Congratulations to the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group, Tinker Air Force Base, who took home the Maintenance Innovation Challenge Overall Winner Award at the 2018 Defense Maintenance Symposium. They are working diligently to sustain the U.S. Air Force’s aging KC-135 Stratotanker, B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, E-3 Sentry, and E-6 Mercury aircraft. With the difficulty of obtaining some parts for these legacy systems, the engineers at the Reverse Engineering And Critical Tooling (REACT) Lab have taken the approach of not waiting to find the parts, but make them themselves with the assistance of additive manufacturing (AM). By using scanned data to design tooling specifically for Metal AM in CAD software, the technicians can now rapidly prototype tooling and test equipment on-demand saving material waste, downtime, cost, and efficiency.
This submission resonated with the panel of DoD Senior Logistics Managers, who judged the six MIC finalists. They evaluate the submission on the following criteria:
- Maintenance centricity
- Original contribution for the State-of-the-Art
- Technical maturity
- Cross-Service application
- Potential to benefit maintenance
- Feasibility and practicality