In 2003 the Department of Defense (DoD) mandated that all DoD end item parts of value greater than $5000 receive an Item Unique IDentifier (IUID) mark. The impact is that engineering must determine an appropriate location for the mark, select a mark technology (printed, stamped, etched, etc.), and document these requirements in the Technical Data Package (TDP) for the part. For new systems acquired since the mandate, the impact in cost and time is minimal and the benefit in part traceability over the entire product lifecycle is enormous. The millions of affected parts already in inventory prior to the mandate will be marked as they are handled during maintenance cycles but legacy TDP must first be updated to document the process and the non-recurring engineering cost of that effort, estimated to average about $3000/part, is huge when extended across the entire inventory.
NCMS is forming a new project, IUID Marking for Legacy Parts – Navy Pilot, to automate much of the non-recurring engineering for the sub class of parts that have nameplates. The project concept is to (1) use intelligent optical character recognition (OCR) technology to find nameplates on raster image scanned copies of legacy TDP, capture a snapshot of the drawing in that area, create an AutoCAD drawing of a new nameplate enhanced with an IUID mark, and create an Engineering Change Order documenting necessary TDP changes plus (2) extract relevant information necessary to populate the Navy Interactive Computer-Aided Provisioning System (ICAPS), populating a spreadsheet with the data.