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1. (WO2003058506) QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURING WITH LABELS AND SMART TAGS IN EVENT-BASED PRODUCT MANUFACTURING
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We claim:

1. A system for storing, during a process, data associated with a material, the system comprising:
a control system for collecting, during a first process, event data relating to a material, the event data comprising an event code and a value pertaining to an attribute or physical property of the material affected by the event; and
a memory device for storing the collected event data as a data record, wherein an identifier within the memory device is associated with the data record, the data record being accessible via its associated identifier so that the collected event data in the memory device is obtainable during a second process occurring subsequent to the first process, the second process adapted to be modified responsive to the event data.

2. The system of claim 1 , further comprising a label including the identifier, and wherein the label is located proximal to the material.

3. The system of claim 1 , wherein the memory device is located proximal to the material.

4. The system of claim 1 , wherein the memory device is one of a plurality of separate memory devices storing the collected event data, and wherein the identifier is associated with collected event data in the plurality of separate memory devices.

5. The system of claim 1 , wherein the identifier comprises one or more of the following: a smart tag, an ultra-wide band identification device, a bar code, and a hyperlink.

6. The system of claim 1 , wherein the identifier comprises a plurality of smart tags embedded throughout the material.

7. The system of claim 1 , wherein the memory device comprises one or more of the following: a smart tag, an ultra-wide band identification device, and a database.

8. The system of claim 1 , wherein the identifier comprises: a vendor code identifying a vendor of the material; and
a batch code identifying a batch of the material.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein a manufacturer supplies the vendor code.

10. The system of claim 8, wherein a vendor supplies the batch code.

11. The system of claim 1 , wherein the material comprises an intermediate product.

12. The system of claim 1, wherein the material comprises a raw material.

13. The system of claim 1, wherein the control system collects event data during manufacturing of a product using the material.

14. The system of claim 1 , wherein the event data comprises one or more of the following: a production history, a certificate of analysis, a table of properties for the raw material, a quality attribute, a list of materials used in producing the raw material, target operating parameters, actual operating parameters, vendor identification, a production date, consumed raw material information, partially consumed raw material information, rejected raw material information, and a product counter.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein the quality attribute comprises one or more of the following: a quality statistic, data from a process control system during production, and a time-series of raw data.

16. A method for storing data associated with a material, the method comprising: collecting, during a first process, event data relating to a material; and
storing the collected event data as a data record, wherein the event data comprises information indicating the location within the material where a quality defect may occur, wherein an identifier is associated with the data record, the data record being accessible via its associated identifier so that the collected event data is obtainable during a second process occurring subsequent to the first process, the second process adapted to be modified responsive to the event data to reduce the impact on the process of a quality defect in the material.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
receiving a request from a control system of the second process for the stored event data; and
forwarding the stored event data to the control system in response to the received request.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein a label includes the identifier, and wherein the label is located proximal to the material.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the data record is located proximal to the material.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the storing comprises storing the collected event data as a data record in a plurality of separate memory devices, and wherein the identifier is associated with the stored event data in the plurality of separate memory devices.

21. The method of claim 16, wherein the storing comprises storing the collected event data as a data record in a memory device, wherein the memory device comprises one or more of the following: a smart tag, an ultra-wide band identification device, and a database.

22. The method of claim 16, wherein the identifier comprises:
a vendor code identifying a vendor of the material; and
a batch code identifying a batch of the material.

23. The method of claim 16, wherein the material comprises an intermediate product.

24. The method of claim 16, wherein the identifier comprises a smart tag, and wherein the collecting comprises embedding the smart tag in packaging associated with the material.

25. The method of claim 16, wherein the identifier comprises a smart tag, wherein the material comprises a raw material, and wherein the collecting comprises embedding the smart tag in an intermediate material during production of the raw material.

26. The method of claim 16, wherein collecting comprises collecting an electronic certificate of analysis and/or purchase order information for a material during the first process.

27. The method of claim 16, further comprising editing the stored event data.

28. The method of claim 27, wherein the editing comprises adding or viewing at least one comment associated with the stored event data.

29. The method of claim 16, further comprising sending an alert to an operator in response to the collecting.

30. The method of claim 16, wherein one or more computer-readable media have computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 16.

31. The method of claim 16, further comprising mining the stored event data during the second process to identify a modification to the material and/or the first process, wherein implementation of the modification results in an improvement to the material and/or the first process.

32. The method of claim 16, further comprising analyzing the stored event data to optimally schedule maintenance related to the first process.

