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AMCOM advanced manufacturing workshop focused on policy

HUNTSVILLE — Leaders from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command met with partners from industry and academia last month at the Army Aviation Advanced Manufacturing Workshop on Redstone Arsenal. It was the fourth workshop of the series.

Policy was the main topic with the focus on the upcoming revision of AMCOM parts and components Policy 070-062 (Army Aviation Policy for Advanced Manufactured Aircraft Repairs, Parts, Components and Support Products).

Concerns about traceability of the parts, the cataloging process, and whether control mechanisms are in place to secure the digital 3D files were also among workshop topics.

Andrea Benson, the advanced manufacturing branch chief of the AMCOM Logistic Center Acquisition Logistics Directorate, said while control mechanisms are necessary, there needs to be a balance when it comes to the part being produced.

“We really need to look at our policy when we are putting in our control mechanisms,” she said. “We don’t need control mechanisms on something like a finger guard. It’s a Category 3 item because it flies, but it’s a disposable item, so if it breaks, we get a new one. They can fly the plane without it.

“The soldiers should be able to print those items in the field without burden.”

During the two-day workshop, the group also discussed training and received a demonstration of the Advanced Manufacturing Digital Thread — from the time a unit requests a replacement part, to printing the part for the aircraft.

“These [workshops] help us get input from all parties to ensure we have a better policy in place,” said AMCOM Commander Maj. Gen. Todd Royar. “We want to make sure we provide a path forward for advanced manufacturing for the entire Army, and to be able to share that path with our sister services, as well as our industry partners.”

Royar said he expects to sign revision three of the AMCOM Policy the first week of August.

“[Maj.] Gen. Royar’s big focus right now is the policy and, specifically, he is very interested in traceability,” Benson said. “When a soldier prints a part, how can we trace back to where it was printed in case there is a failure. He is the proponent for airworthiness and his goal is to protect the soldiers.”

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