This Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG) forum will focus on DLA research and development (R&D) efforts that support maintenance and sustainment technology. DLA will provide an overview of their R&D program, and then discuss their efforts in several areas to include manufacturing technology (MANTECH), the DLA Small Business Innovation Program (SBIP), the DLA Logistics R&D effort, an in-depth review of batteries, actions in castings and forgings, developments in using additive manufacturing to support DLA operations, and weapon system sustainment.
Event: On 30 April 2019, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), in coordination with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), hosted a virtual forum on “Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Research and Development (R&D)”.
Purpose: The purpose of this forum was to provide an overview of the DLA R&D program and the DLA Logistics R&D effort, and hi-light a few sustainment efforts such as batteries, actions in castings and forgings, developments in using additive manufacturing to support DLA operations, and weapon system sustainment.
Welcome: Greg Kilchenstein – OSD(MPP) welcomed everyone to the forum, thanked the presenters and all the listeners for their attendance, discussed the importance of RE in DoD sustainment, and then briefly previewed the agenda.
Administrative: This was an open forum. The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) and Adobe Connect. A separate audio line was used. Approximately 60 participants from across DOD and industry joined in the forum.
DLA Overview – David Koch provided information on DLA relationships with the Military Services, combatant commands, OSD, etc.; discussed the DLA Strategic Plan and mission to sustain warfighter readiness and lethality by delivering proactive global logistics in peace and war; provided a brief overview of the DLA supply chain; provided an overview of the DLA Research and Development program, and discussed DLA R&D project guiding principles.
Small Business Innovation Program (SBIP) – Mr. Rick Follett described the SBIP program and several SBIP projects to include industrial base development, supply chain risk reduction, innovative weapon systems solutions, and AM capabilities for nuclear enterprise source development.
Logistics R&D Program Spotlight: Weapon System Sustainment – Mr. Manny Vengua described DLA efforts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning Capabilities. He stated that DLA established an AI working group in 2018 that has identified (70+) AI opportunities to date and requested additional funds ($9M) in PBR21 budget cycle. They have initiated three projects: AI knowledge management foundation, demand forecasting AI capability, and lead-time estimation AI data pilot. In addition, he mentioned that research is planned on 13 additional opportunities.
Battery Network (BATTNET) – Matt Hutchens discussed improving battery logistics by introducing lower cost, higher performing batteries in the DLA supply chain, which results in reduced life cycle or operational costs, logistics requirements, weight; improves run time, shelf life, and safety. An example is plans to replace unique “flooded” lead-acid batteries with advanced bi-polar AGM versions. Another initiative is developing manufacturing scale solid-state electrolyte Li-ion battery technologies for the military supply chain, and a third capability in ultraviolet curing technology.
AM – Tony Delgado described ways DLA can use AM to potentially create efficiencies in the DLA supply chains, achieve cost savings, increase organizational agility, and improve warfighter readiness. Plans include providing DOD AM materials, machines and testing services, automation applications for AM candidate selection, rapid AM tech data/design improvement, expeditionary data exchange support and at-sea AM, and new AM and digital manufacturing technologies.
Material Acquisition Electronics (MAE) – Mr. Bill Johnson talked about the impact of developing manufacturing capabilities for microcircuits which are no longer available from Industry, are 100% interchangeable – same NSN, on-demand, and low-volume. Discussion included AM of unprocurable microcircuit cases, developing technical capabilities to enable development of emulation capabilities targeting specific linear microcircuit functional categories, and establishing a continuing source of supply for 100% interchangeable replacements for unprocurable legacy TTL-Compatible CMOS (54FCT) microcircuits.
Casting and Forging – Mr. Dean Hutchins described ways to ensure a viable and competitive metal casting industrial base to provide affordable and high quality parts for the Warfighter. Examples he described include the development of an Integrated Casting Order Network (ICON) to automate the matching of capable suppliers with DoD procurement needs, the Steel Founders’ Society of America (SFSA), the CAST-IT Team, which provides on-site support to DLA Aviation, Land and Maritime and workforce development seminars, and ultrasonic cavitation-based dispersion for nanocomposites casting. Dean also discussed several ways to assist in ensuring a viable and competitive forging industrial base to provide affordable and high quality parts for the warfighter. These include Improved Forging Acquisition Manufacture and Materials (IFAMM), FORGE-IT, AFCAT and MetalFACT, and forging process improvements using intensive quenching.
Q&A – A Q&A occurred after each briefer finished their presentation. Questions and answers will be posted on the JTEG website with these minutes.
Closing Comments: Greg Kilchenstein thanked the presenters for their contributions and all the work being done at DLA to support DoD sustainment operations and the warfighter. He suggested continuing the information exchange beyond the forum and the importance of collaboration within the DoD maintenance community.
- Once the briefings are cleared for “public release” they will be posted on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ .
Next JTEG Meeting: The next scheduled JTEG virtual forum is 28 May, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. The topic is “Training the Workforce”.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org , (571) 633-8019