may select the pushbutton 538 in

order to run a spell check on the information provided in the GUI 500

[00125] Further, the "Record Copy" pushbutton 540 is for providing a record copy of

another part number to transport into the current working record In one embodiment, the pushbutton 540 displays a window from which data can be cut and pasted into the

GUI 500 In another embodiment, the pushbutton 540 automatically transports selected data into the GUI 500 without the facilitator having to cut and paste the data

[00126] "Master Facilitator Copy" pushbutton 563 is for displaying a master record copy (not shown) for use by the facilitator 101 The master record copy preferably is a window that shows all the information related to the part including its marking information

[00127] In addition, the "Facilitator Use" menu 581 composes a "Date Entered" text box 544 for enteπng the origination date of the information relating to the part currently displayed in the text box 502 Further the menu 581 comprises a "Date Analyzed" text box 546 for entering data indicative of the date on which a parts marking analysis was performed for the part number displayed in text box 502 The "Facilitator Use" menu 581 further comprises an "Action Item" pushbutton 542 The

pushbutton 542, when selected, displays a window (not shown) that enumerates at

least one action item associated with the identified part In this regard, the action item

wmdow may exhibit data indicative of the part number, common name, actionee (the individual or group that is to take the action), the action to be taken, the due date, and

corresponding remarks

[00128] Note that the data described hereinabove that is entered via the GUI 500 is

preferably stored m the PMD 216 as part data 226

[00129] As described hereinabove, if the facilitator 101 selects the "General" pushbutton 516, then the PML 214 displays to the display device 210 the GUI 600 described now with reference to FIG 13 The GUI 600, like the GUI 500, displays or

receives text via text boxes, pull down menus, and/or check boxes corresponding to

the "Part Number" 502, the part "Nomenclature" 504, and/or the part "Common

Name" 506

[00130] Additionally, the GUI 600 comprises a table that includes other part numbers

608-61 1 that are affiliated with the part currently displayed in text box 502 and each

other part number's corresponding NSNs 612-615 including other cage codes If other part numbers exist in the table, then the text box 616 provides an indication of additional part numbers, e g , a check mark

[00131] Additionally, the GUI 600 comprises an "Analysis Criteria" box 618 As described herein, the type of cπtena that is to be considered when analyzing a part is dependent upon several factors, including the desires of the implementing entity for which the part is being analyzed In this regard, the "Analysis Criteria" box 618 can comprise a plurality of configurable check boxes to indicate if one or more of the listed criteria pertains to the displayed part number For example, the box 618 comprises selection boxes 619, 620, 621, and 622 and exhibit specific analysis

criteria When box 619 is selected, this indicates that the part costs more than

$10,000, if the "safety" box 620 is checked this indicates that the part has safety

consequences, if the "environmental" box 621 is selected, this indicates that failure of the part has environmental consequences, and the "tracked" box 622, if checked, indicates that the implementing entity desires to track the part number for a particular

reason Thus, if one or more of these boxes is check, then there exists a reason(s) for

labeling the part with an object identifier As descπbed hereinabove, other analysis criteria in other embodiments are possible depending upon the type of parts that are indicated in the implementation information and strategies for marking and any

requirements that may be placed upon an implementing entity Thus, the boxes 619- 622 are configurable based upon such analysis cπteπa identified

The GUI 600 comprises an "NSN" text box 624 for displaying the NSN information related to the part, a "Cage Code" text box 625 for displaying the cage code associated with the part number, an "Parts List Figure No " text box 626 for

displaying a figure number corresponding to a drawing associated with the part

number, a source maintenance recoverabihty ("SMR) Code" text box 627 for entering and/or displaying the SMR code associated with the part number, a "Label Nomenclature" text box 628 for displaying the label nomenclature associated with the part number, and a work unit code ("WUC") text box 629 for entering and/or displaying the WUC code associated with the part number Further, the GUI 600 comprises a "Quantity of Object on Asset" text box 630 for entering and/or displaying the quantity or number of a particular part contained on a particular asset, e g , two rotary blades on a helicopter The "Latest Acquisition Cost" text box 631 may be provided for entering and/or displaying the latest acquisition cost associated with the

part number, and the "Latest Acquisition Date" text box 632 may be provided for entering and/or displaying the latest acquisition date associated with the part number

Other information that may be provided including a "Field Cost" text box 633 for entering and/or displaying the field cost for which the displayed part is bought by the

end user

[00133] The GUI 600 further provides boxes 624-633, check box 634, and text boxes

635 and 636 for entering and/or displaying information provided by the facilitator 101

relating to the part number indicated in text box 502 Such information is configurable based upon the application in which the PMS 100 is used For example, the check boxes 624-634 may be used to provide additional tracking information or

maintenance characteristics or additional maintenance and/or part management data

[00134] Additionally, the GUI 600 comprises a "Priority" pushbutton 650, a check box

