Future

  • Program Future
  • Program Future The development of a mobile manufacturing capability to produce replacement parts in the field will provide the Army with the ability to reduce spare parts inventory, reduce the cost and size of the logistics tail, and provide for increased operational readiness. It is designed to compliment existing supply systems and to integrate with the advanced logistic systems being developed for the Army of the future. The ultimate goal is to increase combat commander’s effectiveness.

    Process Manufacturing Improvements. The Mobile Parts Hospital (MPH) program is taking manufacturing into a new direction. Today, even the strongest rapid prototyping and manufacturing processes are inadequate to fulfill the requirements of the MPH program, but several processes, like selective laser sintering and directed metal deposition, have made great strides in recent years. As rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing technologies continue to mature, the MPH program will monitor new and improved processes, incorporating promising technologies that offer a wider range of materials, faster build rates, and greater accuracy.

    User Evaluations The prototype Mobile Parts Hospital (MPH) Rapid Manufacturing Systems (RMS) will be sent to a U.S. Army facility for testing by operational personnel. The testing by U.S. Army personnel will validate the design of the MPH RMS modules to permit operation by operators with limited training in manufacturing systems. Incorporating the MPH RMS into the Army maintenance cycle is expected to “tax” the system enough to determine the usefulness of the technology in the field

    Populating Technical Database The Mobile Parts Hospital Technical Database will be expanded during each project phase. At planned funding levels the database can be expanded at a rate of approximately 100 parts per year. Additional expansion can be anticipated as additional Agile Manufacturing Cells become operational.

    Forward Scanning. The Army has requested that a forward scanning module be designed and tested. This forward module will consist of a scanning capability mounted on a HMMWV that can go further forward on the battlefield and send part identification and requirements data back to the MPH for rapid manufacture of the part. This will require the addition of data transfer capability at the required bandwidth on the HMMWV.

    Second Prototype. The initial 53’ Mobile Parts Hospital (MPH) demonstration trailer and ISO container MPH Rapid Manufacturing System (RMS) Module prototypes provided valuable lessons learned which will be incorporated in the second MPH RMS prototype. Increased emphasis will be given to hardening RMS machinery for the rigors of air and rough terrain travel as well as incorporating the soldiers input to ensure the fielded system is practical for the Army mission.