Depot Engineers Design Equipment to Flush Out Extra Costs and Time

by Jaclyn Nix, CCAD Public Affairs

Depot Engineers Design Equipment to Flush Out Extra Costs and Time

Jody Boren, Electrical Mechanical Repairer, closes the oil flush test stand door to be safe while the oil is flushed out of the UH-60 generator housing. Photo by Jaclyn Nix. (RELEASED).


Corpus Christi, TX (March 28, 2012) – Corpus Christi Army Depot artisans continue to revolutionize helicopter overhaul, maintenance and repair to operate more effectively and efficiently—this time with a new oil flush stand that translates to savings.

Rotating Electric subject matter experts (SMEs) created a new piece of equipment to flush oil out of UH-60 Black Hawk generator components such as the rotor and housing for a total cost savings around 85% by building their own. The oil flush stand will accomplish a safer, more economical and environmentally-friendly atmosphere while saving time, money and man hours.

The equipment does a forward and reverse flush of the components to clean out the contaminants and oil inside.

Engineers designed the equipment with quick connect and disconnect features to replace the old equipment that required wrenches and two people to remove the hoses. These new features modernize and streamline the process while reducing man hours. It also makes the flush stand a one-man job.

“Now it takes you a matter of seconds to actually use the quick disconnect,” said Linda Lopez, CCAD Engineer and the brains behind the idea. “It takes only twenty seconds versus thirty minutes.”

“It’s made it easier with the quick connects so that we can run it more efficiently because we don’t have to disconnect anything,” said Jody Boren, Electrical Mechanical Repairer. “It’s cleaner, safer and easier to access now.”

The leaking oil and tangled hoses of the old non-enclosed equipment made safety a huge issue. The old tank was located on a cart next to the electrical equipment on top of another cart which created multiple slips, trips and fall hazards.

“At any moment a hose could’ve ruptured releasing hot oil on an employee,” said Eduardo Perez, Safety Engineer. The new flush stand is fully enclosed.

The new stand is also ergonomic. The stand is at eye level so employees do not have to bend over to reach the equipment. Handles are located on both sides to push the wheeled, enclosed oil flush stand throughout the depot without worrying about dangling hoses.

“Everything is right here for the employee to get their job done,” said Perez. “Now they can push out products for our Warfighter a lot quicker with this equipment.”

“This has such a vast savings, improved safety and man hours because there are really no controlled software configurations for the equipment,” said Melinda De La Fuente, Equipment Certification Lead.

“I think CCAD should do more of these in-house designs because it will save a lot of time and money,” said Lopez.

CCAD has been heralded for its innovative workforce. Though they have been working on decades-old helicopters, they continue to find new methods to lean out their processes and modernize their equipment to more efficient models.  A number of programs and incentives exist for these modern innovators, encouraging them to find opportunities to save.  The goal is to increase production while saving taxpayer money and minimizing waste while getting the aircraft or component to the Warfighter faster. The Warfighter’s mission is the priority so CCADers strive to deliver.

Oil Flushing Test Stand

The old flush test stand required more time and safety hazards with the dangling hoses and dripping oil. Photo by Linda Lopez. (RELEASED)

 

Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.