Advanced Modular Automation Solutions to Improve Organic Depot Maintenance and Sustainment

NCMS Project #: 142100

Problem: Large-scale automation systems have been at the heart of manufacturing line control for decades especially for mass production of single products.  While they are efficient, they tend to be inflexible.  As markets become less predictable, flexibility will become even more critical to manufacturers The need to maintain uptime and reliability, synchronize supply with customer demand, maximize available capacity and deliver smaller batches with shorter lead times has resulted in the need for new technologies and processes to keep pace.

Benefit: Increasing the capability of depots, arsenals, and shipyards to quickly reconfigure older manufacturing facilities and equipment will provide flexibility to meet changing spare part and component needs tied to emerging maintenance requirements and weapon system availability/readiness rates.  The completion of these tasks will serve as a road map for commercial industry to determine how best to create an advanced modular automation manufacturing line that builds more reliable and less costly mechanical components.

Solution/Approach: Advancing the state of new modular automation, robotic technologies, and manufacturing processes will provide a more agile and flexible production line solution that is easier and more cost-effective to operate and maintain.  In the Department of Defense (DOD), the Organic Industrial Base (OIB) manufactures thousands of critical parts to keep DOD weapons systems ready.  Increasing the capability of depots, arsenals and shipyards to quickly reconfigure manufacturing facilities and equipment will provide flexibility to meet changing part needs tied to emerging maintenance and operational requirements.  The potential to transition this modular automation capability across the OIB will help provide the DOD and the Services the strategic flexibility to meet surge maintenance and sustainment requirements for the next conflict or to support the next pandemic or natural emergency.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase mission and warfighter readiness 
  • Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Improve safety standards and training/education 
  • Enhance logistics and maintenance efficiency 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army, Project Manager Mounted Armored Vehicles (PM MAV)
  • Rock Island Arsenal

Industry Participation:

  • Fives Machining Systems Inc.
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement
  • Lightweighting

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)