Story by Alexandria Soller on 01/28/2019Surely, you've heard the phrase, "You can't fix what isn't broken." That may be true, but Team Tobyhanna is continuously looking for ways to improve its processes with an overall goal of providing Army readiness.
Joseph M. Samsell, mechanical engineering technician, found a way to take advantage of a machine Tobyhanna Army Depot owns to advance the machining shop's procedures to cut operation maneuvers by 60 percent.
Using the improved strategy for creating stylus mounts for Blue Force Tracking on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) horizontal milling machine is more than four times faster. Blue Force Tracking provides location information of friendly and hostile military forces.
Samsell works in the Systems Integration Directorate's Machining Branch.
In the past, the mounts have been created using a CNC vertical milling machine. Using the horizontal machine has allowed machine operators to create the match-box sized metal mounts with fewer steps.
Samsell's forward thinking spurred from past experiences with machines like this one.
"Buying the vertical mill is like getting your first car. You need it for one thing, and it gets the job done. Once you become a seasoned driver, you can upgrade to a better car--in this case, a more efficient machine," said Samsell.
The horizontal machine allows for greater mobility and the execution of more complicated parts because the object being worked on can be moved on three planes, versus the one plane of a vertical mill.
"We could put an entire standing toolbox in the horizontal machine and reach every side in one process, rather than having to pull it out and manually readjust it for each side," said Samsell.
Horizontal mills tend to prolong tool life because gravity allows chips to fall throughout the process, also resulting in a more refined product surface.
The horizontal machines also reduce the risk of human error by providing precise computer-controlled cuts and tight geometric tolerances, allowing Team Tobyhanna to provide the best value for our warfighter.
These newly realized benefits of the horizontal milling machine have the ability to improve other processes within the Machining Branch, according to Samsell.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.
Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters. About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare, and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.