News: Jim Richmond - employee, warfighter
Story by Jo Adail Stephenson
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Jim Richmond knows firsthand how important his work is to the warfighter because he is one.
“I know what it’s like to be overseas in the (area of responsibility) and get the part out of Supply and the part doesn’t work,” said the Defense Contract Management Agency Cleveland quality assurance representative and current Air Force Reservist who has a combined total of 28 years of active duty and Reserve service. “I want to make sure (the warfighters) get the right stuff at the right time.”
His work involves ensuring the contractor has a manufacturing system capable of producing the contracted material, aircraft engine seal assemblies. Richmond also verifies the parts are manufactured in accordance with the technical data package, the contract and any statement of work to ensure the items conform and are acceptable to the user.
Each of the processes used in manufacturing the seal assemblies are included in the facility’s government contract quality assurance surveillance plan. Each process is risk rated and surveillance activities are designed based on whether the risk is determined to be high, moderate or low.
For high-risk processes, Richmond performs process reviews at six-month intervals. Product examinations are also part of planned surveillance activities. For low-risk processes, he performs surveillance activities annually.
The majority of his work involves performing GCQA surveillance on aviation critical safety items. CSIs are classified by the Engineering Support Activity because the failure of these parts could, by definition, cause a catastrophic or critical failure, resulting in the loss of or serious damage to the aircraft or weapon system; an unacceptable risk of personal injury or loss of life; or an uncommanded engine shutdown that jeopardizes safety.
Whether it’s first article testing or production lot testing, Richmond works closely with the contractor. He verifies the procedures used in each process and plans and performs the necessary surveillance, which sometimes includes witnessing contractor personnel measuring the parts. When contractor personnel spot-weld and braze the part, he not only checks the process but also witnesses the operation and documents the effort in his surveillance plan.
When the contractor inspects the parts for cracks, Richmond audits the process and witnesses the inspection.
He also spot-checks and measures the radius and diameter of the parts and compares the measurements to the product specifications.
During final inspection, Richmond reviews the contractor-provided traveler paperwork and verifies the item’s serial number to the contract in accordance with his GCQA surveillance plan. He also ensures the contractor has completed all required processing. If the documentation is acceptable, he signs and accepts the product.
“I just love doing quality work. It means something because I know the (warfighter) – I am one sometimes,” said Richmond, who has been with DCMA more than three years. “I like being on this end of it so I can verify and make sure the warfighters are getting a quality product."