655, and "Add/Delete Priority" pushbutton 645 When the pushbutton 650 is selected, the PML 214 displays a window comprising a list of priority indicators for

marking of the part Such data may include, for example, "funding availability"

priority indicator or "immediate" indicator The facilitator 101 can add priority indicators by selecting a pushbutton (not shown) If pπoπty data is provided for the displayed part, the PML 214 displays an indicator in check box 655 The GUI 600 further comprises a "Current Maintenance" push button 637 that, when depressed, displays an editable text box for entered current maintenance package information

associated with the part being analyzed When information is entered in the editable check box, the PML 214 displays an indicator in check box 636 [00135] Note that each of the informational check boxes 624-633 and 635-636 are populated with data that is provided prior to analysis However, some of the data, for

example the current maintenance data in the aforedescribed editable text box, may be

retrieved from the team during analysis Further note that the analysis criteria in box 618 and the additional information in text boxes 624-635 are exemplary criteria only, and other criteria can be used in other embodiments depending upon an implementing

entity's requirements

[00136] Once the facilitator 101 has entered information corresponding to the part number displayed in the text box 502, the PMS team performs an analysis to determine if a label or labels are technically appropπate In this regard, the facilitator

101 selects the "Label Analysis" pushbutton 520, and the PML 214 displays to the

display device 210 a GUI 700 illustrated in FIG 14

[00137] As described heremabove, the "Label Analysis" screen is preferably generated based upon label algorithm data 232, which is obtained from implementation information and strategies for a particular implementing entity For example, if it is determine that there are two types of labels available, a one-part and a two-part, then

the first question in the "Label Analysis" GUI 700 is "Is there room for a two-part

label?"

[00138] The GUI 700 comprises a selection box 702 for selecting an option that is also provided by the label algorithm data 232 For example, the selectable option data

may be an affirmative or a negative response to whether there is room on the part

being analyzed for placing a two-part label Thus, the PMS team answers the question of whether there is room on the part for a two-part label, and if the PMS team determines that there is room for a two-part label, then the facilitator selects an affirmative indication for the box 702 For example, the box 702 may provide a pull down menu when the down arrow 701 is selected Thus, the facilitator 101 may select a "Yes" or a "Y" from the pull down menu to indicate an affirmative response

To the contrary, the part may not be suitable for a two-part label, thus the facilitator 101 would select a negative indication, for example a "No" or an "N," for the text box

702

[00139] The GUI 700 further comprises a selection box 704 for selecting an

affirmative or a negative response to the question of whether there is room on the part

being analyzed for placing a one-part label Thus, the PMS team answers the question of whether there is room on the part for a one-part label, and if the PMS team determines that there is room for a one-part label, then the facilitator selects an

affirmative indication in the box 704 For example, the box 704 may provide a pull

down menu when the down arrow 703 is selected Thus, the facilitator 101 may select a "Yes" or a "Y" from the pull down menu to indicate an affirmative response To the contrary, the part may not be suitable for a one-part label, in which case the

facilitator 101 would enter a negative indication, for example a "No" or a "N" in the text box 704

[00140] Notably, the queries made on the "Label Analysis" GUI 700 are configurable, as described hereinabove For example, if an implementing entity that is to use the PMS 100 to perform a label analysis desires not to have any two-part labels, then the question corresponding to the box 702 would not be available Likewise, if the entity

desired to use other types of labels, e g , tape, then such a selection would be

available Note that the questions that are asked in the label analysis are technical limitations with respect to the use of labels In this regard, if the part is not big enough for a two-part label, then such a question describes a technical limitation to the use of the two-part label on the part being analyzed [00141] Once the PMS team determines whether a two-part label, a one-part label,

and/or another type of label known in the art can be used on the part, the PML 214

automatically populates box 708 from question/answers from boxes 702, and 704

[00142] Further, the PMS team describes the optimal location of the label determined

In this regard, the facilitator 101 enters information describing the location on the part

for the label type indicated in the text box 708 Notably, the PMS team may navigate

to the GUI 500 described with reference to FIG 8, by selecting the pushbutton 518, and view the photograph or drawing of the part in making the location determination

[00143] With reference to FIG 14, the PMS team then provides information describing

adverse conditions that the part may be subjected to during operation that may affect whether or not a label is technically appropπate In this regard, the GUI 700

comprises boxes 712-714 including box 712 for indicating whether the label might be subject to fluid contamination, box 713 for indicating whether the label is subject to

high traffic and/or maintenance traffic, and box 714 for indicating whether the label is subject to adverse environmental conditions In addition, the GUI 700 comprises a check box 792 for indicating whether adverse conditions are described in more detail

In this regard, the facilitator 101 may select the "Adverse Conditions Details" pushbutton 791 If selected, the PML 214 may display a window (not shown) for entering data further descnbing the details, and the PML 214 may store such data in the PMD 216 associated with the part

[00144] These adverse conditions questions are technical limitations to the label

analysis The facilitator selects options from the pull down boxes 712, 713, and 714 These options and technical limitations are determined by the implementation information and strategies as described hereinabove for each implementing entity In this regard, the adverse condition questions are also configurable depending upon the

type of environment or external exposures that a part may endure during operation

[00145] Further, the GUI 700 provides a box 718 for indicating whether the surface area is still conducive to label application in light of the previous analysis and exists to allow the PMS team to decide if label analysis should be continued As described

hereinabove, the GUI may provide a pull down functionality via the arrow 719

Whether the surface area is still conducive to label application may depend upon a number of factors that the PMS team considers in making such a determination