33. One or more computer-readable media having computer-executable components comprising:
a control module collecting, during a first process, event data relating to a material; and
a database module storing the event data collected by the control module as a data record, wherein an identifier within the database module is associated with the data record, the data record being accessible via its associated identifier so that the collected event data in the database module is obtainable during a second process occurring subsequent to the first process, wherein the event data is used to modify an operating condition of the second process.

34. The computer-readable media of claim 33, wherein the database module receives a request from a control system of the second process for the stored event data and forwards the stored event data to the control system in response to the received request.

35. The computer-readable media of claim 33 further comprising a label including the identifier, wherein the label is located proximal to the material.

36. The computer-readable media of claim 33, wherein the database module is located proximal to the material.

37. The computer-readable media of claim 33, wherein the database module comprises a plurality of separate memory devices storing the data record, and wherein the identifier is associated with the stored event data in the plurality of separate memory devices.

38. The computer-readable media of claim 33, wherein the database module comprises a memory device, the memory device comprising one or more of the following: a smart tag, an ultra-wide band identification device, and a database.

39. The computer-readable medium of claim 33, further compressing a work orders module to generate work orders based on the event data in the database module.

40. The computer-readable medium of claim 33 further comprising a maintenance module to schedule maintenance in response to the event data stored in the database module.

41. A method for collecting, storing, and reporting machine productivity, waste, and delay information on an event basis in a manufacturing system, the method comprising:
monitoring an event via a process sensor;
detecting an event trigger in response to the monitoring;

obtaining data in response to the detecting, the data comprising a process variable from a control system, a measure of the waste, delay, or quality loss associated with the event, and operator input;
automatically validating the obtained data;
formatting and recording the validated data; and
generating a report based on the recorded data.

42. The method of claim 41 , further comprising assuring quality of the recorded data by performing error checking on the recorded data.

43. The method of claim 41 , wherein one or more computer-readable media have computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 41.

44. A method in an event-based manufacturing system, the method comprising: receiving a vendor identifier from a manufacturer;
receiving an order for a material from the manufacturer;
producing the material;
creating a batch code for the produced material;
measuring a material property of the produced material;
storing the measured material property as material property data in a material property database for access by the manufacturer;
applying a label including an identifier to the produced material, the identifier comprising the vendor identifier and the created batch code;
shipping the produced material and its applied label to the manufacturer;
producing a product using the produced material as a raw material in a process having a control system configured to record waste and delay events as event data in an event database comprising event records; and
correlating event data to the material property data in the material property database.

45. The method of claim 44, wherein the material comprises a raw material.

46. The method of claim 44, further comprising transmitting the stored material property to the manufacturer.

47. The method of claim 44, wherein the storing comprises storing the measured material property in a radio frequency identification device for access by the manufacturer, and wherein the applying comprising applying an identifier and the radio frequency identification device to the produced material.

48. The method of claim 44, wherein one or more computer-readable media have computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 44.

49. One or more computer-readable media having stored thereon a data structure representing an identifier for a material in an event-based manufacturing system, the data structure comprising:
a first field storing a vendor code representing a vendor of the material; and
a second field storing a batch code assigned by the vendor representing a batch of the material.

50. The computer-readable media of claim 49, wherein the batch code represents one or more of the following: a roll of material, a barrel of fluid, and a bale.

51. The computer-readable media of claim 49, wherein the batch code comprises a variable number of bits.

52. In an event-based manufacturing system, one or more computer-readable media for use in conjunction with a second process occurring after a first process, the computer-readable media having stored thereon a data structure representing event data for a material, the data structure comprising one or more fields storing data describing characteristics of the material and one or more codes describing the nature of an event, the data structure being populated during the first process and being accessible during the second process.

53. The computer-readable media of claim 52, wherein the material comprises an intermediate product.

54. The computer-readable media of claim 52, wherein the material comprises a raw material.

55. The computer-readable media of claim 52, wherein the characteristics comprise one or more of the following: product waste, machine down time, machine slow downs, product maintenance, and machine failure.

56. The computer-readable media of claim 52, wherein the one or more fields comprise an output table storing one or more of the following: a machine reference field identifying the machine, a timestamp field defining the date and time of the event data, a delay code field identifying a type of delay, a delay trigger field indicating an origin of delay, a grade shift field representing a shift in production parameters, operator comments, and a duration field representing a delay length.

