Sam Thevanayagam, CEO
Obsolescence management is one of the majorconcerns of the United States Defense Sector. Defense systems like military aircraft and missile defense systems, whilebuilt to last, do have components with a limited operational life, and are often used past their intended lifespan. Thus, the correct management of aging equipment costs a lot in both money and resources. For example, the U.S. Navy estimates that obsolescence-related complicationscost them up to $750 million. Whilemethods such as additive manufacturing(AM) provide some relief to the cost involved, they are still limited to just a few systems due to the types of materials that can be used to certify the parts. This is where Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages(DMSMS) company, Parts Life, Inc.lend their hand. Parts Life, Inc. focuses on early identification and cost-effective resolution of various obsolescence-related issues faced by the defense sector.
Parts Life was established to provide obsolescence and supply chain solutions dedicated to extending the life of their customer's high value, mission-critical assets. As a DMSMS solution provider, the company's mission is to increase the life of military assets by providing high-quality parts that meet and exceed their Original Equipment Manufacturers(OEM) specifications. The company's target market is the U.S. military and its global allies. The company has solutions that suit the needs of land-, air-, and water-based defense assets. The solutions are flexible and completely customizable so that many of Parts Life’s processes and solutions can be applied to different types of assets. "We are like a jet ski. We are agile, fast, flexible, and have fun doing it," says Sam Thevanayagam, CEO of Parts Life.
The two primary solutions that Parts Life implements to extend an asset's life are R.O.P.E.Process and The5R Solution. R.O.P.E. stands for Rapid Obsolescence Planning and Execution. This process gets the required product type to improve low-rate production and turn itup to high-end production.
In R.O.P.E., the customer first provides Parts Life with a Technical Data Package (TDP), a technical description of the required asset part. If incomplete or no TDP is available, the technical team then reverse engineers the the part to identify the materials, measure dimensions, and create a Bill of Material (BOM) to form a Technical Authority Review for the customer to sign-off. After approval, the manufacturing prototype process begins at Parts Life’s state-of-the-art prototype integration facility, and the result undergoes thorough testing and certification until it meets the required specifications. The part is then sent to the customer for their approval. The product goes into mass production once they have the final confirmation from the customer.
The 5Rs in the 5R Solution stand for Reverse Engineer, Remanufacture, Repair, Recertify and Replicate. In this customizable process, the Parts Life, Inc. team works with their clients to determine what “R” or combination of “R’s” are needed for the specific project. For Reverse Engineer, the engineering team reverse engineers and generates a TDP of the specifications provided by the client. For remanufacturing, the team uses existing parts or data to remanufacture the core components, replace worn items, etc. When repairing parts, the repaired parts are inspected and tested to make sure they meet the OEM specifications. Recertificationcan be done on new or existing parts that may have been counterfeit or subjected to non-destructive testing. In replication, the manufacturing team will mass produce the part.
These flexible solutions allow Parts Life, Inc. to serve clients according to their unique needs and extend an asset's life by many years, improving them and allowing these assets to become mission ready in the process. In 2017 Parts Life, Inc. acquired DeVal Lifecycle Support (formerly DeVal Corporation), a manufacturer of legacy and armament support devices for over 60 years, to add extensive manufacturing skills to its arsenal. In addition, Parts Life has recently acquired LC Engineers, Inc. anelectromechanical company about which Thevanayagam says, “Defense equipmentthese days are not just mechanical or electronic, they are electro-mechanical. This is why our new strategic acquisition will prove to be very crucial for its customers.”
He adds, “We will continue to invest in areas where we see that our customers need us to invest, so that we can continue to support our customers, the warfighter, and the U.S. Taxpayer." says Sam. “We continue to develop many solutions to meet our customer’s needs, such as the EAGL Laboratory, the world’s first mobile complete on-site engineering facility for parts which much remain secured, are otherwise unavailable, or difficult to transport. Moving forward, the company has a five-year plan which has been workingon since the start of 2020, which they hope will help extend the legacy of valuable defense assets for the future.”