[00146] Additionally, the GUI 700 compπses a technical limitation descπbed by the query of "Will adhesive adhere to the parts surface" and provides options in a pull

down menu 788 for answering such a query

[00147] Further, the GUI 700 provides a box 722 for providing an affirmative or negative option to indicate whether there are special installation instructions for applying the suggested label in box 708 to the part being analyzed Additionally, the GUI 700 compπses a button 720, and, when selected, the logic 214 displays to display

device 210 an editable text box (not shown) in which the facilitator can enter

information describing the special instructions determined by the PMS team

[00148] Further, the GUI 700 comprises a box 724 for providing an affirmative or negative option to indicate whether the part can be marked without disassembly or

removal Thus, the facilitator 101 enters an affirmative or negative response determined by the PMS team in the box 724 Corresponding text box 726 receives

data indicating the removal or disassembly procedure/details

[00149] The GUI 700 also comprises a box 730 for indicating affirmatively or negatively whether the OI is accessible using a hand-held scanner without disassembly or removal Thus, the facilitator 101 enters an affirmative or negative response determined by the PMS team in the box 730 Corresponding text box 728

receives data indicating the removal or disassembly procedure/details

[00150] The "Label Analysis" GUI 700 embodies exemplary label algorithm data 232

In this regard, the questions/statements and options provided to respond to the exemplary questions/statements make up an exemplary label algorithm Other

questions/statements in other embodiments of a "Label Analysis" GUI 700 can be

used with other options, and such algorithms can be configured based upon the implementation information and strategies as described herein

[00151] The PMS 100 stores data indicative of the selected options and other data

entered in the "Label Analysis" GUI 700 in the label analysis data 221 of the PMD

216

[00152] Once the PMS team performs the basic label analysis using GUI 700, the facilitator continues the analysis by selecting the "Information Worksheet"

pushbutton 522 When the pushbutton 522 is selected, the logic 214 displays the GUI

800 depicted in FIG 15 to the display device 210

[00153] The GUI 800 enables the PMS team to perform an information worksheet analysis via the display device 210 and the visual device 110 In this regard, the PMS team begins by identifying a variety of functions, functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects related to the placing of a label on a part or such functions,

functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects may be identified prior to the PMS team gathering, and the PMD 216 may be populated with function, functional failure, failure mode, and failure effect data In this regard, the pre-populated identified functions, functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects may be technical limitations associated with an algorithm, and such functions and functional failures may be stored in the information worksheet data 218 (FIG 4) [00154] Such function data is entered or displayed into text box 811 When adding a function, the facilitator 101 selects the "Add" pushbutton 801 As the facilitator 101 enters additional functions or scrolls through pre-populated functions, the PML 214

increments a counter in text box 837

[00155] Exemplary functions that may be identified by the PMS team include, for

example, to safely and permanently display human and machine-readable part information so that it can be identified and traced, to avoid damage to the part and/or

the vehicle in which the part is installed, and to avoid introducing any additional failure modes to the system in which the part is installed Note that such functions

may vary for different applications of the PMS 100

[00156] Once the PMS team has reviewed pre-populated functions and/or added new functions associated with the label under analysis, the PMS team identifies "Functional Failures" associated with each pre-populated function and/or added

function As functional failures are identified, the facilitator 101 enters such

functional failure data by selecting an "Add" pushbutton 802 and entering data into the text box 812 describing the functional failure A counter in text box 827 indicates the number associated with the displayed functional failure in text box 812

[00157] Exemplary functional failures associated with an identified function may include the label falls off, the label is humanly illegible, or the label is not machine- readable Note that such functional failures may vary for different implementing

entities of the PMS 100

[00158] Once the PMS team has identified functional failures associated with the label under analysis, the PMS team identifies "Failure Modes" associated with the identified functional failures The facilitator 101 enters such failure mode data by selecting an "Add" pushbutton 803 and entering data describing the failure mode in

text box 813

[00159] Once the PMS team has identified failure modes, the PMS team identifies

"Failure Effects" associated with each failure mode identified The facilitator 101

enters such failure effects into the text box 814 associated with each failure mode The described compilation of failure modes and failure effects is hereinafter referred

to as a "FMEA "

[00160] Based on the FMEA, if the PMS team desires to continue the label analysis,

the GUI 800 comprises a box 806 for indicating an affirmative or negative response as

to whether to still continue the analysis Further, the GUI 800 comprises a box 804 for indicating an affirmative or negative response as to whether the label determined in text box 708 (FIG 14) is recommended in light of the information provided in the

FMEA

[00161] Note that the "Record Navigation" menu 515 and the "Mark Analysis" menu

519 behave in substantially the same manner as described hereinabove

[00162] Furthermore, the GUI 800 comprises a "Facilitator Use" box 599 The box

599 comprises a "Spell Check" pushbutton 561 that, when selected, checks the

spelling in the text boxes in the GUI 800 The box 599 further comprises a "Totals"

pushbutton 562 that when depressed displays a text box (not shown) that details the total number of functions, functional failures, failure modes, and failure effects contained in the information worksheet performed in the GUI 800, when selected The "Copy" pushbutton 563 displays a copy of the current window so that the facilitator 101 can copy data from one window to the working GUI 800 Further, the

