Blairsville, Pa. — December 3, 2019. The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) proudly announces it was named as a winner of a prestigious Defense Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Achievement Award yesterday at the Defense Manufacturing Conference held at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
NCDMM was recognized in the category of “Readiness Improvement” for its additive manufacturing (AM) three-phase research project for the “Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment (MAMLS)” program, which was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Technology Division.
The MAMLS program is the largest AM focused effort on sustainment, maintenance, and repair technologies that has ever been organized to date. It is led by NCDMM’s national additive accelerator, America Makes, the leading and collaborative partner in AM technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. It is the first of eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established and managed by the U.S. Department of Defense as public-private partnerships. America Makes is also a member of the Manufacturing USA® network, which seeks to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing.
The Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), which is comprised of managers from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) ManTech Program and an ex-officio representative from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), selected the winners of the Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Awards.
“I speak for all of us at NCDMM and America Makes when I say that we are incredibly honored to be awarded the Defense ManTech Achievement Award in the category of ‘Readiness Improvement’ for the AFRL MAMLS program,” said Dean L. Bartles, Ph.D., FSME, FASME, NCDMM President and CEO. “The MAMLS program has been an extensive multi-year, multi-phase ongoing effort that will yield results that will have a tremendous impact on the strategic readiness of the U.S. Air Force. There’s no question that the outcomes of the MAMLS projects will substantially increase the entire sustainment community’s understanding and use of additive manufacturing technologies. We thank the JDMTP for this great honor.”
The goal of the MAMLS program is aimed at improving efficiency of the factory and/or U.S. Air Force (USAF) Air Logistics Complexes for rapid part replacement for legacy and other aircraft.
Currently, sustainment poses a number of challenges to keeping aerospace systems across all USAF legacy aircraft ready and available. With an USAF aircraft having the average lifespan of approximately 27 years, critical parts are often out of production for a variety of reasons, including obsolescence, cost to create, and low-quantity requirements.
Maintaining its fleet in a cost-efficient manner using AM, along with other advanced manufacturing technologies, is critical to the strategic readiness of the USAF today and well into the future.
In order to enhance and improve USAF sustainment operations through the development, demonstration, and transition of AM technologies, the three-phase MAMLS program has set out to:
- Develop and demonstrate advanced manufacturing technologies related to AM that improve rapid part replacement and maintenance for legacy aircraft.
- Enable on-demand replacement of critically damaged or obsolete components that would not meet economic requirements of conventional supply chains.
- Develop and demonstrate rapid fabrication of such shop tools as assembly aids, jigs, and fixtures for sustainment center utilization.
- Identify technology gaps and workforce issues that need to be addressed and solved prior to effective implementation.
MAMLS Phase 1 is complete while Phases 2 and 3 are still ongoing.
This is the second time that NCDMM has been honored with a Defense ManTech Achievement Award at DMC. In 2008, NCDMM collaborated with the Institute for Manufacturing and Sustainment Technologies (iMAST) on a Navy National Shipbuilding Research project titled: Naval Submarine & Carrier Propulsion Shaft Machining Cycle Reduction. The project focused on improving the overall cycle time for refurbishing the tapers on submarine and carrier propulsion drive shafts, resulting in improved operational availability and substantial repair cost savings.
For more information about NCDMM, visit ncdmm.org.