NCMS Project #: 142107
Problem: Maintaining the resilience of the supply chain is a never-ending battle. In just-in-time manufacturing operations a critical part being delivered late (or not at all) can create a bottleneck that slows or stops production altogether. Recent supply chain issues due to COVID-19 have demonstrated that having alternative methods to acquire critical parts and components is necessary. This creates additional challenges as processes must be put into place that will allow a streamlined framework for Additive Manufacturing (AM) product acceptance. In the Department of Defense (DOD) the unavailability of critical parts can have dire consequences. The need has been identified for common decision-making tools to determine the optimal use of AM based on cost benefit analysis.
Benefit: Collectively, the project tasks and deliverables will help initiate an AM specification compliance and parts acceptance process that can benefit the commercial industry by providing a more streamlined framework for AM product integration into supply chains. Demonstrating the viability of AM-produced parts and integrating them into the supply chain as an acceptable alternative source of supply will benefit numerous organizations. In particular, organizations that are tasked with sustaining distributed operations will ultimately be afforded substantial benefits in time savings, business process efficiencies and improved order fulfillment by this project.
Solution/Approach: Leveraging AM can reduce the impact of supply chain issues through the ability to produce parts on demand and locally. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Military Departments (MILDEPs) will develop an expedited product acceptance framework to determine the appropriate testing options to apply to AM items. Doing so will represent a step towards improved quality and ultimately acceptance of AM parts in a supply chain.
Impact on Warfighter:
- Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs
- Create a more resilient and efficient supply chain
- Improve warfighter and operational readiness
- Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command (HQ AFMC)
- Directorate of Logistics, Civil Engineering, Force Protection, and Nuclear Integration (A4/10) Engineering, Technology
& Technical Policy Division (EN)
- Department of the Air Force
- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WRAFB)
- University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI)
- Cost savings
- Repair turn-around time
- Maintenance avoidance and reliability
- Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
- Improved readiness
- Advanced/additive manufacturing