"Copy" pushbutton 563 is for providing a record copy of another part number to transport into the current working record In one embodiment, the pushbutton 563 displays a window from which data can be cut and pasted into the GUI 800 In another embodiment, the pushbutton 563 automatically transports selected data into

the GUI 800 without the facilitator having to cut and paste the data

[00163] Finally, the box 599 comprises a "Renumber" pushbutton 564 that renumbers

functions, functional failure, failure modes, and failure effects when selected

[00164] The PML 214 stores the FMEA data and any other data entered in the

"Information Worksheet" GUI 800 in the information worksheet data 218 (FIG 4)

[00165] Once the Information Worksheet GUI 800 is completed by the PMS team, the

facilitator 101 may select the "Label Consequences" button 524, and the logic 214 displays the GUI 900 described in more detail hereafter with reference to FIG 16

[00166] The GUI 900 further exhibits a plurality of questions indicative of technical

limitations associated with the consequences of a particular label falling off of its

location identified in text box 710 (FIG 14), as described hereinabove In this regard, the GUI 900 comprises text boxes for entering data and selection boxes for selecting options corresponding to a plurality of queries aimed at gathering information

corresponding to the consequences of a label falling off which allows the PMS team to select a label as a marking option

[00167] The GUI 900 comprises a text box 902 for entering data describing where a label conducive to detachment might fall off Thus, the facilitator 101 requests information from the PMS team corresponding to where a label(s) would fall off, and the facilitator 101 enters such information in text box 902

[00168] The PMS team further analyzes the consequences if the label falls off via the

GUI 900 by enteπng data in boxes 903-907 Furthermore, pushbuttons 910-914 may be selected so that the facilitator 101 can enter additional data regarding each box 903-907 [00169] In this regard, the GUI 900 comprises text box 903 for providing an affirmative or negative response as to whether, if the label being analyzed falls off, if

such falling off might have adverse effects on operational safety If the PMS team

determines that there are or are not safety consequences, the GUI 900 further provides a pushbutton 910, and when the button 910 is selected, the logic 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for entering detailed information corresponding to

safety consequences information identified by the PMS team

[00170] The GUI 900 comprises text box 904 for providing an affirmative or negative response as to whether, if the label being analyzed falls off, such falling off might cause a breach of an environmental standard or regulation If the PMS team determines affirmatively/negatively that there are environmental consequences, the

GUI 900 further provides a pushbutton 911 , and when the button 911 is selected, the

logic 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for enteπng detailed information

corresponding to the environmental consequences information identified by the PMS team

[00171] The GUI 900 comprises text box 905 for providing an affirmative or negative

response as to whether, if the label being analyzed falls off, such falling off might cause an adverse effect on operational capability If the PMS team determines

affirmatively/negatively that there are operational consequences, the GUI 900 further provides a pushbutton 912, and when the button 912 is selected, the logic 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for entering detailed information corresponding to

the operational consequences information identified by the PMS team

[00172] The GUI 900 comprises text box 906 for providing an affirmative or negative response as to whether, if the label being analyzed falls off, such falling off might cause equipment damage If the PMS team determines affirmatively/negatively that there may be equipment damage consequences, the GUI 900 further provides a pushbutton 913, and when the button 913 is selected, the logic 214 displays an

editable text box (not shown) for entering detailed information corresponding to the

equipment damage information identified by the PMS team

[00173] The GUI 900 comprises text box 907 for providing an affirmative or negative response as to whether, if the label being analyzed falls off, is the level of risk

associated with such falling acceptable If the PMS team determines affirmatively/negatively that the level risk associated with the label falling off is

acceptable, the GUI 900 further provides a pushbutton 914, and when the button 914 is selected, the logic 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for entering detailed information corresponding to details regarding the level of risk associated

with the label(s) falling off identified by the PMS team

[00174] In light of the information provided regarding the consequences of the label falling off, the PMS team then determines whether the label being analyzed is recommended If the team determines that the label is recommended, the GUI 900 comprises a box 908 for enteπng an affirmative indication, i e , a "Yes" or a "Y," that

indicates that the label is recommended Otherwise, the facilitator 101 can enter data

indicating that the team does not recommend the analyzed label, i e , a "No" or a "N " If a negative entry is made in text box 908, the PML 214 displays a dialog box (not shown) that asks whether to continue to the DPM analysis, as described with respect to FlG 17

[00175] The GUI 900 further comprises a "First Iteration" selection box 961 for selecting whether the recommendation made in box 908 is a result of a first iteration of the algorithm exhibited by GUI 700 (FIG 14), GUI 800 (FIG 15), and GUI 900 (FIG 16) If it is not the first iteration, then the facilitator 101 selects a negative indication form the pull down box 961 In one embodiment, the facilitator 101 selects

the pushbutton 962, and the PML 214 displays an editable text (not shown) for

entering data describing the first iteration so that an audit trail of decisions can be

maintained

[00176] As described herein, DPM is distinguishable from marking via a label In this

regard, DPM refers to placing part information directly on the part Thus, the PMS

team determines whether the part is conducive to DPM by using the GUI 1000

depicted in FIG 17 and the GUI 1100 depicted in FIG 18

[00177] Furthermore, GUI 1000 and GUI 1 100 embody an exemplary algorithm, e g , algorithms 2801 -2803 (FIG 2), which will be indicated further herein

