The cornerstone of Curtiss-Wright Nuclear’s supply chain management service offering is the generic identification and categorization of spare parts and inventory. The inventory at a power generation facility is comprised of common items and components as well as engineered components and spare parts. The descriptions given to common items are generally inconsistent, both within an inventory and from site to site.
The descriptions for OEM supplied parts and components typically describe what the items do rather than what they are. These factors combine to permit inventories containing many duplicate and redundant items. Incomplete and inconsistent descriptions make searches difficult or impossible and often relinquish the site to purchase even the simplest of items by part number.
Cutting edge ERP systems tend to compound the problems associated with poor descriptions. Some sites have opted to use data cleansing software as a means to provide greater consistency, but this process cannot possibly create a complete item description when this information simply does not exist.
Generic identification is performed on items that can be completely described using industry standard terminology.
Generic identification is a hands-on process that combines the best of database technology, skilled and experienced personnel, and a production process that permits this service to be cost effective. Nova, a product and service brand of Curtiss-Wright Nuclear, focuses on definitive attributes rather than critical characteristics. Definitive attributes are those features and characteristics that differentiate one product from another. Nova minimizes the time spent gathering data by concentrating on those product attributes that help us to arrive at a definitive conclusion as to what the part is.
Many items in inventory simply cannot be generically identified. For these types of items, Nova has developed a categorization methodology that permits our database to search, sort, and group like items even when those items are not fully identified. Nova has learned through its experience that the OEM equipment suppliers often use different part numbers for the same part, when that same part is used on different pieces of equipment or performs different functions on the same piece of equipment. By enabling the user to search for engineered spares based on configuration rather than the part number, duplicate parts are located in inventory rather than having to be purchased. This same methodology enables users to search for parts within the inventories of other sites.
In addition to entering attributes into fields, Nova also attaches digital photographs to the database records.
The photographs can be used to enhance the search capabilities when narrowing the field of potential duplicates.
Photographs can also be used to answer questions about parts without having to visit the warehouse and this is especially helpful when the parts are in another site's warehouse!