Date of Award

12-15-2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Abdel Bayoumi

Abstract

This research involves two major case studies. Both look at the current maintenance practices done by the United States Army and propose a solution for improvement utilizing condition-based maintenance (CBM) practices. Each study details a cost avoidance that can be earned by implementing the solutions and the resulting benefits that can be experienced. Case Study I is a return on investment (ROI) that analyzes the benefits of the implementation of elastomeric wedges as vibration control on the Apache (AH-64D) aircraft. Analysis of the material and operational costs shows that the use of self-adhering elastomeric trailing edge wedges on the Apache helicopter in main rotor blade tracking operations will significantly reduce the number of blades damaged by tab bending that must be repaired at the depot level. Wedge implementation will also allow for a decrease in the number of test flights and maintenance man hours associated with those flights. Additionally, the wedges will lower aircraft vibration levels. A 10-year ROI is calculated for projected peacetime flying hours and for the current flying rate. Dollar values and flight hour optempo (operating tempo) have been removed and replaced with percentages or pseudonyms to comply with the operations security process. Case Study II examines the maintenance practices regarding the GE T700, T701, T701C, and T701D turboshaft engine. According to the Aviation and Missile Command’s (AMCOM) integrated priority list, the turboshaft engine is the number one cost burden to the Army with Army Working Capital Fund (AWCF) salesa exceeding $260M for FY12 and projected salesb over $200M for FY13. Analysis of Remediation/Reliability Improvement through Failure Identification and Reporting (RIMFIRE) data on engines determined to be field repairable by depot shows return of engine modules in lieu of the entire engine yields a significant cost avoidance. Returning modules instead of engines would reduce the number of field repairable engines sent to depot by almost 50%. Additional ways to reduce the number of field repairable engines are discussed and their benefits are included. Dollar values and component demand data have been removed and replaced with percentages or pseudonyms to comply with the operations security process.

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