NCMS, DoD Identify Significance of Intermittent Fault Testing

On 30 May 2019, the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) – Crane Division hosted the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), with industry partners Universal Synaptics, Lockheed Martin, and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) for a Capability Demonstration and Ribbon Cutting. This event celebrated the successful conclusion of the Intermittent Fault Detection Inspection System (IFDIS) project, proving the validity of intermittent fault testing for aircraft electronic equipment Weapon Replaceable Assemblies (WRAs) and Electrical Wiring Interconnect Systems (EWIS).  As a Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA) project, IFDIS successfully developed and validated testing equipment critical to eliminating the waste and frustration in tracking down intermittent electronic faults.

In April 2019, the DoD issued a rare public memo outlining the importance of intermittent fault detection to identify and eliminate electronic failure mode and wasted maintenance. The memo outlined MIL-PRF-32516 standards with support for the development of enterprise-wide implementation plans. The DoD spends approximately $16B to address electronics maintenance, which is a leading cause of weapon systems non-availability. Intermittent fault detection solutions are expected to reduce that number by $2B and save 278,000 days in lost performance.

The IFDIS Ribbon Cutting event included an exemplary panel of senior-level leaders including Mr. Zahid Din (SSTM), Department Director, NSWC Crane, Ms. Lisa Strama, President & CEO, NCMS, Dr. Brett Seidle (SES), Technical Director, NSWC Crane, Mr. Kenneth Watson (SES), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Materiel Readiness, Mr. Jim Belcher, PMA-265 GSI Co-Lead, Mr. Ken Anderson, President & CEO, Universal Synaptics  from each of the participating organizations  articulating the criticality and potential impact of this project.

NSWC Crane has the largest concentration of technical electronic warfare expertise, facilities, and equipment, making them uniquely competent of leading the DoD in this effort to identify and validate diagnostic equipment capable of detecting faults. Qualified team members demonstrated their expertise with the equipment, giving everyone the opportunity to experience the effectiveness and efficiency of IFDIS first hand.

NCMS member, Universal Synaptics, has expertise in Intermittent Fault Detection technology development and deployment with a special emphasis on reducing maintenance costs, improving WRA and EWIS time on the wing. The Intermittent Fault Detection Isolation System 2.0™ (IFDIS 2.0™) and portable Intermittent Fault Detector™ (IFD™) products were utilized and proven on this project.

“We were honored to be part of this team of incredibly dedicated and talented people who committed themselves to excellence throughout the project. Never underestimate what you can achieve through dedication, innovation, and collaboration,” said Ken Anderson, President/CEO of Universal Synaptics.

For over 10 years, NCMS has provided leadership for the IFDIS Project through CTMA program support and project management.  Originally funded as the Joint Intermittent Testing (JIT) team, the group evolved into a full-fledged project due to the true collaboration and dedication by the industry and military partners. NCMS’ Project Management team upheld the project’s timeline and budget, ensuring measurable results and enterprise-wide implementation plans could be considered. This technology, developed and proven through funding support by the DoD, will be applicable to both military and commercial electronics businesses and could have a wide-area impact on multiple problems and issues.