View Full Version : Linking parts with machines

Custom Search

09-05-2006, 08:00 PM
Hi, all:

I've been recently banished from my company's warehouse and delivery department to manage parts, and I've been charged with re-cataloging every stinkin' part in the whole place in Excel spreadsheets so that information can be dumped into a huge, expensive, brand-new dealership automation software system.

In my search for information on parts, I discovered Copytechnet.com and signed up, hoping that good information, which is sometimes hard to come by from manufacturer Web sites, might be available here. I am not a trained technician, but have become at least somewhat familiar with the main product lines my Colorado Springs-based company carries, including Kyocera Mita and Konica Minolta, and (to a lesser degree) Xerox, Lanier/Ricoh/Gestetner and Panasonic.

Some of the information I'm looking for is linking up parts with the machines they go with, and so far I've found that I've had to search machine-specific service manuals and parts lists one at a time in order to make these links. Unfortunately, price lists and online ordering forms generally do not contain machine-linking information, so I'm either downloading PDF manuals and parts lists (some of them 25MB or more) one at a time, or picking manuals off the shelf and plowing through pages of parts lists in the back to see if I can find a part there.

Not only am I looking for a better computer solution to this problem (which I may actually be creating myself), I'm also looking for help with specific questions that arise. So let me pose this question about a specific part, if anyone can help: What Kyocera Mita machine line does the Feed Motor (Part No. 2FG27020) belong with? If there's a better way to figure this out than searching parts lists in the back of Kyocera Mita service manuals (either the hard copies or downloaded PDFs) individually, I'd like to know. (Using a keyword search with the part number at the KMAConnect dealership site generally yields no results.)

This is my first post on the Copytechnet.com forums, so please be kind and try to abide by the terms of the forums without cussing me out too much for being a greenhorn, all right? I'd appreciate help in any form you can give me.

Bircham's Office Products
Colorado Springs, CO

09-05-2006, 09:22 PM
Have Fun!

The first three digits of old Mita numbers was the product code of the first machine that part was designed to be used in. That is just an interesting tid-bit that comes in handy every once in a while but it doesn't help your cause. And Kyocera has been changing all there numbers so that tid-bit is slowly becoming useless.

I have never seen a "where used" from Kyocera so I think your screwed there.

What I have found to be useful is to download all the part manuals you can find and put them somewhere on your network. Download Microsoft desktop search, install it on your PC, and configure it to only look at the locations where you put your manuals. After MS Desktop search indexes everything, you can then enter a part number into the search tool and it will come up with a list of the manuals that contain the part number you searched for. It works pretty good and that's what we use to find a part in a machine or what other model machine we can steal something off of. The only problem is that it doesn't work with older equipment since the manuals were scanned into PDF files and not created from electronic originals. all the Kyocera digital equipment parts manuals can be searched.

PS, what software is your company going with? (just curious)

09-05-2006, 10:04 PM
Hey, I appreciate your thoughts. I will try that tip about the Mita parts prefixes--I think I know what you're talking about there, but of course that only covers parts that are old enough to be in the Mita lineup before the merger between Mita and Kyocera (mainly their DC series), and does not account for usage of parts in multiple machine models. I have noticed that KMAConnect does not carry manuals for a fair number of their legacy machines (MFPs, printers, faxes), so that may only get me so far. I also can relate to what you wrote about digitized versions of older manuals: if they've been scanned as graphics only and not with OCR to preserve text, they really aren't much good to search for textual information.

The computer solution you're proposing is actually pretty similar to the one I've been formulating in my mind, although I might approach it from a Macintosh angle, since I'm a Mac user on a Windows network here. (Most of your idea about a network server would work from the Windows side anyway.) There is one feature of the Mac operating system that is intriguing, however, and that is the Spotlight search feature, which enables searching text contents (not just filenames) of selected documents or folders all at the same time; perhaps Microsoft's Desktop Search may do pretty much the same thing. Unfortunately, the version of Mac OS X on my iBook laptop (10.3.9 Panther) doesn't support this feature, so I'm thinking about upgrading hardware and/or software to Tiger (10.4) and eventually Leopard (10.5) to make full use of that function. (One other nice thing about upgrading hardware would be the ability to run both Windows and Mac OS on the same computer.)

Anyway, in any case, creating a unified database with this information is where I'm heading, but this just takes oodles of time to do more or less from scratch, and I still have to keep up with receiving in our old system until we can go live with the new dealership automation package, which, by the way, is eAutomate from Digital Gateway (digitalgateway.com). Thanks again for your reply.

Bircham's Office Products
Colorado Springs, CO

09-06-2006, 03:02 PM
This might help a little, but it might be cheating... if you go to www.precisionroller.com (http://www.precisionroller.com) and enter part numbers in the search field, it will come back with a picture and description of the part, as well as a list of machines that it applies to. Before I posted this I tried it with several part numbers from different manufacturers and only found one that wouldn't come up. Katun has a part search option in their online catalog, but you have to sign up as a customer to use it; it is also limited to rollers, drums, etc. Toshiba has a pretty slick program that they send on disk that has all the part lists for fax and copier. There is a "where used" search option that allows you to search and then will link to that location on a different machine. There is an online version as well if you have access to the tech website. Not much use for non- Toshiba, but it would be nice if they all had something like that. Good luck.

