HomeNewsArticle Display

A $2 solution to a $3,000 problem

Airman 1st Class Tyler Hill removes a circuit card from a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Replacing a single transistor would take maintenance Airmen an hour versus ordering a new circuit card from the manufacturer taking up to two months to return the fire truck to commission. Hill is a 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron fire truck maintenance journeyman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Airman 1st Class Tyler Hill removes a circuit card from a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Replacing a single transistor would take maintenance Airmen an hour versus ordering a new circuit card from the manufacturer taking up to two months to return the fire truck to commission. Hill is a 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron fire truck maintenance journeyman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Staff Sgt. Jesse Thorn  removes a circuit card from its packaging for a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Thorn and Airmen from both the fire truck maintenance shop and the avionics shop worked together to find a solution of great ingenuity which will save the Air Force $3,000 every time the problem arises. Thorn is a 62nd Maintenance Squadron intermediate section craftsman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Staff Sgt. Jesse Thorn removes a circuit card from its packaging for a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Thorn and Airmen from both the fire truck maintenance shop and the avionics shop worked together to find a solution of great ingenuity which will save the Air Force $3,000 every time the problem arises. Thorn is a 62nd Maintenance Squadron intermediate section craftsman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Nick DeLeon, left, and Airman 1st Class Tyler Hill package a circuit card from a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. When fire truck maintainers were faced with replacing the $3,000 circuit card, they dug a little deeper into the issue and discovered a $2 solution. DeLeon is the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron heavy mobile equipment mechanic leader and Hill is a 627th LRS fire truck maintenance journeyman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

Nick DeLeon, left, and Airman 1st Class Tyler Hill package a circuit card from a rescue fire truck Dec. 9, 2014, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. When fire truck maintainers were faced with replacing the $3,000 circuit card, they dug a little deeper into the issue and discovered a $2 solution. DeLeon is the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron heavy mobile equipment mechanic leader and Hill is a 627th LRS fire truck maintenance journeyman. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AFNS) -- A brand new circuit board for a rescue fire truck can cost more than $3,000 to replace, regardless of why it has malfunctioned, but fire truck maintainers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, dug a little deeper into the issue and discovered a $2 solution.

Recently, the shop was faced with replacing one of their own dashboard panels as a truck began displaying a compartment open light in error. Maintainers were able to trace the issue to the power distribution panel in the cab of the truck and discovered a transistor had failed.

"We called the company who manufactures the truck and they gave us a quote of $2,998, plus shipping to replace the entire circuit card," said Nick DeLeon, the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron heavy mobile equipment mechanic leader. "We're not trained in circuit cards but can identify that the problem originated from the card, at which point we would typically just replace it."

DeLeon has worked with McChord's avionics shop in the past and decided to run the circuit card by them in order to gain more in-depth knowledge about the card. Together, they traced the error down to a single failed transistor within the circuit card.

"A quick trip up to a local electronics store and $2 later we had a fixed fire truck," DeLeon said. "This is the second transistor that we've replaced like this and so far we've saved the Air Force more than $6,000. We have never replaced a circuit card because of this issue."

DeLeon's next step is to upload the fix in to the Joint Deficiency Reporting System.

The JDRS provides a common, seamless solution for deficiency reporting and resolution management across the aeronautical enterprise.

DeLeon spoke with a local company that deals with the exact same trucks, except they belong to The Boeing Company and Seattle Tacoma International Airport. They had seen the same problems but, until DeLeon called them, had not discovered a solution that did not involve completely replacing the circuit card.

To help replace the transistor, fire truck maintainers took the circuit card and the new transistor to Staff Sgt. Jesse Thorn, a 62nd Maintenance Squadron intermediate section craftsman, at the avionics shop.

Replacing the part took less than an hour, allowing the fire truck to be back up and running before the end of the day. This is compared to having to replace the card completely, which could leave the truck out of commission for up to two months.

"We work on line replaceable units that come off the C-17 (Globemaster III) aircrafts,” Thorn said. “We can work on electronics and circuit cards, kind of like this one.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @KadenaAirBase: #Airmen from #TeamKadena and Japan Air Self-Defense Force trained together to enhance partnership and better respond to…
RT @DeptofDefense: Defenders, assemble! @usairforce airmen with the 442nd Security Forces Squadron hone their lethality and team-building…
RT @AFResearchLab: Let's celebrate the beginning of Fall and the changing of leaves with this optical microscopy of deformation twins in hi…
RT @624RSG: Are you facing a challenge or dealing with a struggle? People find hope in many different ways, whether it's through family, fa…
RT @AF_Academy: You can’t beat this view. You just can’t. 📸@USAFWingsofBlue https://t.co/JLZcPVp7uP
RT @AirMobilityCmd: #Mobilty #Airmen will move heaven and earth to keep America’s promises to its service members. Check out this story of…
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…