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Early Logistic Support Strategy
LSA must begin early (1) in a product development program to provide
logistic information for the program manager's decision process. LSA must also
interact with product design to ensure that the product meets the customer's
stated needs. As the design evolves, the LSA process evolves from a general
concept to a detailed definition of specific logistic support elements (7).
(These elements are discussed in detail in the Logistics Reference Guide.)
However, to avoid costly design changes, the LSA process should not be
completed until the product design is stabilized.
When a product concept is defined (1), consideration of an LSA strategy
should begin. Operational and maintenance constraints must be identified early
for inclusion in the design, for example:
How many people are available to operate and maintain the
How technically sophisticated are the available operators and maintenance
Are the required repair and support facilities and
Failure to define support parameters results in equipment redesign
and/or excessive technical documentation, personnel training, or
special test equipment. Failure to accommodate support needs in the
design results in program cost growth.
Comparative Analysis, Use Study, and Alternative Support
The early LSA strategy is refined through comparative product analysis, use
studies, and alterative support studies (2). The resulting operational,
maintenance, and diagnostics concepts impact the product requirements.
Developing these important concepts demands as active customer and contractor
input as establishing other product requirements.
The maintenance concept philosophy (3) defines the overall approach to
maintenance. For example, consider the difference between the maintenance
concept for aircraft and that for submarines. For aircraft, minimal equipment
repair is done during flight. After landing, the entire faulty unit is
replaced on-site. Then the unit is sent for repair to an off-line shop. For
submarines, however, significant repairs while at sea are commonly done down
to the circuit-card level by the ship's personnel.
The maintenance concept significantly impacts all areas of logistics from
planning logistics support resources to influencing the product design.
Initially, the maintenance concept is broadly defined. Then, based on the
results of contractor analyses (5), the concept is refined as needed by the
customer. The resulting final maintenance concept defines the required test,
condition monitoring, and diagnostics capabilities as well as maintenance
levels and capabilities. (For example, see the Level of Repair Analysis
paragraph in this section). All this information is needed to determine if the
maintenance and testing support already exists or if it needs to be
Simply put, the operational concept is the broad scenario in which a
product must function. The product design must reflect the intended use, the
defined requirements of the user, and the user's existing
facilities/resources. For instance, designing a hand carried product that
weighs 300 pounds makes little sense.
As with the maintenance concept, the operational concept is refined as the
product design evolves. The progressing product design generates data through
the LSA process. This data may then require modifications to the design and/or
operational and maintenance concepts. Thus, the cycle repeats, until
eventually, detailed resource needs and methods for meeting those needs are
Given adequate concepts and a stable design, development of the logistic
elements (7) can begin in earnest. They should not have to be extensively
Thoroughly considered operational and maintenance concepts must be
communicated early in the design process to avoid unnecessary costs and
inadequate product support.
The diagnostic concept (3) identifies, isolates, and locates failures to
determine required product support resources. For fault detection, more
automated diagnostics would seem to lessen manning, spares, and other support
needs. However, fully automated diagnostics usually involve high initial
design and production costs and, therefore, may not always result in the most
cost effective solution. Also, some diagnostic tasks are simple and should
remain manual tasks. A mix of automated and manual diagnostics should make the
product more useful to the customer. Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis is the
main factor in optimizing this mix.
Failure Mode, Effects, Criticality Analysis
Failure Mode, Effects, Criticality Analysis (FMECA) (5) identifies possible
failures, their causes and effects, and how critical they are to safety and
proper equipment operation. Predicting how a product might fail is crucial to
developing initial troubleshooting procedures.
Reliability and Maintainability Analysis
Reliability analysis (5) predicts failure rates. Knowing how and when an
item will fail helps determine:
- How to repair the item
- What parts and skills are required
- What repair equipment is necessary.
Maintainability analysis (5) predicts, among other things, the time needed
to repair a product and its components. Maintainability analysis also
determines the total support needs for manning, spares, and support
Predicted Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) figures, used early
and throughout the development phase, can ensure the product's
capability to support the stated mission.
Life Cycle Cost
LCC analysis (5) is a broad analytical approach: LCC considers all
variables that affect producing and sustaining a product for the duration of
that product's life. LCC is important because all costs (e.g., research and
development, production, operations and maintenance, and phaseout) are
LCC analysis is an effective method of viewing a product and its
support system from an economic standpoint. LCC analysis is repeated
whenever any of the factors affecting product design and/or support
Level of Repair Analysis
The Level Of Repair Analysis (LORA) (5) determines whether a particular
component or part should be:
Repaired at the customer's location (organizational level
Repaired at a special repair facility (intermediate level
Repaired at a depot or centralized facility (depot level
to achieve the best economies. Although cost is usually the
consideration, other factors, such as operating advantages, should be
LORA and LCC are intermingled and provide important inputs to LSA. Each
offers the opportunity for tradeoffs to achieve the least life cost while
meeting operational requirements.
Human Factors and Safety Analyses
Human factors analysis (5) evaluates the compatibility of the product
design and the human aspects of product maintenance and operation. Safety
(5) identifies potential safety hazards in the design.
These analyses provide data to determine personnel and training
requirements which, in turn, affect other logistics requirements. For example,
hazards inherent in repair of a component or great difficulty in access could
dictate whether that component is repaired locally, is repaired at a factory,
or is discarded altogether.
Logistics Support Documentation
Logistic support documentation (6) captures and integrates the results of
all the analytical activities. The formal method or vehicle for handling and
processing the LSA data for this synthesis is the LSAR (6) (see the LSA Record
paragraph in this section). The LSAR and the large data base that feeds the
LSAR system can, through data selection, generate the various reports needed
for making program decisions and/or choosing design alternatives. The
resulting product design should meet customer needs and requirements, but only
if the process is:
Properly tailored to the specific program
Begun at the outset of the program
Completed after a relatively stable product design
has been reached.
LSA outputs should be integrated into the product design (both hardware and
the support software) to create a final product that meets customer needs at a
cost the customer is willing to pay.
The directives for performing LSA are specific: the key to success is
timing of the various interdependent steps and doing only that LSA necessary
to make effective decisions for a particular program.
Information gathered through LSA is critical to:
Any time an LSA task is performed, documentation of that task and its
results are required.
Early LSA, started in the pre-concept phase:
Generates abbreviated information
Is informally documented through study reports and recommendations to
improve product supportability
Defines and documents the overall product and major
Complete LSA data may not be available until later in the design process,
perhaps as late as FSD. However, sufficient analysis must be completed to
allow timely decisions. For example, sparing analysis should be completed in
time to allow purchase of repair parts concurrent with production.
During each successive phase, LSA builds with increasing detail on
the previous LSA tasks and previously generated data.
To be of use, the available LSA information must be orderly, uniform, and
available for input back into the design process.