SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
Airmen from the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion flight have redesigned their space to implement lean production principles in their operations.
Lean production is an approach to operations that focuses on cutting waste while ensuring quality. The 20th CMS engines back shop team conducted an analysis of their operations and have begun their own lean production.
“We’ve created a more streamlined process for our shop,” said Tech. Sgt. Daniel Gallentine, 20th CMS jet engine intermediate maintenance section chief. “Our process is now focused in one centralized area and we have created a new bay.”
The shop designated an area of their 45,000-square foot facility for conditional maintenance. Conditional maintenance is classified as a maintenance operation that requires less time in the back shop.
A gearbox change is an example of a conditional maintenance task. 20th CMS Airmen can complete that operation in two days. A full 6,000 flight-hour inspection can require weeks of analysis to ensure safety.
Isolating conditional projects from more in-depth operations at designated working docks make more available space for both types of maintenance.
“We use this new area for all receiving inspections, conditional maintenance and our final inspections,” said Tech. Sgt. David Mills, 20th CMS jet engine intermediate maintenance section chief. “This area is designed to be away from our working dock areas.”
Additionally, the team standardized all working dock layouts to have tools, parts and equipment in the same places across their facility.
“We have seen other benefits from leaning out our process,” said Master Sgt. Jeremiah Roper, 20th CMS propulsion flight chief. “Mirrored working docks and the conditional maintenance area has reduced foot traffic in our facility and helps Airmen find the right tools faster.”
Finding ways to optimize processes to decrease maintenance time while improving safety has been an enduring objective for the aerospace propulsion flight.
Creating a more efficient engine maintenance process means that 20th Fighter Wing Vipers get fully mission capable engines faster and continue to bring combat F-16 SEAD airpower anywhere in the world.