This forum will be the first JTEG technology forum dedicated to a specific military service or agency. NAVAIR/COMFRC will provide an overview of their sustainment technology process to include determining needs, selecting technologies to demonstrate, and the procurement of those technologies. They will then provide examples of several maintenance related technologies that they have successfully implemented to improve DoD equipment effectiveness and/or efficiency. Finally, NAVAIR/COMFRC will discuss maintenance related technology areas that they will be pursuing in the future.
Event: On 27 March 2018, the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), in coordination with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), hosted a virtual forum on “NAVAIR / COMFRC Technology”.
Purpose: The purpose of this forum was to provide an overview of the NAVAIR / COMFRC sustainment technology process to include determining needs, selecting technologies to demonstrate, and the procurement of those technologies. NAVAIR also provided examples of several maintenance related technologies that they have successfully implemented to improve DOD equipment effectiveness and/or efficiency.
Welcome: Greg Kilchenstein (OSD (MPP)) welcomed everyone to the forum, thanked the presenters and all the listeners for their attendance, and briefly previewed the agenda.
Administrative: This was an open forum. The presentations, along with questions and answers, were conducted through Adobe Connect. A separate audio line was used. Approximately 65 participants from across DOD and industry joined in the forum.
COMFRC Overview – Joe Sparks provided an overview of the COMFRC including the Advanced Technology & Innovation (ATI) IPT mission, FY18 COMFRC advanced technology projects, and investment integration.
Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – Robert Kestler discussed the framework to align current NAE S&T investments to Naval Aviation missions and capability needs. He also listed the NAE Science & Technology Objectives (STOs).
Funding Sources – Joe Sparks described ATI strategic investment funds, the COMFRC SBIR T2 Program (T2P) Process, a list of possible external funding sources, and strategies for success.
Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) – Robert Kestler detailed how a Federal Lab Designation provides the ability to establish and leverage key relationships with Industry, Government, Academia, and Technology Organizations. He also provided a list of CRADA partners, and highlighted a few STEM programs.
Innovation Challenges – Joe Sparks described some FRC innovation challenge events and the FRC approach using the COMFRC Innovation Program.
Patent Approval – Robert Burkhart discussed the need for improved management of IP at the FRC Level, and described patents and the patent approval/review process at FRC-SE.
Cold Spray – Conrad Macy described the NAVAIR Cold Spray initiative, facilities, and systems, to include a list of NAVAIR production repair parts and SBIR cold spray systems.
Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) – Robert Kestler and Clint Salter tag-teamed a discussion on FRC NDI initiatives to include NLAD Cheetah for composite damage detection, hand-held phased array eddy current NDT, blade scanner, and Thermographic Non-destructive Inspection (TDNT).
ZnNi – Jack Benfer talked about the transition of Zn-Ni electroplating under SBIR Topic AF071-320 as a cadmium replacement for high strength steel. A new Zn-Ni plating line has been installed into the FRCSE industrial facility. The plating line passed all quality control testing, and demonstration/validation was successfully completed on aircraft demo parts. Phase III RIF was successfully completed on 30 September 2017. He also provided some plating demonstrations, corrosion testing, and selective electroplating.
Model Based Enterprise (MBE) – Justin Reynolds briefed FRC’s current “2D model” state which is susceptible to delays, configuration management loss and connectivity gaps. He described two COMFRC ATI’s: the first provides industrial connectivity which allows critical industrial areas to continue to perform support functions for Navy/Marine Corps aircraft platforms Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) requirements on a IA compliant and secure network; and the second initiative involving an engineering configuration management tool to maintain CM control of 2D and 3D data from engineering to manufacturing of the part to quality assurance.
Q&A – The combined Q&A session occurred after the last briefer was finished. For the actual questions and answers, see the JTEG NAVAIR/COMFRC Q&A document.
Closing Comments: Greg Kilchenstein thanked the presenters for their contributions and the audience for their participation. He suggested continuing the information exchange beyond the forum and the importance of collaboration within the DoD maintenance community.
