News: Saving money through prevention
DENVER, Colo. — Quality assurance specialists here at the Defense Contract Management Agency ensure a key component of the Navy’s maintenance program, the Portable Oil Diagnostic System, is calibrated appropriately.
“We have PODS come in from Navy locations all over the world to be recalibrated,” said Jimmy Wright, DCMA quality assurance representative. After they are recalibrated at the contractor facility, Wright ensures the systems are ready to be sent back to the Navy.
“Before they are shipped back to the customer, I pull a random sampling off the shelf, open up the box and check the paperwork,” said Wright. “This includes comparing the contractor paperwork to the copy I have and verifying the serial numbers are correct and the calibration sticker is accurate. I also check the test run paperwork and make sure the results are within the allowable tolerance for what is outlined in the contract.”
Wright’s job is critical to the Navy because they use the system for multiple purposes.
“Portable Oil Diagnostic System is a small piece of equipment that analyzes fluid samples and classifies how contaminated, or dirty, the fluid is,” said Joseph Cruz, Naval Air Systems Command hydraulic equipment in-service engineer. “This is especially critical for aircraft hydraulic systems since hydraulic fluids laden with dirt and debris may cause early component failure and poor aircraft performance.”
Cruz said PODS verifies the cleanliness of hydraulic fluid in systems and equipment used to fill, or connect to, an aircraft hydraulic system. “We also use it to ensure fluid is clean after extensive maintenance of aircraft hydraulic systems,” said Cruz. “Checking fluid first prevents having to deal with the consequences of contaminated aircraft hydraulic systems later.”
The PODS are also used in Navy Oil Analysis Program labs where they analyze fluids from aircraft liquid cooling systems, as well as various fluids from ship or submarine hydraulic systems.
The Navy owns more than 1,000 PODS in various models, each with a one year calibration cycle. When the units are ready to be serviced, they are sent to the contractor. Once calibrated, and checked by DCMA, they are sent back to the Navy. This doesn’t mean the work of Wright is finished. Periodically, he visits the contractor to spot check their processes and do a thorough review of their receiving methods.
“In addition to process reviews, I also check units that have been sent back to the contractor for replacement parts,” said Wright. “The main thing is making sure a fully calibrated and functional unit makes it back to the Navy.”
Date Posted:07.10.2012 13:00
Location:DENVER, CO, US
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