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  • Writer's pictureParts Life, Inc

Remade: Remanufacturing, Reverse Engineering, and the 5R Solution

At Parts Life and DeVal Lifecycle Support, "Remade" is more than just a term; it is a process that breathes new life into support equipment. Through remanufacturing, outdated and worn-out components are transformed, combining certified reused, repaired, and new parts to return support equipment to zero-time. Remanufacturing is not only cost-effective, but also saves resources as the lifecycle of the equipment is extended through value added engineering upgrades.


Obsolescence and DMSMS, short for Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages, are constant challenges. DMSMS refers to the problems that arise when parts or materials needed for maintaining, repairing, or producing a product become unavailable or are in short supply due to manufacturers no longer supporting replacement part production. As critically needed equipment is used in increasingly destructive environments, for periods exceeding their designed life, proactive and reactive DMSMS management is a reality that many program managers grapple with.


Remade and Remanufacturing emerges as an effective strategy to proactively tackle DMSMS within the defense industrial base. It involves bringing an unavailable part back into the supply chain using existing stock, repaired parts, and new components. The result? The life of defense equipment is extended, keeping them operationally ready even if the original components are no longer made.


Sometimes, there's no way around a missing part or component. The original technical data specifications could be incomplete or unavailable, or the OEM might not exist anymore. That's where our reverse engineering team steps in to critically evaluate the support equipment’s structure, materials, and function, and determine where value added engineering can be applied to extend the products lifecycle. By deconstructing the part and analyzing mission, dimensions and materials, our engineers can recreate the part and often modernize the original design.


These strategies aren't just reactive, they are proactive in planning equipment use and lifecycle. Remanufacturing and reverse engineering are key to helping tackle DMSMS issues, allowing the defense industry to maintain and repair critical equipment. By understanding and planning for the lifecycle of their equipment program managers can be proactive in managing DMSMS. This can help ensure mission readiness and mitigate equipment downtime.


In response to DMSMS, Parts Life, Inc. has developed The 5R Solution - Remanufacturing, Reverse Engineering, Replication, Recertification, and Repair. The 5R solution provides a comprehensive strategy for maintaining defense support equipment, particularly when facing challenges in obsolescence and DMSMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages).

  1. Remanufacturing: This process revitalizes worn-out or obsolete parts to zero-time condition, equivalent to new components, both in terms of performance and life expectancy. Remanufacturing extends the operational life of complex and expensive support equipment, making it a cost-effective and resource-efficient solution.

  2. Reverse Engineering: In instances where technical specifications are inaccessible, or the original manufacturer is defunct, reverse engineering provides the blueprint for part reproduction. By analyzing a part's structure, function, and material, engineers can recreate the needed components, ensuring the continuity of support equipment functions.

  3. Replication: Once component technical data is available the item can be replicated to maintain support equipment operations. This process allows for the duplication of original parts, ensuring a steady supply of critical components.

  4. Recertification: Often expired or surplus may be available. Recertification can validate that these components comply with stringent defense industry standards, ensuring their safe and reliable integration into the existing equipment.

  5. Repair: Targeted repairs on parts extend equipment longevity and maintain system integrity. Regular inspection and repair contribute to readiness, reducing the need for total overhauls.


One of the key areas where this expertise is prominently exhibited is in the remanufacturing, repair, production, upgrading, testing, and delivery of Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE) for the Navy’s fleet of F-18s. The array of AAE serviced by Parts Life Inc. spans adapters, assemblies, bomb racks, and missile launchers.


Under this remanufacturing effort Parts Life returns each launcher to “zero time” condition which includes the full replacement of any high wear parts, repair of structural damage sustained from daily use and handling, touch-up and replacement of all surface treatments and coatings, and recertifying of high-cost parts. The project required reverse engineering and remanufacturing of expensive linear actuators, saving the government significant cost. The forward block and armament contact feet are replicated. Components and wiring harnesses are recertified once tested with the linear actuator.


The result? A completely remade AAE, returned to zero time and to service. The 5R Solution offers an integrated approach to DMSMS and obsolescence, ensuring a proactive and efficient response to maintaining the operational readiness of equipment.

 

Parts Life, Inc. is a certified AS9100D engineering service provider, manufacturer, and alternate source supplier for DMSMS and obsolete replacement components on military systems and subsystems. Our value-added reverse engineering processes address missing or incomplete technical data needed prior to manufacturing. Services, such as R.O.P.E.® (Rapid Obsolescence Planning and Execution) and 5R® (Reverse Engineering, Remanufacturing, Recertify, Repair, Replicate) deliver manufacturable data with source approval to manufacture replacement parts. In our Prototype Integration Facility, parts and components are manufactured and tested for form, fit, and function to ensure each piece meets and surpasses OEM requirements. Our electronic, electric, and electrical manufacturing capabilities include wiring harnesses and electronic test sets.




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