Project: Boresight Reference Unit (BRU)

Objectives:

Adapt the F-18 Hornet BRU design for the F-15SA Strike Eagle

Challenges:

  • A significant gap between the existing documentation and the sub-supplier’s production practices.

  • Part obsolescence became a critical issue for the qualified reticle LED

Successful Outcomes:

  • Worked closely with the suppliers optics engineer and production group to thoroughly document the workflow and update the engineering design drawings.

  • The project passed critical design review by Boeing engineering and quality group because of the good engineering documentation and complete, accurate data items.

  • Worked with Boeing and supplier’s engineering groups to identify new LED’s for F-18 and F-15 BRU applications.

  • Decreased the test time in the production area by introducing battery powered test boxes.

Lessons Learned:

  • An existing product may be full of unknown risks and challenges when leverage for a new product. Review your basic assumptions on the product data integrity before committing to a plan of action.

  • Many front line production workers will not take the initiative or are not given permission to ask for redress of problems in the documentation. They may do their best to build the product with what they have.

  • It is important for the project lead to take the initiative to ask questions and pursue truth for an acceptable outcome


Project: C-130J Control Wheel Block 7.0 Upgrade

Objectives: Reduce repair time and cost for the C-130J Block 7.0 control wheel

Challenges:

  • Reduce time to replace the control wheel. Prior Block 7.0 pilot control wheels required 16 hours to replace due to design of wiring and control wheel column.

  • Displace the current control wheel and column supplier
  • Displace a competitor’s switches in the design

Successful Outcomes:

  • Reduced control wheel replacement time from 16 hours to 10 minutes with innovative design

  • Decreased mass and increased reliability of high stress control wheel casting area using polygon hub design

  • Used milling operation in lieu of a broaching operation and tool by change to polygon hub interfaces reducing cost and lead-time

  • Designed and qualified new switches for control wheel, eliminating one competitor’s part number from the design

  • Oversaw successful vibration, shock, environmental qualification tests of new product

  • Found supplier using 3D printed cores for rapid and low volume investment castings. This technique became a norm in the company for future projects.

Lessons Learned:

  • Prototyping eliminated several flaws present in the concept design before committing to the first casting

  • Many good engineering concepts like polygon hubs are overlooked as many designers and system engineers focus on the familiar. A regular review of different design approaches in important. Market studies can help in realizing new, cost effective design elements.

  • I became more proficient at surface modeling in Solidworks