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Quality Verification Center Lab getting new space

The Quality Verification Center, in the Physical Sciences Flight within the 76th Maintenance Support Group, is getting two new labs, allowing them to expand operations. The QVC is an important part of the process of ensuring the quality of aircraft and engine parts.

The main lab, in Bldg. 3001, post location K-69, will be moved to a space next to it in the same building, which will be completed at the end of August by Tinker Air Force Base’s 72nd MSXG.

The satellite office in Bldg. 2210 is currently closed due to lack of personnel, but is in the process of hiring and will move to a larger lab in Bldg. 9001. The new lab is in the design phase with contractors, and is projected to be completed in 2020.

QVC Chief Ron Camacho said their operations in Bldg. 3001 have outgrown their current space, and they will receive a larger capacity coordinate measuring machine, used for dimensional inspections, this fall.

“We’ve had to move a machine out into the cage area, which is not a controlled environment, simply because we do not have the space and it gets kind of congested in here. We started bringing in big parts and it becomes a safety issue,” Camacho said.

For the 13-employee lab, strict control of the environment is very important.

The correct range of temperature and humidity is required for accuracy on the machines, which use contact probing, lasers, video and other methods to measure geometric features, including size, form and location.

Their workload primarily falls in three categories. The first is first article inspections, in which contractors wanting a contract to produce an aircraft or engine part send in the part for inspection against the government’s blueprint specifications.

In the second category, the lab handles engineering support projects, where they check parts for alignment, form and fit and other measurements when they are having problems.

Additionally, the lab handles non-conforming material review, where they closely check the dimensions of parts that have been determined to be out of tolerance.Jimmy Johnson, QVC lab lead mechanical engineering technician, said they could potentially be called into court after finding a part to be out of tolerance with the required standards, because the company that made it has invested a lot financially in the part.

“Usually when they come look at our equipment, and we explain to them how we measure it, they accept our results,” Johnson said.

“I think we’re supporting the taxpayer, because we’re making sure that what the government is paying for is correct.”

When measuring accuracy within a millionth of an inch, the reputation of quality for the lab is important.

“We support the warfighter in every aspect. From any part of the engine that is overhauled here, to aircraft, cruise missiles, or any component that we may see goes into support the warfighter,” Camacho said.