Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Reverse Engineering Cell
Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Reverse Engineering Cell introduces cost savings and reduces repair time to out-of- warranty and/or obsolete items in a beyond-economical-repair environment while eliminating the financial and supportability problems of maintaining the facility’s aging parts.
Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD’s) Reverse Engineering Cell (REC) is a remanufacturing/repair facility for obsolete electromechanical hardware as well as many near- and/or out-of-warranty coverage items. The process begins with the REC’s analysis if the technical functionality, repair, and manufacturing of a technology specifically to determine its design and operation. The objective of the REC is to reduce costs, increase responsiveness to the warfighter, minimize dependency on external sources, reduce excessive beyond-economical-repair (BER) rates, and train depot technicians (when necessary) in the repair and maintenance of depot items.
Prior to the REC initiative at TYAD, repair or replacement of obsolete parts would impose formidable cost impacts to TYAD. For example, the REC cost to reverse engineer and repair the Fire Finder system is a fraction of the $1 million replacement cost to replace the entire AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 Fire Finder system. REC further reduces TYAD’s avionic costs by eliminating the expense associated with replacing 25-30 units of the AN/APN–209 radar altimeter at a cost of $27,000 each and a total cost savings of more than $800,000. The Air Traffic Control and Landing System’s High-Voltage Power Supply Test Station created several program schedule delays when it needed a replacement. The average lead-time for a new power supply test station of this type is six months. REC repaired the unit in 10 days and discovered that the root cause of the malfunction was the operator’s failure to perform periodic maintenance.
The REC is a key factor in reducing BER items and saving time and money – prime metrics in the supportability of the warfighter. REC discoveries also flow down to benefit depot technicians in the form of training for improved maintenance. This new TYAD capability increases in-house efficiency, reduces cost, and affords TYAD the opportunity to expand its business externally.
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