76th PMXG leading several cost saving initiatives

  • Published
  • By Lisa Guttery
  • 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group
In the spirit of Cost Effective Readiness, the Air Force Sustainment Center's "Road to $1 Billion" is reaching out in many directions to achieve cost reductions.

AFSC personnel have been challenged to do things smarter, resulting in us doing it cheaper.

In the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group, personnel are working to exceed customer expectation by leading various cost reduction initiatives. PMXG plays a vital role in reaching cost reduction goals because of the nearly $1 billion it spends on direct material each year. AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Bruce Litchfield has been quoted saying, "Our ability to provide cost effective readiness will determine the size of our Air Force and the size of our Air Force will determine our ability to fight and win the next war." PMXG is heavily engaged in this effort and is striving to achieve the "Art of the Possible" and build a foundation of operational excellence.

PMXG Direct Material Initiative
The PMXG Direct Material Initiative is a bi-weekly meeting to identify potential repairs for items historically condemned or replaced at a high rate.

This initiative is changing the culture of the workforce while reducing direct material condemnations. Mechanics throughout PMXG are beginning to question the way things have always been done and are now looking at more cost effective and innovative ways to reduce direct material costs. The mechanics present their ideas at the meeting and work closely with Engineering and Industrial Engineering Technicians to ensure new repairs are valid. Approved repairs are incorporated into tech data and adjustments are made to both labor and material standards. Currently, there are 88 projects under review and three projects resulting in a potential savings.

Below are a few of the projects submitted at the PMXG Direct Material meeting:
Driven by part shortages on the F101 Turbine Frames, the 548th Propulsion Maintenance Squadron developed a way forward by forming a Rapid Improvement Event to address the parts issues which resulted in a save and retain program on the constrained parts. The outcome of the RIE led to an increase in production, generated an engineering request for a new repair, and has cut cost on the F101 Turbine Frame. The team is now looking to apply this process to other engines.

RIE Team consisted of: David Shatswell, Betty Wilson, Micah Ingram, Chris Boone, Jerry Combs, Richard Pond, Kenneth Branson, Darren Raines, Eric Warlick, John Mounce, Henry Pendleton, Kevin Greeson and Christy Hong. The facilitator for the RIE was Kim Roe.

Scott Whitmore, 544th PMXS, realized he was condemning an excessive amount of $500 F100 mounting brackets, because a $7 clinch nut would not remain tightened. He identified the same clinch nuts in the technical order which were being replaced in other areas of the F100 core, and with coordination with engineers, was able to develop a new cost savings repair to save the mounting bracket from being condemned.

Curtis Vincent, 546th PMXS, was seeing several F108 Speed Sensor shafts that were being dented during transportation and felt there had to be a better way to transport the part. A new Speed Sensor costs approximately $16,000 and the fall-out rate has been estimated around 60 percent due to bent shafts. This negatively impacted production schedules and drove material costs excessively high. Mr. Vincent used material from the shop to construct a new transportation container, and since implemented, his idea has resulted in no Speed Sensor damage.

Material Review Board Cost Reduction Initiative
Engine parts exceeding $5,000 that fail to meet technical order limits are sent to the Material Review Board pool for Cognizant Engineering disposition. The disposition usually results in a condemnation, which leads to a drastic increase in direct material costs. PMXG collaborated with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to look at the top 50 condemned high cost drivers and this data was evaluated based on dollar amount and quantity condemned to determine best candidates for repair development. Felicia Walter, 76th PMXG/QPS supervisor, is overseeing the MRB efforts and says, "My team of Repair Development Industrial Engineering Technicians and Process Engineers are working diligently to develop and prototype repairs on condemned parts in an effort to reduce cost. We understand the cost associated with direct material and our team is committed to identifying opportunities and have made it a top priority to help meet the AFSC cost reduction goals."

Currently, 35 parts have been determined repairable, three receiving FM validation for substantial savings and several still under review. PMXG continues to collaborate with AFLCMC/LPS to determine new ways to achieve AF cost reduction goals and reach the "Art of the Possible."

In this environment, PMXG must do all it can to reduce costs to not only remain competitive, but ensure funds are applied where the warfighter needs them. Every sustainment dollar counts and personnel must do all they can to reduce the nearly $1 billion PMXG spends in direct material each year. PMXG believes in making tomorrow better than today and will continue to address all opportunities to help reach the Air Force cost reduction goals.