09-06-2006, 07:43 PM
I've used Omnipage 15.0 to convert our (manually scanned) manuals to a searchable PDF format. You can then use the search feature on Acrobat Standard to search any given folder for the part number you need. It will list all the files and page #'s where that part number is located. It is slow... but does work.

09-06-2006, 09:50 PM
Thanks, kyoceradude and dbrownlee, for your comments.

I'm thinking I'll try to collect as many text-based PDFs from Kyocera and Konica (and other manufacturers) as I can, and fill in what's not downloadable in that format with OCR scanning, as time permits. Thanks for the tip on OmniPage; I'm afraid that program may be for Windows only now, though. I believe I used a version of it on an old-school Mac back in the day, but I may have to find another OCR package for my Mac OS X laptop, if I use that for scanning -- I could also conceivably use one of the PCs here, but that would create a couple more steps for me. By the way (for anyone who's interested to know), I've been using OS X's Preview application to view and search PDFs, and it works quite adequately, in terms of speed and efficiency; Acrobat will also certainly work.

By the way, I have been using precisionroller.com to research part information, and am having very few guilt pangs about doing so; we may order parts through them in the future, possibly legacy stuff that's hard to get from the factory, so they'll have to consider it "pre-sales." Katun is another idea; we do use them for certain items, and are set up to use their site for research as well as ordering.

One other Web site I've discovered that could potentially help is techmediacd.net, where legacy manuals can be ordered in sets (albeit for about $40 a pop); individual manuals are also available at about $20 each. They also carry sets and DVDs that can bring the price down somewhat from that steep plateau. One of their sales reps contacted me and said that the majority of their scanned PDFs of legacy manuals were not text-based, but he suggested that there might be a way to remedy that. (I have yet to hear back from him on how that would work, or at what kind of premium.) But for any of you who may be missing manuals, either off the shelf or in digital form, there may be some good stuff there. Thought I would pass that along.

Tim Collins
Bircham's Office Products
Colorado Springs, CO

11-03-2006, 05:32 AM
I know the pain you are going through - matching the part number to machines is a tedious task - while I dont get into the details of parts - I have over 6M records of parts to machines in my database - you are welcome to try my site. www.answerco.com (http://www.answerco.com)

I will also agree, use the MDS and dump all of your files in one location - makes life easier.

Best of luck


Project Warder
11-03-2006, 08:01 AM
Some tips in here that I might use to help catalog a heap of our own parts (when we do a stocktake i'll digitise what we actually have in stock) and I can then use the Indexing service to run a search. Might see if I can do something with Excel or Access ... I don't know. Could be something handy.

I know KyoceraMita (Australia) have a Spare Parts list, but they don't always match up. Sometimes we have to call them up and have the parts cross-matched so we can place the order.

OmniPage might be useful as well to rescan some of the Sharp and Canon and such PDFs so they are searchable. A fair few of those and some of the KM ones we have are older or scanned without OCR, so it does make it difficult to search.

11-04-2006, 02:25 PM
Just hought of a thing you might try, most MFPs troday allow you to use the copier to scan docs usually to pdf format that could solve your older copier problem but if you work on kyocera mita MFP products they bundle in Paperport software which has OCR can convert pdfs to word, excell and other programs so you can convert all the pdfs to excel documents and all paper parts manual can be coverted as well. If you feel up to the task you can also scan the parts pictures separtely and in excel you can create hyperlinks from the part number to their illustrations in the part manual. Thought this might be of help

05-11-2008, 07:42 AM
Be careful when you scan to pdf format. Try to select the text, you might have some surprises. There are machine that scans and saves to pdf format, but inside the file are only images, this wouldn't help you if you'll try to search for text.

05-11-2008, 08:02 AM
If you have the full version of Acrobat, then you don't need Omnipage. You can make a file fully searchable with Acrobat alone.
I do it all the time.


05-11-2008, 10:33 AM
One more thing, at least for Konica Minolta. The company have the bad habitat to give all kinds of equivalent codes for parts number. So, you might end up with a code for a machine part that you won't find it in parts manual for that machine... pretty annoying

PS: I didn't know that the full version of Acrobat can do some sort of OCR, thanks for the tip :)

06-28-2008, 10:06 AM
I would recommend downloading all the manuals you can get your hands on, and then installing a desktop search program. I believe that with windows vista you can search inside files, although I've never tried it myself.

What Kyocera Mita machine line does the Feed Motor (Part No. 2FG27020) belong with?

That is used in the Falcon II series machines; KM-3035, KM-4035, KM-5035.

Custom Search