By HEATHER R. SMITH, AMRDEC Public AffairsSeptember 24, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Sept. 26, 2013) -- Engineers from the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center are collaborating with engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to share knowledge on similar expertise and practices being carried out by both centers.
The two groups formally came together in September for a Logistics and Production Collaboration Technical Interchange Meeting, organized by NASA and AMRDEC's Engineering Directorate, and held at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
UAH engineering professor Phil Farrington said the purpose of the meeting was to look at opportunities for collaboration between NASA and the AMRDEC and to facilitate communication between people who do similar tasks within each organization.
This was the first of what organizers hope will be a series of technical collaboration forums between the AMRDEC, NASA and other interested groups in the Redstone community.
Topics presented by representatives from both centers included logistics engineering, quality and safety assurance, supply chain management, obsolescence, reliability, and optimization of production lines.
Jeff Shepherd and Ken Delaney coordinated the event on AMRDEC's behalf.
"We face a lot of same issues or problems in the development of our programs," Delaney said, "whether it's for defense or space-based requirements. We thought that we could leverage each other's practices, capabilities and expertise.
"We've sort of always been myopic in how we do business. We just need to see how the rest of the world can handle similar kinds of problems, and we can learn and grow from each other."
For example, Delaney said both agencies use the same supply chain and can share knowledge on processes that work or don't work within that area.
"The supply chain that NASA utilizes for their engines and boosters are the same supply chain that we use for our missile systems," Delaney said. "We think we can leverage each other."
James Lackey, director of the AMRDEC Engineering Directorate, said information sharing and collaboration is important as his directorate works across the lifecycle of Army programs.
"We support multiple customers; our core customer being the Army aviation and missile systems," Lackey said. "But we branch out to others as well, including partnerships with NASA, and this workshop is a great example of us working even closer together to be more solution-oriented and trying to derive lessons learned and best practices and how we can work together."
AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.