Proactive planning puts parts on planes

R. NIAL BRADSHAW/U.S. Air Force
Machinist Tom Henrie, 532nd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, checks dimensions on an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft fitting, Hill Air Force Base. Team Hill’s local manufacturing shop produces parts for every airframe in the United States Air Force fleet.
R. NIAL BRADSHAW/U.S. Air Force
Machinist Tom Henrie, 532nd Commodities Maintenance Sqaudron, checks dimensions on an A-10 Thunderbolt II fitting, Hill Air Force Base, March 20.
By R. Nial Bradshaw
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
April 27, 2017

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Proactive planning coupled with on-base manufacturing capabilities are making a difference to A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft mission-capable rates by providing non-procurable parts to depot and the field.

A-10 attack aircraft are brought to Hill AFB for Programmed Depot Maintenance at pre-planned intervals. During maintenance and inspections, it is common to discover airframe discrepancies resulting in unplanned maintenance requiring parts not readily available through the supply system.

“Every wing coming in would have parts constraints,” said Zak Layton, 533rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron flight structures scheduling and materials chief. “There is now not a single wing on the production floor at a work stoppage due to parts issues because of our forward looking and planning.”

Through the efforts of a Production Planning Team consisting of inspectors, work leads, production supervisors, planners and schedulers, 200 non-procurable parts that could drive a work stoppage were identified and put into production using local manufacturing. One hundred seventy of those parts are now procurable and the remaining 30 are being manufactured.

“Using historical data we anticipated what we were going to need as far as parts and we worked with engineering to see if there was going to be any new repairs based on what they were seeing out in the field,” said Layton. “We try to stay ahead of that as far as we can.”

Many parts for the A-10, an aircraft long out of production but still in service, were not only unavailable through supply, but were not stock listed and had no demand history to drive their future manufacture.

By getting the parts stock listed, the Defense Logistics Agency can now track and forecast demands for these parts and make sure they are available for future repairs by both depot and the field.

Team Hill’s local manufacturing shop produces parts for every airframe in the United States Air Force fleet.

“There is not a day that goes by that our local manufacturing shop doesn’t save the day for somebody,” said Layton.