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NEWS | Dec. 4, 2020

Aviation Manufacturing Workshop meets intent

By Antwaun J. Parrish U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command hosted the Army Aviation Advanced Manufacturing Workshop, Sparkman Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Nov. 19-20.

“The intent of the workshop was to invite industry to join government aviation stakeholders in a working level meeting to refine the qualification and certification requirements called out in AMCOM Policy 070-062 (Army Aviation Policy for Advanced Manufactured Aircraft Parts, Components and Support Products),” said Katherine Olson, additive manufacturing lead, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center Systems Readiness Directorate.

Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, AMCOM commanding general, provided opening remarks for the workshop. He shared his thoughts on the importance of the workshop and how it benefits aviation readiness.

“Advanced manufacturing techniques are already here and will play an ever more important place in the future,” said Royar. “As a result, it is critical that we have solid and comprehensive policy for airworthiness. I appreciate both industry and the government coming together to further advanced manufacturing.”

According to Olson, Army Directive 2019-29 Enabling Readiness and Modernization through Advanced Manufacturing establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for the employment of advanced manufacturing methods and materials. The policy states materiel developers will incorporate advanced methods and materials into system design, development, production, and sustainment when analysis indicates they offer the best value to the government. It further states life-cycle managers must consider using advanced methods when shortfalls exist in the ability of the supply chain to support mission readiness. AMCOM Policy 070-062 is meant to be in concert with Army Directive 2019-29, its implementation guidance and other released and upcoming advanced manufacturing related policies.

“AMCOM Policy 070-062 was released in May 2020 with the understanding there would be future revisions as needed. During the workshop, government and industry partners worked to further refine the qualification requirements called out in the policy per part category,” said Olson. “The categories of parts are defined in the policy based on increasing levels of information and data required to gain approval for use.”

“It is mutually beneficial to include industry partners in the workshop,” said Olson. “The government benefits by leveraging the success and lessons learned by our industry partners in successfully achieving certification of advanced manufactured aviation parts, components, and support products. Industry benefits by engaging with the government in a forum in which they can question and understand what the government will be looking for when certifying Army aviation parts produced with advanced manufacturing methods and materials.”

The industry partners in attendance were GE, Bell, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, Boeing and Honeywell.

As the moderator for the workshop, Olson stated that her role was to drive the discussion in such a manner that the desired outcomes were achieved in the time allowed.

Olson stated that she thinks the intent for the workshop was met.

“Based on the discussions in the workshop, the post workshop action is to release an AMCOM Policy 070-62 revision early calendar year 2021,” said Olson. “Changes will focus on definitions, a defined governance structure, and more specific qualification requirements for category one parts. Further revisions will be required to document refinement of categories two-six part requirements. It is important for industry and government to continue to collaborate on advanced manufacturing technology development and qualification/certification to better understand where to invest time and resources and to deliver the best product for the warfighter.”