New section explores ways to increase PDM efficiency

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78 ABW/PA
The C-5 enterprise at Robins is leaving no wrench unturned when it comes to improving the efficiency of programmed depot maintenance.

The C-5 team has successfully implemented Maintenance Steering Group 3 and achieved its best mission-capable rate in seven years, but it isn't stopping there.

In April, the C-5 Galaxy Division in the Aerospace Sustainment Directorate stood up the Strategic Maintenance Requirements Supportability Process Section. It is a unique, multi-agency team with the primary goal of making sure mechanics spend their time doing what they do best, which is actually working on aircraft rather than chasing down parts and tools.

Borrowing a page from the High Velocity Maintenance concept, the team wants to make sure all maintenance tasks required for each aircraft are fully supportable when they arrive.

A C-5 PDM is scheduled for 285 days, but if mechanics find they need a part which isn't available, it can delay the PDM two or three months, said Capt. Cisco Harris, chief of the new section.

"The last thing we want to do is hold an aircraft up for a month or two," he said.

Working out of a single office, the team includes representatives from the program office, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Global Logistics Support Center, the 559th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and Intergraph, the company contracted to implement MSG-3.

Harris said engineering requirements for aircraft change as they age and as field units report problems. One of the team's jobs is to make sure all new engineering requirements are supportable. There are currently 51 new engineering requirements pending the team's full review.

Another objective for the team is reviewing all 17,000-plus maintenance tasks in the existing PDM package to ensure supportability.

The program office is also conducting pre-induction inspections, which involve engineers and maintenance personnel conducting field inspections 16 months prior to an aircraft's arrival for PDM. The goal is to ensure any special repairs needed on the aircraft are known ahead of time and all tools and parts are available to mechanics when it arrives.

That initiative started a year and half ago, Harris said, so in July the first plane to get a pre-inspection is coming in. The program office has been in continual contact with the owning base to make sure the right parts are on-hand for discrepancies identified during the pre-induction inspection.

The Strategic MRSP Section is structured under the C-5 Integration & Analysis Branch.

"The C-5 team has done a great job bringing the MSG-3 inspection package into existence and now it's time for the next level," said John Ricks, branch chief.