The Automated Nonconformance System, based at Stennis Space Center, is a computer network dedicated to administration of inspections and repairs of rocket engines. This automated system was developed to replace a manual system in which paper documents were used to document the steps of inspection and repair processes, and in which the documents had to be handled and transferred repeatedly according to complex procedures designed to ensure the completion of interdependent process steps in the correct sequences.

This Interactive Display is one in a sequence of such displays presented to the user for entry of data into an IDCR.

The basic paper document in the manual system - called the "Inspection Discrepancy and Correction Record" (IDCR) - has been converted into a collection of menu-driven interactive alphanumerical and graphical computer displays (see figure) in the automated system. It is still necessary to follow the complex procedures, but the automated system eliminates the paperwork delays and the potential for paperwork error, and enables all interested parties at diverse locations to gain access to inspection and repair data in real time. In so doing, the automated system fosters a high degree of awareness of the condition of the inspected and repaired hardware and helps to ensure that all technical and organizational requirements are satisfied.

The automated system affords capabilities to generate IDCRs, to import photographs and drawings from previous inspection and repair processes, to apply and void the electronic equivalent of stamps that were previously applied to paper to document authority to perform or authorize various process steps, to identify required process steps that have not yet been completed, and to perform numerous other functions essential to documenting inspection and repair processes. Passwords are used to control access to the system, and as evidence of authority to apply and void stamps. The automated system also performs audits to prevent both (1) duplication of work and (2) shipping out a piece of hardware before all required process steps have been performed, all necessary stamps applied, and all documentation completed.

This work was done by Victor O. Alfaro, Sr., and Robert M. Robb of Boeing, Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power for Stennis Space Center. SSC-00054

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 1998 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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