[00178] The exemplary GUI 1000 comprises a plurality of questions corresponding to an algorithm for deciding upon a DPM technique In this regard, the GUI 1000

comprises a text box 1002 for indicating whether the part composition is a metal or a nonmetal Exemplary metals include, for example, titanium or aluminum Exemplary

nonmetals include, for example, rubber, plastic, or composite materials As described hereinabove, different materials will have different algorithms associated with them

Thus, the GUI 1000 will change depending upon the type of part that is being

analyzed

[00179] In this regard, the text box 1002 may comprise a pull down menu 1001 that lists a plurality of options for the facilitator 101 and the PMS team when selecting data in response to this question The menu may comprise the different available

selections, e g , metal or nonmetal Note that the questions related to DPM may vary depending upon the particular application of the GUI 1000 Furthermore, the PML 214 determines the algorithm that is employed in GUI 1100 based upon the selections made on GUI 1000 (FIG 17) In this regard, if it is a metal and that metal is further identified as "aluminum", then an algorithm comprising marking options

corresponding to techniques that are to be used for marking aluminum is displayed

when the algorithm is run by selecting a "Run Algorithm" pushbutton 1012, described

further herein

[00180] The GUI 1000 further comprises a text box 1004 for indicating whether the

surface of the part is painted In this regard, the text box 1004 may comprise a pull

down menu (not shown) actuated by selecting the arrow 1003 The menu may

comprise the different available selections, e g , painted/not painted or true/false Further, the facilitator may enter an affirmative or negative response, for example, if the surface is painted, the facilitator 101 enters a "Yes" or a "Y" in the text box 1004 by entering text into the box 1004 or selecting an affirmative indication from a pull

down menu displayed by selecting the arrow 1003 Again, the algorithm employed to determine whether the part can be marked using DPM and the marking options available for marking the part may aid in defining the algorithm that is employed in

GUI 1 100, described further herein

[00181] The GUI 1000 further comprises a text box 1006 for indicating whether the surface can be prepared for DPM application In this regard, the text box 1006 may

comprise a pull down menu (not shown) actuated by selecting the arrow 1005 The menu may comprise the different available selections, e g , "yes" or "no " Note that if the surface cannot be prepared for DPM, and the facilitator 101 answers "no" in box

1006 via the pull down menu 1005, then the PML 214 indicates in text box 1016 that

DPM is not possible

[00182] The GUI 1000 further comprises a text box 1008 for indicating the type of metal that the part is made of In this regard, the text box 1008 may comprise a pull down menu (not shown) actuated by selecting the arrow 1007 The menu may comprise the different available selections, e g , aluminum, steel, bronze, and/or brass

Note that the pull down selections, e g , aluminum, steel, bronze, etc , can be populated depending upon the type of application for which the PMS 100 is being

used for a specific implementing entity Furthermore, the PML logic 214 determines the algorithm that is employed in GUI 1100 based upon the selection made in text box

1008 In this regard, if the part is aluminum, then an algorithm comprises DPM marking options corresponding to techniques that are technically possible for marking aluminum and is displayed when the algorithm is run by selecting a "Run Algorithm" pushbutton 1012, described further herein Furthermore, the answers in text boxes

1002 and 1008 determine the "Metal Group" 1010 m which the part is a member In

this regard, there may be several metals, e g , aluminum and steel, which belong to the same metal group in that the same algorithm can be used to determine the type of DPM that can be employed to mark the part

[00183] When the facilitator 101 selects the button 1012, the PML 214 displays a GUI

1 100 described in more detail with reference to FIG 18 The GUI 1 100 aids the PMS

team in deciding which type of DPM is recommended in regard to the part being analyzed

[00184] Once the algorithm is run, the GUI 1000 comprises a "DPM Analysis Results" box 1015 that indicates whether DPM is possible and what types of DPM are possible and not possible for the part being analyzed

[00185] In this regard, the box 1015 indicates in a text box 1016 an affirmative or a negative indication of whether it is possible to use DPM If DPM is possible at all, the box 1015 further compπses boxes 1018-1021 that indicate which types of DPM are possible, and boxes 1022-1025 that indicate which types of DPM are not possible [00186] Further, the GUI 1000 comprises a text box 1088 or a pull down menu (not

shown) that allows the facilitator 101 to choose which DPM technique is

recommended by the PMS team

[00187] As indicated heremabove, when the facilitator 101 selects the button 1012, the

PML 214 displays GUI 1100 of FIG 18 The PML 214 selects one of a plurality of

algorithms that are coded into PML 214 prior to analysis and are based on the specific implementation strategies for a particular implementing entity for display in GUI

1100 based upon the answers to the queries in GUI 1000 (FIG 17)

[00188] The GUI 1100 enables the PMS team to determine which types of DPM are

technically appropriate, if any In this regard, the GUI 1100 comprises a text box 1 102 for displaying the metal identified in box 1010 (FIG 17) and a text box 1104 for displaying the part number associated with the part currently being analyzed

Furthermore, the GUI 1100 provides a box 1106 for indicating which step the PMS team is currently on as it goes through each step in the algorithm depicted in GUI

