By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)August 23, 2018
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- For a vehicle to operate properly, its components have to work well.
The men and women of the Hydraulic Systems Branch know this and keep their focus on quality products.
"A lot of components come through this building. Everything hydraulic is done in this shop," said Leslie Turner-Johnson, a pneudraulic systems mechanic for the branch.
From the pumps which move fluids through a vehicle's systems to the hydraulics which assist with opening and closing hatches, the shop has a hand in it and is consistently working to make each product the best it can be.
Turner-Johnson sees that commitment to readiness as a responsibility to those who serve. Her husband was in the Army for 20 years and she tried to go into the military herself, but couldn't. She serves and gives back through the care she gives to components every day.
Jerry Fry also thinks about the Soldiers with each hydraulic part which comes to his work station.
Aside from nine months in another shop, Fry has been in the HSB throughout his 15 years on the installation. As he looks to retire later this year, he is passing along his knowledge to others with an emphasis on doing it right the first time, every time.
"The most important thing is to do your job correctly. Make sure you put out a product you are proud to send overseas for our men to fight with," said Fry.
One of the ways the HSB has emphasized its focus on quality is with the Vickers pump for the M1 Abrams tank.
"Human error is very easy. If you don't hold the parts just right for your measurements, it could throw assembly of the whole pump off," said pneudraulic systems mechanic Billy Bryant.
Bryant grew up on a farm and assisted in repairing the farm equipment, including their hydraulic components.
He regularly assembles the Vickers pump and has watched the shop increase first pass yield from 68 percent to 94 percent on that component this year.
Brandon Maxwell, the shop's supervisor, said a product process verification earlier this year helped the shop make changes to the assembly process.
He learned through an outside source that new pumps typically have a first pass yield in the mid-90s.
"We are matching industry standards for new products with our rebuild used parts," said Bryant. "That's impressive."
Bryant began his career at Anniston Army Depot in 2017 and he distinctly remembers his early frustrations with not being able to get the pumps assembled and through inspections in a timely manner.
His coworkers and supervisors taught him to keep his focus on doing it right.
"Once you ensure a quality product, speed will come with time," said Bryant. "One day, that could be my daughter in that Stryker or that tank. I build everything right because that is someone's loved one operating the equipment."