MRO centre excels in project for high-profile defence customer

Author : Paul Deehan, CEO for AWS Electronics Group

24 November 2017

Supporting customers throughout the product lifecycle is vital. This means EMS providers not only have to support customers through design and prototyping, manufacture, test and installation, but also through specialist after-sales services, such as MRO.

This could include inspection, rebuilding and alteration, alongside the supply of spare parts, accessories, raw materials, adhesives, sealants, coatings and consumables. This article from AWS Electronics Group reviews how his company recently successfully delivered this service for a high-profile defence customer.

Specialist electronics manufacturing service (EMS) provider, AWS recently carried out extensive rework of a complex radio unit for a high profile global defence client, at its dedicated Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Centre (MROC) in the UK. The multifaceted project was handled by AWS’s specialist MRO team.

AWS have a track record of undertaking customers’ maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities, specialising in aspects of managing repairs, reverse engineering and obsolescence management – doing so across a wide range of technologies and sectors. It allows customers to free up their valuable engineering resource, which must otherwise be used on often challenging and lengthy legacy repairs.

Beginning with a survey of all units to identify the parts in need of replacement, the team compiled material and labour cost models in order to supply a comprehensive and competitive quotation for customer approval.

The replacement parts were ordered and the custom tooling refurbishment process commissioned. Items were then stripped down for repair, and the sub-assemblies were removed to ensure all stripped-out material was disposed of using controlled waste processes.

As purchased parts were delivered, the sub-assemblies were rebuilt and tested, followed by a rebuild of the full assemblies. The MRO team were then able to carry out functional test to the customer specification.

Finally, they created custom-made packaging and labelling, and, following a detailed inspection and package of the full assemblies, the radio units were delivered back to the customer – within the required project timelines.

Communication with the customer throughout the project was key to understanding and exceeding the expected standard of refurbishment, scheduled deliveries and costs.

As a result, a strong relationship was built with the customer, and the project continued over a nine-month period – initially starting with a batch of 50 units, but finishing with 1,500 complete units. For the customer, this resulted in a cost saving of almost 80% versus the cost of purchasing new units – and a labour saving of almost 5,000 hours.

Paul Deehan, CEO, comments: “We have worked in the area of MRO for ten years. This project, long with many others over the period, featured refurbishing and upgrading end-user equipment that was not initially manufactured by AWS. As a company, we support through-life MRO for a high number of our current customers, but we also maintain a dedicated area supporting MRO for any customers where we did not build the original equipment. This project had critical timelines and I was delighted to see that our dedicated team were able to complete the full project ahead of time.”

Working with both current and legacy equipment, AWS’s MRO capabilities span a range of technologies and sectors, specialising in repair services, refurbishment to ‘as-new’ standards, and obsolescence management, alongside reverse engineering and more.

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