1100

[00189] As noted herein, the algorithm displayed in GUI 1100 depends upon answers to questions in GUI 1000 In this regard, the algorithm in GUI 1 100 comprises four decision areas 1 196-1200 As the facilitator 101 enters data indicative to options related to each of the part marking techniques, the PML logic 214 determines, based

upon the data entered, whether the marking technique related to the data being entered is possible or not possible The PML 214 then automatically moves the facilitator 101 on the GUI from one marking technique area 1196-1200 to another

[00190] In decision area 1200, the PMS team analyzes whether the part generally can be marked using a DPM method by displaying questions (not shown) related to

general technical DPM limitations For example, if the part has a surface on which a DPM can be placed or if the surface thickness is adequate for placing a DPM Note

that these questions are configurable based upon the implementing entity for which the particular PMS 100 is designed For example, aerospace research may disallow DPM for surfaces of a particular thickness or made of a particular type of metal If

the facilitator 101 enters data, based upon input from the PMS team, that indicates that DPM is possible, then the PML 214 automatically controls the analysis flow by

highlighting and/or disabling selected decision areas based upon the options selected by the facilitator 101 corresponding to the technical limitations of each DPM

technique as described further herein In this regard, as described herein, the

algorithm displayed comprises the decision areas 1 196-1199 corresponding to DPM techniques determined to be technically appropriate for the mateπal displayed in text box 1 102

[00191] Note that, based upon the answers to the questions in decision area 1200, none or all of the decision areas 1 196-1 199 may be made editable by the PML 214

Likewise, based upon the answers to the questions in decision areas 1196-1 199, one or more of the decision areas 1196-1 199 may be made editable by the PML 214

[00192] In one embodiment, if each general technical DPM limitation in decision area

1200 is answered affirmatively, then the PML 214 enables each of the decision areas 1 196-1 199 However, in other embodiments of the algorithm, other combinations of enabled/disabled decision areas 1196-1199 are possible and are dependent upon the affirmative/negative selected options in decision areas 1196-1 199

[00193] If each decision area 1 196-1199 is technically appropriate, the PML 214 enables all decision areas 1196-1 199 and automatically moves an indicator (not shown) to the dot peen technical limitations 1 161 Thus, the facilitator 101 and the

PMS team may then provide affirmative/negative responses corresponding to the dot peen technical limitations 1 161 of the decision area 1 196 If duπng analysis of the dot peen technical limitations 1161 the facilitator 101 enters a negative response, then the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the ink jet technical limitations

1 162 of the decision area 1 197 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate

that dot peen can not be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "No" in text

box 1144 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that dot peen can be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "Yes" in text box 1130 ,

[00194] Thus, as indicated herein above, after it is determined whether or not dot peen

is possible, the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the ink jet technical

limitations 1 162 of the decision area 1197 If during analysis of the ink jet technical limitations 1 162 the facilitator 101 enters a negative response, then the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the laser bond technical limitations 1163 of the

decision area 1198 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that ink jet

can not be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "No" in text box 1145 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that ink jet can be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "Yes" in text box 1140 ,

[00195] Thus, as indicated herein above, after it is determined whether or not ink jet is possible, the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the laser bond technical

limitations 1163 of the decision area 1 198 If during analysis of the laser bond technical limitations 1 163 the facilitator 101 enters a negative response, then the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the chemical etching limitations 1164 of the decision area 1 199 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that laser bond can not be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "No" in text box 1160 If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that laser bond can be performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "Yes" in text box 1 162 [00196] Thus, as indicated herein above, after it is determined whether or not laser bond is possible, the PML 214 automatically moves the indicator to the chemical etch

technical limitations 1164 of the decision area 1 199 If during analysis of the

chemical etch technical limitations 1 164 the facilitator 101 enters a negative response, then the PML 214 places a "No" in the text box 1146 and the algorithm terminates If the answers to such technical limitations indicate that chemical etching can be

performed, then the PML 214 (FIG 4) places a "Yes" in text box 1 148 and the

algorithm terminates

[00197] Note that, the decision areas 1196-1199 are arranged in succession within the algorithm so that each decision area 1196-1199 is enabled/disabled as a result of the affirmative/negative answers to the general technical limitations or preceding technical limitations 1161-1163 In this regard, the PML 214 automatically moves the

indicator from the preceding decision area 1200 or 1 196-1198 to the next decision area 1 196-1199 However, in other embodiments, the decision areas may be

enabled/disabled and the indicator may be automatically moved independent of the affirmative/negative answers to the preceding technical limitations 1161-1163

[00198] In yet another embodiment, if in decision area 1200, based upon options

selected in the general technical DPM limitations 1200, the PML 214 determines that

chemical etching, for example, is the only technically appropriate DPM technique, the PML 214 may only enable chemical etching decision area 1199 Thereafter, chemical etch decision area 1 199 behaves as described herein above

[00199] As noted herein above, if the questions answered in the general technical DPM limitations in decision area 1200 indicate that more than just chemical etching decision area 1198 is technically appropriate, those applicable decision areas 1 196, 1197, and 1199 are enabled by the PML 214 [00200] Note that, the DPM techniques illustrated in GUI 1 100 are for exemplary purposes and varying combinations of those identified DPM techniques or different

DPM techniques may be used in other embodiments Further note that, four DPM

techniques are shown in the algorithm in GUI 1 100 for exemplary purposes However, other quantities of DPM techniques in other embodiments are possible

