At Mobile Parts Hospital, we believe in “Businesses Helping Businesses”. Part of our philosophy is that a rising tide lifts all boats. Whenever possible we try to utilize specialists in their area of expertise for things like machinery training, trainer development, asset acquisition, research and development, and other areas as necessary.

Most Recent Partnerships:

Recently, Mobile Parts Hospital has partnered with various companies that specialize in heavy-machinery, including backhoes, aerial lifts, and forklifts. On big projects out in the field where rapid construction is necessary, rapid OSHA compliant training is not optional, it’s a necessity. Safety is of the utmost importance and so we choose only the best companies that offer forklift train the trainer programs. These companies employ certified trainers and are nationally known for superior forklift trainer certifications. For backhoe operations, we have partnered with teams that meet our 5-point field qualification standards and have been in business for at least 5 years.

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Communications and Control (C2)

The C2 is the link for direct communication between the mobile RMS and the U.S. based Agile Manufacturing Cells (AMC). A key function is the management and transmission of the engineering and manufacturing data required to produce replacement parts.

The program’s engineering and manufacturing database serves as the manufacturing foundation for the MPH program. The part database is managed by a Product Data Management software (WindChillTM) that is incorporated into the communications center. This software is designed to operate in a distributed engineering environment and consequently facilitates the control and transfer of information between multiple units. Producing parts on demand with a CAD/CAM data library provides a distinct advantage in timeliness. If the data is not available in the database either outside sources must be queried or reverse engineering is required. The MPH program continually identifies and adds part data to this database by gathering or creating the manufacturing data. The Standard for Exchange of Product (STEP) Data format is the current, universally adaptable CAD language and manufacturing data format of choice and is being utilized by the MPH program.

The C2 utilizes a two-way satellite system to provide the communications link between the AMC, the RMS, and the Army’s established logistics systems. The system provides audio, video and data exchange capabilities. The C2 satellite data transfer system can receive/send both CAD and/or CAM data from the RMS located anywhere in the world. The transferred data can be directly fed into the either of the manufacturing machines or into the Pro-Engineering workstation for further model definition and storage.

TACOM-TARDEC (Warren, Michigan) is a likely location for the Communications and Control Center, which will network the RMS fleet and Agile Manufacturing Cells. Tentative plans are to merge the MPH C2 activities with those of the Emergency Operations Center already located at TACOM.

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MPH Overview

Program Overview

The U.S. Army, through its Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), is engaged in an R&D program to develop a capability to produce replacement parts for equipment in the field at or near the point-of-need. This capability will enable the rapid repair and return to service of disabled equipment and address the military priority of weapon system readiness.

The program is titled Mobile Parts Hospital (MPH) to bring home the analogy between MPH and the Mobile Army Surgical Units (M.A.S.H.). The M.A.S.H. units were very effective at returning soldiers to health in the field while the MPH units are designed to do the same for Army equipment. The overall approach is to develop a mini-factory that can be deployed to the field to manufacture replacement parts so that military equipment can be quickly returned to fully operational combat ready status.

As the program has progressed, three major developments have evolved: 1) the Mobile Modules referred to as the Rapid Manufacturing System (RMS), 2) an Agile Manufacturing Cell linked to the RMS via the 3) Control and Communications Center.

The RMS is a mobile compact communications and Manufacturing System. It is designed for deployment to remote locations for emergency fabrication of repair parts for non-operational equipment. A combination of advanced technologies enables the RMS to quickly and efficiently produce repair parts on demand. The RMS retrieves manufacturing data via satellite from an extensive engineering and manufacturing database. In the event data for a part is not available or a communications failure, the RMS is capable of gathering its own geometric data through the use of a 3-D laser scanning system.

The scanned data can be sent to an engineering CAD package, and then on to the CNC machining center, or to the powdered material deposition machines for production.

In the event the multiple quantities of a repair are required the RMS is linked to ‘Agile Manufacturing Cells’ located strategically across the United States. These ‘Agile Manufacturing Cells’ are small factories with the ability to engineer and produce production quantities of parts. The capabilities range from machining and welding to heat treating and plating. The cells are able to create parts on demand, devoted to the needs of the US Army.

This rapid manufacturing technology will be spread across many areas of the military, and eventually into other fields such as medical, for the production of prosthetics, as an example.

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