Starting Semester: Spring 2023
Assigned: Yes
Location: Robins Air Force Base


Client Profile

The 402d Commodities Maintenance Group is responsible for depot maintenance and overhaul and repair of the C-5, C-17, C-130, E-8, F-15, B-2, KC-46, Helos, and RQ-4 Air Force Weapon Systems. It repairs, modifies, inspects and overhauls aircraft components and equipment for all Department of Defense Warfighters who need out services. This large depot maintenance industrial operation possesses a budget of $147M and employs 1,200 people across 32 facilities.

Project Description

Problem Statement: The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex (WR-ALC) performs depot-level Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO); manufacturing; and laboratory services in the restoration of Air Force equipment and F-15, C-5, C-130, C-17, and SOF aircraft to serviceable condition. WR-ALC is located at Robins AFB in Warner Robins, GA. With dynamic and ever changing requirements to support the warfighter, there has been increased demand for additional facilities for depot level maintenance. 402d Commodities Maintenance Group (CMXG) is one of the 5 main groups within WR-ALC and has its repair and overhaul facilities scattered on and off Robins AFB. Many of these facilities existed for other purposes and were simply converted for the MRO tasks. CMXG seeks a brownfield facility design suitable to house and optimize a Squadron's repair/workflow of a wide variety of assets with both distinct repair criteria and variable demand. 574th CMMXS Requirements and Issues: The 574th Structural Repair Squadron, one of 4 main squadrons within CMXG, modifies, repairs, rebuilds, and manufactures sheet metal, metal bonded, and composite aircraft components. These components include flight controls surfaces, miscellaneous panels and structures, conformal fuel tanks, fuel bladders, etc. for C-5, C-17, C-130, F-15, E-8 and RQ-4 aircraft. This workload is spread across three facilities with two located on Robins AFB and one 240,000 square feet facility located 5 miles north of Robins AFB. The typical annual overhaul, repair, and new manufacture workload within the 574th consists of: * Thousands of Flight Controls Surfaces to include Elevators, Rudders and Ailerons * Hundreds of Fuel Bladders for C-130 and F-15 aircraft * Hundreds of miscellaneous panel repair/new manufacture jobs * Hundreds of F-15 Intake Ramps & Diffusers * Hundreds of C-130 Flaps, Scoops, Hatches, Leading Edges, Cargo Ramps, Pylons, and Floorboards * Thousands of composite type repairs on various assets With the lack of proximity between these facilities and the inefficient current shop layouts, various forms of waste pervades and asset flow is sub-optical from induction of these assets to their completion. The demand rates have high variability as a result of ever changing supply chain demands coupled with variable aircraft arrivals for depot maintenance. Locating all operations into one facility could facilitate better work-loading, management focus, and reduce wastes such as unnecessary travel and space requirements. By vacating and relocating all the current 574th processes into one centralized facility and relocating other processes within CMXG into those vacated facilities, this would create a more centralized CMXG campus on Robins AFB. A suitable location has been determined for this new facility with the potential for Congressional funding to construct this facility in the near future. Technology Insertion Opportunities: Significant opportunities exist to convert manual processes into automated ones in addition to new technology insertions. * Identify opportunities to automate more processes to improve employee well-being, product quality, capacity, and equipment supportability. * Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) environments could be integrated with new inspection technologies to provide technicians with real time and more detailed data to promote streamlined and more efficient repair decisions. * Improved paint removal technologies such as laser depaint should be incorporated into this facility to reduce sanding and other depaint requirements. * Industrial 4.0 concepts and supporting infrastructure are desired. Project Outcome: A success project includes: * Conceptual design of a co-located workspace for structural repair of aircraft parts to include locations for part fabrication, non-destructive inspection, painting, office space, breakroom, locker rooms, bathroom, storage, staging area, mechanical / electrical rooms, and other miscellaneous repair processes. * Current workflow analysis for analytical comparison to create metrics for process improvement time, travel, and cost savings to provide a return on investment. * Optimized workflow analysis and simulation considering variable demand to include 20-30% surge capacity. * Discovered opportunities during the course of the project.


Process Improvement, repair workflows, time studies, data analysis, problem solving, and creative thinking