Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Combiner Test Slip-on Terminations and Adapters
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems, in conjunction with a connector vendor, developed a new slip-on connector that replaces the screw-on connectors previously used to test combiner. The new connector eliminates the screw-on and torque requirements of the previous method, producing a 50% reduction of the touch labor.
Testing and tuning of combiner is one step in the assembly process of one of Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems’ (NE&SS-SS’) major products. Under the previous method, attaching the testing hardware was extremely labor intensive. Individual ports were required to be tested, while all other ports were terminated. This approach required each port to be fitted with a screw-on connector that had to be carefully tightened to a specified torque reading. Every measurement required unscrewing two ports, attaching the test cable to the next port, and then re-torquing. A single shipset had almost 300 combiners and each required multiple connections per test procedure. The process involved reading the baseline test results, tuning the combiner, and then retesting. The average combiner is tested 2.5 times, requiring about six hours per combiner. The goal was to reduce the combiner test cycle time, while providing repeatable and reliable phase data.
Working with a connector vendor, Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS successfully developed and implemented a new connector which can be pushed onto the ports, significantly reducing the labor required for screw-on connectors. The new connector was incorporated in a 50-ohm Slip-on Termination and a Slip-on Through Adapter with low return loss. Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS received the first batch of new connectors in January 2001.
The new slip-on radio frequency connector meets specifications and reduces combiner test cycle times by eliminating significant labor content when performing multiple repetitive connections. Figure 2-2 shows that the improved test method is producing significant results. Combiner test touch time has been decreased by more than 50%, resulting in an estimated savings of 1,200 hours per shipset. The method also produces verified measurement data that is repeatable to the previous screw-and-torque method.
Figure 2-2. Combiner Test Labor Reduction
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