57. The computer-readable media of claim 52, wherein the one or more fields comprise a support table interpreting the characteristics, the support table comprising one or more of the following: a delay code field identifying a type of delay, a description field describing the delay code, a programmable logic controller field associated with the delay code", a section field identifying a machine section relating to the event data, a machine type field identifying a type of machine, an alarm source field indicating alarm origin.

58. A method to capture and store material history in an event-based
manufacturing system, the method comprising:
implementing a common database format among a plurality of vendors;
receiving data in the common database format from each of the plurality of vendors, the data representing event data collected for a material during a process; and storing the received data in a database for access during a subsequent process, the second process being adapted to be automatically modified responsive the received data.

59. The method of claim 58, wherein the implementing comprises formatting collected event data into the common database format.

60. The method of claim 58, wherein the receiving comprises receiving the data via a network.

61. The method of claim 58, wherein the storing comprises storing the received data in the database for access during manufacture of a product using the material.

62. The method of claim 58, wherein one or more computer-readable media have computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 58.

63. A method for automated tracking of positions of components used in a process and correlating portions of a component with production problems, the method comprising:
embedding a plurality of identification devices in a material;
monitoring the plurality of identification devices as the material passes through a component to obtain material position, data indicating a position of the material with respect to the component;
storing the material position data in a database comprising or operatively associated with event-based data for the process; and
correlating the stored material position data with a quality control issue to identify corrective action.

64. The method of claim 63, wherein the embedding comprises embedding a plurality of identification devices at various locations in a material.

65. The method of claim 63, wherein the monitoring comprises monitoring by a scanning device in a machine.

66. The method of claim 63, wherein the storing comprises storing the material position data in a database during waste and/or delay.

67. The method of claim 63, wherein the correlating comprises correlating via fuzzy logic.

68. The method of claim 63, wherein the quality control issue comprises one or more of the following: runnability, waste, and delay.

69. The method of claim 63, wherein the corrective actions comprise repairs or modification of production methods or to the component.

70. The method of claim 63, wherein the component comprises a moving device.

71. The method of claim 63, wherein the component comprises a belt or a wire.

72. The method of claim 63, wherein the identification device comprises a smart tag.

73. The method of claim 63, wherein one or more computer-readable media have computer-executable instructions for performing the method of claim 63.

74. An improved inventory management system in an event-based manufacturing system, the improved inventory management system comprising computer-executable instructions for:
monitoring at least one identification device associated with an inventory item from a first process;
determining a physical location of the inventory item in response to the monitoring to use the inventory item in a second process; and
associating the physical location of the inventory item with event-based data from the manufacture of the inventory item pertaining to the quality of the inventory item.

75. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, further comprising computer-executable instructions for storing the determined physical location in a database for processing.

76. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, further comprising computer-executable instructions for generating at least one report based on the determined physical location.

77. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the monitoring and the determining comprise tracking the physical location of the inventory item.

78. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the inventory item comprises one or more of the following: a roll, a pallet, and a box of materials.

79. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the determining comprises determining a physical location of the inventory item in a warehouse.

80. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the identification device comprises an ultra-wide band transmitter emitting a signal, and the determining comprises triangulating the physical location of the inventory item based on the emitted signal.

81. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the identification device comprises a smart tag emitting a radio frequency signal, and the monitoring comprises receiving, from a scanning device, the emitted radio frequency signal.

82. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the inventory item is stored in a storage facility, and wherein the monitoring comprises passing a scanning device through the storage facility to detect the identification device.

83. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the inventory item is stored in a storage facility, and wherein the monitoring comprises detecting the identification device via a plurality of scanning devices in the storage facility.

84. The improved inventory management system of claim 74, wherein the identification device is a radio frequency smart tag or an ultra-wide band transmitter.

85. In a distributed control system for event-based manufacturing, a method for tracking and recording actions of specific operators of a process performed by a machine, the system comprising:
reading, from a plurality of scanning devices, an identification device identifying an operator;
verifying an identity of the operator;
tracking a time and place of the operator relative to the process via the reading and the verifying.

86. The method of claim 85, further comprising associating the operator with a change made to a machine at the tracked time and place.

87. The method of claim 85, wherein the reading comprises receiving a radio frequency signal from the identification device.

88. The method of claim 85, wherein the reading comprises scanning a bar code associated with the identification device.

89. The method of claim 85, wherein the reading comprises reading, from a plurality of scanning devices, an identification device uniquely identifying an operator.

90. The method of claim 85, wherein the tracking comprises storing the time and place of the operator in a database for processing.