569th EMXS provides combat-ready avionics parts

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, 402nd Electronics Maintenance Group at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, produces 75% of the Air Force organic workload for sustainment.

The 569th Electronics Maintenance Squadron Circuit Board Manufacturing Shop is an integral part of providing combat-ready avionics parts and services to the warfighter.

They provide single and multilayer printed circuit board manufacturing, cable manufacturing, testing and repair, Versatile Diagnostic Automatic Test Station and interface test adapter manufacturing, circuit card surface mount technology and hybrid microcircuit assembly.

Additionally, they support equipment and field tester repair and machine shop manufacturing for the 402nd EMXG.

Bob Hillis, 569th EMXS Circuit Board Manufacturing Shop supervisor, said his 10-man team is one of two circuit board printing shops in the DoD.

“We produce hundreds of different types of printed circuit boards including rigid, flex, multi-layer, single-sided, double-sided, etc., in a variety of designs and thickness,” he said. “While most of our circuit board manufacturing supports the Air Force, we manufacture for other branches at times, as well.”

Hill said his production team is highly trained and follows strict production guidelines with many inspection steps along the way to ensure quality.

“We utilize many different types of chemicals, processes and equipment within our 12,000 plus square foot shop to accomplish this,” he said. “Beginning with a thin sheet of laminate we perform a variety of processes including plating, drilling, imaging, development, stripping and etching, pressing and inspection, among other steps, to create a bare circuit board.”

According to Hillis, the circuit board manufacturing shop is producing circuit boards for 40,000 lb. trailers used to load bombers. Some of those trailers are more than 45 years old.

“We are supporting their service life extension program, which updates legacy heavy lift trailers that are critical in maintaining U.S. Air Force bomber fleet's nuclear and conventional mission,” he said. “The 196-type trailers will need 133 circuit cards produced and the 204-type trailers will need 32 cards completed.”

Hillis said the team is continuously training.

“We regularly attend conferences, seminars and training sessions designed to improve processes and stay on the cutting edge of the circuit board industry,” he said.

Hillis said he takes great pride in manufacturing printed circuit boards for our nation’s military.

“While it is a heavy responsibility, it is quite satisfying to know that the 569th provides such a variety of important assets, whether manufactured or repaired,” he said. “It is quite an honor to create something so critical for our global warfighters.”