ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. – In a combined effort, two AEDC engineers helped reduce the cost of the preventative maintenance program for welding machines used by the AEDC Model and Machine Shop.
According to David Hurst, Asset Health Assurance Group Manager for the AEDC Model and Machine Shop, the efforts of Ashley Clark and Tracy McDonald will lead to a savings over the life of the contract of at least $200,000.
“They developed a pre-operations checklist for each welding machine which moved a lot of the preventive maintenance program from a calendar driven program to a condition-based maintenance approach,” he said.
Clark stated the approximate savings for Fiscal Year 2017 alone is $20,000.
“We will be reducing the preventative maintenance activities and implementing the pre-operation reminders sheets attached to each welder,” she said.
Currently, there are more than 240 welding machines on base, but that number will soon be reduced.
“Once identified during the preventative maintenance cycle, welding equipment will be excessed based on age, usage, capacity or duty cycle, and corrective maintenance cost,” Clark said. “The plan for FY17 is to identify and eliminate the top 30 percent of welding machines that meet this criteria. This will provide additional cost savings by eliminating the PM program and purchasing newer equipment with higher technologies such as ability to provide energy savings and runtime data, greater capacities at as high as 100 percent duty cycle, and lower maintenance requirements.”
Hurst commented on the many benefits of replacing older welding machines.
“New machines have much more flexibility,” Hurst said. “Our welders will be able to do multiple types of welding with a single machine. By doing this, you replace two or three current machines with one, which will reduce operating and maintenance costs even further.
“Tracy and Ashley did an outstanding job, tracking down each welder and developing an overall maintenance strategy and replacement plan. This effort changed paths several times along the way but they stuck with it and in the end made it successful.”
In addition to these savings, a process has been developed that will produce better quality maintenance data for the welding preventative maintenance program and the total savings to the Complex is anticipated to grow after further cost accounting.