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MCA hosts technology showcase

By Jason M. Webb | | June 17, 2010

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Maintenance Center Albany hosted its first Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities Technology Showcase here, June 8-9.

Nearly 20 private industry manufacturers demonstrated new and emerging technologies for managers, engineers and artisans during the two-day event.

“Here at Maintenance Center Albany we are always looking at continuous process improvement,” said Col. Terry W. Reid, commander, MCA. “What can help us here to provide our Marines with simply the best equipment available? We think this technology showcase will help us do that. It will help us get those great ideas that are used in the private industry so that we can use them here at Maintenance Center Albany.”

Founded in 1998, CTMA is a collaboration between the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, its member companies and the Department of Defense.

Members of the technology showcase are industry leaders who partner with the government and provide innovative and industry leading technologies that benefit not only workers here at MCA, but throughout the DoD, said Greg Kilchenstein, action officer for the Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Maintenance and Policy Programs.

“We bring the best and brightest of industry to Maintenance Center Albany to show what’s happening in the industrial side of the world from a maintenance perspective, and how those best and brightest technologies and processes can be applied to Maintenance Center Albany business,” Kilchenstein said.

The maintenance center is the fourth maintenance facility in the DoD to host the showcase, and Reid said this firsthand view of the emerging manufacturing technologies is important not only for him but for everyone at MCA to see.

“I get the opportunity to go out to different conferences, and so do some of the senior managers, but it’s very important to bring it (the showcase) here on site that way all your supervisors, all your managers and more importantly your artisans are given the opportunity to talk to our private industry partners and talk about the latest innovations and technical solutions,” he said.

The current focus of CTMA is the use of manufacturing technologies to reduce the costs associated with maintenance and rebuild of weapons systems as an element of the overall DoD maintenance strategy.

“The gist of this program is to not reinvent the wheel on maintenance technologies that we can use in DoD, but to go out and look for the best in class technologies that we can bring into our maintenance activities,” Kilchenstein said. “We are charged by our logistics leadership in DoD to find solutions to bring the cost of sustaining these weapons systems down without compromising their capability, effectiveness or their reliability.”

Since the program’s inception, more than 60 collaborative projects have been formed, totaling nearly $118 million according to CTMA. Approximately 70 percent of this investment is provided by industry participants with the remaining 30 percent of matching funds being contributed by the DoD.

“I call them industry partners because these people truly do partner with us during the development process,” Kilchenstein said. “They are not just trying to sell us something. They are working with us to develop these technologies where we can implement these things here at Maintenance Center Albany.”

Kilchenstein added that from the time that CTMA finds an innovative technology that is applicable for use, it takes between 12 to 24 months to be fielded either to a maintenance facility or to a service member in the field.

“Maintenance Center Albany truly is one of DoD’s premier continuous process improvement activities. We want to continue that that’s why we are here today,” he added. “At the end of the day it’s all about the warfighter.”


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