[00201] GUI 1100 further comprises a "Facilitator Use" menu 1121 The menu 1121

provides text boxes 1167 and 1169 for entering additional information related to the

part being analyzed In this regard, if there is additional information needed in order to make a determination as to the label algorithm, the facilitator 101 selects the

"Parking Lot" pushbutton 1 167, and the PML 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for entering information corresponding to the additional information needed

for the analysis The PML 214 then enters an indication in the "Parking Lot" box 1 166, e g a check mark, indicating that additional information is needed Further, the GUI 1 100 provides the "DPM Remarks" check boxes 1168, and the PML 214 enters an indication in the check box 1168 that there are DPM remarks associated with the

part being analyzed if the facilitator 101 enters data by selecting the "DPM Remarks" pushbutton 1169 Thus, when the facilitator 101 selects the "DPM Remarks"

pushbutton 1 169, the logic 214 displays an editable text box (not shown) for entering information corresponding to the remarks related to the analysis

[00202] Further, the "Facilitator Use" menu 1 121 comprises a "Start Over" button

1170 Thus, if the facilitator 101 and/or the PMS team determine that the algorithm being performed needs to be started over, the logic 214 resets the GUI 1100 when the facilitator selects button 1 170 The menu 1 121 also comprises a "Return to DPM" button 1172, and if the facilitator 101 determines that the GUI 1000 (FIG 17) is needed during the analysis, the PML 214 displays the GUI 1000 when the facilitator

101 selects the button 1 172

[00203] With respect to FIG 17, once the PMS team has completed running the

algorithm in FIG 18, the facilitator 101 may select the "Enter Decision" button 1014

When button 1014 is selected, the logic 214 displays the "Enter Decision for PN"

GUI 1200 depicted in FIG 19

[00204] GUI 1200 illustrated in FIG 19 comprises a text box 1202 for displaying the

suggested order of the parts marking as a result of the DPM algorithm Such suggested order is predetermined during the implementation information and

strategies development, therefore, the text field 1202 is pre-populated As an example, text field 1202 might exhibit "ink jet, dot peen, chemical etch," and this order may have been determined based upon cost or other factors

[00205] Further, the GUI 1200 comprises text box 1204 for displaying the current part number and a text box 1205 for displaying the current part common name Further,

the GUI 1200 comprises a "DPM Techniques Advantages and Limitations" menu 1208 that shows each of the DPM techniques included m PML 214 The menu

composes pushbuttons 1210-1213 that, when selected, displays the advantages and

limitations associated with each DPM technique Menu 1208 provides a laser bonding button 1210, ink jet button 1211, chemical etching button 1212, and dot peen button 1213, and if the facilitator 101 selects, for example, the laser bond button 1210,

the PML 214 displays GUI 1300 of FIG 20 for PMS team reference purposes The

GUI 1200 further compπses a text box 1288 for entering data indicative of a technically appropriate DPM method chosen by the PMS team for marking the part as a result of the algorithm [00206] GUI 1300 provides a summary of the advantages and hmitations

corresponding to laser bond DPM In this regard, the GUI 1300 may comprise a box

1302 enumerating the advantages of laser bond DPM, which may include that laser bond parts marking is resistant to high heat, is unaffected by salt, fog, and/or spray,

exhibits the best resolution, is consistent, and is a non-contact application On the other hand, the GUI 1300 may comprise a box 1304 enumerating the limitations of

laser bond parts marking, which may include that the laser bond parts marking is

limited to the work enclosure, it cannot be used to mark on a painted surface, and it is time intensive GUI 1300 in FIG 13 displays advantages and limitations specific to laser bonding, however, other techniques will be correlated with other

Advantages/Limitations for display in GUI 1300 in other embodiments

[00207] FIG 21 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary parts marking process of the

present disclosure

[00208] The facilitator 101 and/or the PMS team identify a part for analysis in step

1402 Preferably, information relating to the part identified is gathered prior to any

parts marking analysis For example, the facilitator 101 may collect information

including a drawing and/or a photograph or a specification sheet corresponding to the

part Furthermore, as described herein, data relating to a part may be pre-populated prior to the analysis m the "General" GUI 600 depicted in FIG 13

[00209] The PMS team then determines whether a label analysis is desired in step

1404 If a label analysis is not desired in step 1404, then the PMS team determines in

step 1414 whether a DPM analysis is desired

[00210] If a label analysis is desired, then the PMS team performs a label algorithm in step 1406 In this regard, the PMS team determines whether a one-part or two-part label, for example, can be used on the part Further, the PMS team determines a location for the label, adverse conditions that may affect the label, and other

installation instructions Note that such technical limitations corresponding to a label

algorithm are configurable and may change depending upon the implementation

strategy and the implementing entity

[0021 1] The PMS team then performs a function, functional failure, failure mode and failure effect analysis related to the application of the label on the identified part in

step 1408 The PMS team then determines consequences related to the label falling

off in step 1410

[00212] Based upon the information obtained in steps 1406, 1408, and 1410, the PMS team provides a recommendation on the type of label to use in step 1412

