Original Date: 06/23/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Avenger Coolant Reservoir Assembly Disconnect Coupling
Letterkenny Army Depot (LEAD) has the mission to repair/overhaul the Avenger missile system for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. This system consists of eight Stinger missiles and a launcher mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. Included in this system, is a 2,000 pound pressure bottle servicing four Stinger missiles and connecting with quick disconnect couplings. Many of these couplings were found to be leaking at the time the system was inducted into the Depot overhaul line.
The original program scope of work did not authorize repair of leaking couplings. Instead they were automatically replaced with new ones costing $442 each. A major problem for this program, in addition to the cost, was the lack of available replacement couplings and a long lead time to obtain new parts. This shortage created the necessity to develop an alternative to enable adequate support of the customer’s program requirements.
To resolve the problem of coupling shortages, LEAD engineers performed a reverse engineering analysis of the coupling and the leakage problem. As a result, a repair procedure was developed and approved to replace the connector O-rings. This procedure is now performed on all couplings whether or not leakage is evident. The repair cost, including parts and labor, is approximately $60 per coupling (compared to $442 for new couplings). LEAD recently completed the first of a five-year program, repairing about 100 couplings per month (Avenger Systems and spares), and realizing a savings of $55 thousand.
The process of reverse engineering to compensate for parts shortages and develop cost-effective alternatives has proven to be very effective for LEAD and the Avenger Item Managers. A repair procedure is developed, submitted to the customer for approval, and implemented as a cost savings. The original scope of the maintenance program has changed allowing reuse of parts previously discarded. This type of effort is further documented and credited through the Army Value Engineering program.
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