- Obtain “public release” versions of the presentations and post to the JTEG website. These meeting minutes, the Q&A, and those briefing slides approved for public release, will be posted on the JTEG website at http://jteg.ncms.org/ . (All presenters, LMI, NCMS)
Next JTEG Meeting: The next scheduled JTEG virtual forum is 24 April, 1:00 – 3:00 pm EST. The topic is “Automation in Maintenance”.
POC this action is Ray Langlais, firstname.lastname@example.org , (571) 633-8019
Overview – Joe Sparks (COMFRC)
Q1. Joe: What is the target “age” of the facilities? and how long do you expect to get it there?
A1. 60% are over the 67-year life. We are targeting less than 40. I can’t say how long.
NAE CTO – Robert Kestler (FRC-E)
Q2. Yogi: Can NAE S&T share the 10 capability gaps and the 34 objectives?
A2. We are waiting for final signature, and then they will be made public.
Q3. Yogi: Does the ATI team meet on a regular basis? How is the ATI integrated with the IWG?
A3. Yes, we have weekly calls and coordinate with the FRCs frequently.
Funding Sources – Joe Sparks (COMFRC)
Q4. Joe: Is there a limit on how much NAE can spend per project in the ATI Strategic Investment fund?
A4. There is a cap on the budget, but there is some flexibility if the BCA supports.
Q5. Joe: Is your working capital fund set aside OMN or RDT&E?
ORTA – Robert Kestler (FRC-E)
Q6. Yogi: The Navy receives approx. $25B annually in R&D funding. Does the NAE and COMFRC have an overarching strategy to obtain a significantly larger share of the R&D funds for sustainment technology and processes?
A6. Yes. We have a relationship with the Chief Technology Officer to go after increased funding.
Q7. Yogi: What is the advantage of creating and executing efforts under specific CRADAs vice using blanket venues like CTMA?
A7. In some cases, it protects IP for the company and the government. We do use CTMA also; however, CRADAs have the advantage that they require no dollar value contribution.
Patent Approval – Robert Burkhart
Q8. Robert Burkhart: None
Cold Spray – Conrad Macy
Q9. Conrad: Does NAE/COMFRC save valuable components and preserve them for potential future repair via cold spray or other processes?
A9. We don’t have an official process. I believe Pensacola has an official program. We do work with the PMs.
Q10. Conrad: Does NAE have a common process for cold spray qualification/certification?
A10. There is a cold spray certification coming out very soon. It should help create commonality in DoD.
Q11. Conrad: Are you working with the ARL Cold Spray Action Team (CSAT) to leverage their efforts?
A11. We do monitor CSAT efforts and stay in touch. However, we are currently working with Penn State ARL. Additionally, we are more focused on the production environment rather than the research side.
Q12. Conrad: Are you sharing your cold spray test and qualification and repair efforts with the CSAT?
A12. Yes. We will probably be a presenter next year.
NDI – Robert Kestler (FRC-E) / Clint Salter
Q13. Yogi: How are NDI technology outputs being connected to Engineering Communities to support Nonconformance assessments or Engineering changes?
A13. Within FRC-East, there is no formal process. LASLAT and blade scanners were need-based.
Q14. Clint: Is anyone from Army aviation participating with you on the development of your rotor blade scanner?
A14. Currently, no. We have only targeted for H-1 applications. The Army could definitely benefit from a collaborative effort.
Q15. Clint: Do you need the blade-scanning tool if you implement thermographic NDT?
A15. No. They are two different uses of the technology.
ZnNi – Jack Benfer
Q16. Jack Benfer: What percentage of the new the zinc-nickel plating capability are you currently using at FRC-SE?
A16. We only use the plating capability to validate design.
Q17. Jack: Beside the obvious environmental benefit, are there other benefits to using zinc-nickel plating?
A17. There is an increase in the performance benefits with corrosion protection and improved durability.
Q18. Jack: Are you performing fatigue testing for zinc-nickel qualification on actual components or coupons?
A18. We are doing standard two data sets.
MBE – Justin Reynolds
Q19. Justin: For Model Based Engineering. Are you aware of the work going on at In Service Engineering at Port Hueneme with the Navy JEDMICS Program Office?
A19. No, we are not. We will discuss off-line.
Q20. Does the ATI evaluate advanced CBM+ technologies?
A20. We don’t have any right now, but otherwise definitely would.