[00213] If a label is not desired in step 1404 or in addition to recommending a label in

step 1412, the PMS team then determines whether direct parts marking (DPM) is

desirable for the part under analysis in step 1414 IfDPM is not desirable, then the analysis ends However, if DPM is desired, the PMS team analyzes each DPM technique that is pre-populated in the PMS 100 and whether one of the pre-populated DPM techniques can be used on the part in step 1416

[00214] After the PMS team determines the types of DPM that are technically appropriate for use on the part, the PMS team then determines a recommendation of a

DPM technique based upon the PMS team analysis and a prioritized list pre-populated of DPM techniques that may be used to mark the part in step 1418

[00215] FIG 22 is a flowchart depicting architecture and functionality of exemplary

PML 214 (FIG 2) of the present disclosure

[00216] The PML 214 configures parts marking options based upon implementation strategies in step 1504 For example, an implementing entity may identify that it is technically appropriate to use labels and specific DPM techniques to mark parts Such information is used to configure the PMS 100 such that options are made available to the PMS team during analysis to reflect the implementation strategies

[00217] The PML 214 then stores data indicative of a plurality of parts for marking in step 1506 The PML 214 then receives data indicative of parts marking options corresponding to at least one of the parts in step 1508

[00218] The PML 214 then stores data indicative of the determined best parts marking alternative and receives data indicative of a marking procedure corresponding to the selected alternative in step 1510 The PML 214 generates at least one report associated with the best parts marking alternative and marking procedure corresponding to the alternative in step 1512

Claims

1 A parts marking system (100), comprising memory (202) for storing data (230) indicative of at least one algorithm associated with at least one object material, logic (214) configured to display the data indicative of the at least one algorithm to a display device (210) and receive a user input for at least one part in response to the displayed algorithm
2 The parts marking system (100) of claim 2, wherein the logic is further configured to store data (2805-2810) indicative of at least one parts marking alternative selected by the user
3 The parts marking system (100) of claim 2, wherein the logic (214) is further configured to store data indicative of at least one marking procedure corresponding to the selected parts marking alternative
4 The parts marking system (100) of claim 3, wherein the logic (214) is further configured to generate at least one report (220) associated with the selected parts marking alternative and the parts marking procedure
5 The parts marking system of claim 1 , wherein the memory (202) is further configured to store technical limitation data associated with a first and second parts marking option, the technical limitations in the form of questions associated with the parts marking option 6 The parts marking system of claim 5, wherein the logic (214) is configured to display the technical limitations in the form of questions associated with the first and second parts marking options
7 The parts marking system of claim 6, wherein the logic (214) is further configured to receive data (221 and 227) indicative of a response to at least one question corresponding to the first parts marking option, the logic (214) further configured to display an indicator indicating that the parts marking option is possible if the response indicates that the parts marking option is possible
8 The parts marking system of claim 7, wherein the logic (214) is further configured to enable a text box associated with at least one question corresponding to the second parts marking option if the response indicates that the first parts marking option is possible or if the response indicates that the first parts marking option is not possible
9 The parts marking system of claim 8, wherein the logic (214) is further configured to display a second indicator indicating that the first parts marking option is not possible if the response indicates that the parts marking option is not possible
10 A parts marking method, comprising the steps of identifying a part for analysis, performing a label algorithm if a label is desired, performing a function, functional failure, failure mode, and failure effect analysis related to application of the label on the identified part, determining consequences related to the label falling off of the part, recommending a label based upon information obtained in the performing a label step, performing a function step, and determining step, performing at least one direct parts marking (DPM) algorithm if a DPM technique is desired, analyze at least one DPM technique available for the part, and recommending at least one DPM technique based on the analysis
PCT/US2005/037666 2005-10-15 2005-10-18 Parts marking system and method WO2007046801A1 (en)

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US60/727,003 2005-10-15

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EP05810522A EP1934850A4 (en) 2005-10-15 2005-10-18 Parts marking system and method
CA2589426A CA2589426C (en) 2004-10-15 2005-10-18 Parts marking system and method
AU2005337460A AU2005337460B2 (en) 2005-10-15 2005-10-18 Parts marking system and method
IL182377A IL182377A (en) 2005-10-15 2007-04-01 Parts marking system and method

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US5393965A (en) * 1990-11-13 1995-02-28 Symbol Technologies, Inc. Flexible merchandise checkout and inventory management system
US6189789B1 (en) * 1998-09-09 2001-02-20 International Business Machines Corporation Method and system for a merchandise checkout system

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US6799187B2 (en) * 2001-12-26 2004-09-28 The Boeing Company Opportunistic parts marking management system
US6986462B2 (en) * 2002-04-30 2006-01-17 The Boeing Company Automated parts labeling system

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US5393965A (en) * 1990-11-13 1995-02-28 Symbol Technologies, Inc. Flexible merchandise checkout and inventory management system
US6189789B1 (en) * 1998-09-09 2001-02-20 International Business Machines Corporation Method and system for a merchandise checkout system

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See also references of EP1934850A4 *

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AU2005337460A1 (en) 2007-04-26
CA2589426C (en) 2015-12-01
CA2589426A1 (en) 2007-04-26
EP1934850A4 (en) 2009-04-29
IL182377D0 (en) 2007-07-24
IL182377A (en) 2011-11-30
AU2005337460B2 (en) 2010-12-23
EP1934850A1 (en) 2008-06-25

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