The Challenge

Based on the relationship Pacific Propeller International (PPI) had built over the years in overhauling their C-130 propellers, TNI-AU reached out to PPI Technical Services (PPITS) to evaluate their current propeller capabilities and determine what was needed to support an organic in-house depot level maintenance facility. From that, TNI-AU directed a sole source effort to accomplish work at Depot 10, Bandung Air Force Base (AFB) Indonesia (ID). In the initial evaluation, it had been determined that Depot 1010’s facilities, equipment, materials, personnel skills and procedures were limited.  This condition impacted TNI-AU ability to effectively maintain their C-130 propellers and gain the full operational cycles typically achieved in facilities with sound on-going field and depot level maintenance practices and resources. 

The Goal

This project aimed to establish a turnkey solution for TNI-AU to extend the operational service life of their C-130 propellers. Although TNI-AU had limited in-house capabilities to support C-130 propeller maintenance, the facilities, equipment, materials (to include bench stock), personnel skills and procedures were severely lacking. The goal for PPITS was to develop a comprehensive Capability Enhancement Plan (CEP) and provide TNI-AU the necessary resources, maintenance fundamentals and operational foundation to gain self-sufficiency by project completion over the course of a 36-month Period of Performance (PoP). 

The Strategy

The A-Team

The focus of this effort stemmed in PPITS ability to enhance TNI-AU’s equipment, materials and personnel maintenance capabilities. To do that, we had to have the right people in-country and at home to manage the project. PPITS utilized the vast skills and knowledge of their in-country SME, a state-side project management & training team to help support the program requirements. 

Equipment Logistics and Training

Within 30-days of contract award, PPITS would designate areas of Depot 10 facility in advance for equipment placement to ensure it functioned properly and within performance specifications after installation. Within 1- year of the contract award, PPITS had planned on having all tooling and equipment required to operate an effective C-130 PRS provided. In addition, test equipment and specialized tooling used to accomplish propeller maintenance activities required hands-on competency development prior to operation and use. Therefore, PPITS would not only supply said equipment but provide operation and competency development training to all TNI-AU C-130 PRS assigned personnel through the execution of the project. This training progress would be reported monthly in a status report.

Shop Layout and Production Flow

Shop set-up was also a key part of the strategy in the successful implementation of the PRS program. PPITS made it a priority to integrate industry best practices which focused on ergonomic layout supporting a safe, efficient production flow that maximized throughput, emphasized quality and provided maintenance supervision with a quick assessment of schedule and status. 

Work Center Management

Within 90-days of contract award, PPITS planned on implementing a system within the PRS to control the flow of each job and ensure each task card is completed in the proper sequence. Since operating a PRS is a dynamic process, daily planning, and structured scheduling to minimize disruptions in production flow are essential. Within 90-calendar days following contract award, PPITS planned on establishing and developing competencies related to C-130 PRS supervision on the use of a component repair scheduling system which efficiently managed multiple repair operations and components traveling through the production flow. Both the work order/task card generation and scheduling progress would be provided in a monthly status report as well. 

Quality Assurance

Effective QA is the backbone for safety and production standards to ensure the flight-critical propeller system operates to specifications and with the intended degree of reliability. Within 1-year from contract award, PPITS planned on developing and implementing into the TNI-AU C-130 PRS a QA process in full compliance with established procedures and policies. PPITS was to establish clear procedures and documentation steps (a QAP) that meet or exceed the manual requirements inspection criteria. PPITS would also ensure that QA inspection procedures and forms used required inspection sign-offs. Procedures, forms and other documents which form a part of the QA system shall be referenced within each relevant section of the QAP. PPITS would also structure a CAPA as part of the QAP for a method of determining the root cause of deficiencies, determining, and implementing suitable corrective actions and verifying actions taken as effective.

During the term of the PRS project, PPITS would conduct quarterly audits of the TNI-AU compliance to quality procedures and provide recommendations for improvements. Within 14-calendar days upon completion, PPITS would submit an audit report to all stakeholders for review. 

Competency Development

PPITS would develop PRS personnel capabilities and competence from the induction process through the final stages of entering work complete in the logbook when the propeller is returned to service. PPITS would create a competency plan to develop PRS personnel capabilities in the shortest reasonable timeframe while ensuring quality standards were achieved. 

The initial emphasis would be on standardization and use of approved propeller repair procedures and practices to establish a common methodology and ensure incorrect habits are eliminated in the PRS work processes.

Competency development would be an on-going event throughout the lift of the project and would be reported on monthly in a status report. 

Technical Support

It would be anticipated that throughout the completion of the project C-130 PRS personnel may have technical questions requiring guidance. PPITS was prepared to provide on-site technical support for the duration of the program and offered 16-hour technical support Monday through Friday. PPITS would keep a record and journal of these questions and summarize each month as part of the monthly status report. Technical support is defined as noted below:

  1. Evaluate the current competency level of the workforce. 
  2. Provide a roadmap to increase capability and competency. 
  3. Provide established maintenance procedures for repair of propellers and components. 
  4. Provide guidance for sourcing and procuring parts to support daily shop requirements. 
  5. Provide hands-on experience to technicians throughout all cycles of the propeller repair. 
  6. With focus on shelf-life, quantity, and specific storage requirements; evaluate, source and supply chemicals and consumables required to perform repairs. 
  7. Provide TNI-AU leadership with a scheduling system to maintain propellers in serviceable condition to contribute to fleet operational readiness. 
  8. Evaluate the QA system, recommend changes to comply with the repair manual and monitor the quality system for effectiveness. 
  9. Provide assistance and guidance to the propeller maintenance technicians in the specific use of specialized tooling and equipment used to accomplish propeller repairs. 
  10. Help create a propeller maintenance forecasting system for scheduled propeller/components repairs and overhauls. 
  11. Work to increase the confidence level of the technicians to eventually work independently. 

The Results

At the end of PPITS’s three (3) year commitment, TNI-AU Depot 10, had an accomplished, self-sustaining, solution to extending the operational service life of TNI-AU’s C-130 propellers. 

Under the subject of Quality the USG stated that PPITS had “met the contractual requirements and exceeded many to the benefit of (Indonesian) Government”. PPITS continues to provide logistical support to the PRS and TNI-AU through the in-county PM throughout the lift of the program while providing successful classroom and on-the-job training (OJT) for several skills per the Integrated Master Plan & Schedule as set forth at the beginning of the project. To acknowledge and certify the training, OJT technician letters were created then signed by the PRS officer, the instructor and each technician. The certificates signed by TNI-AU serve as proof that training was received and understood.  As a result of the quality training, technicians were able to successfully complete propeller valve housing testing, spinner work, and propeller assemblies which decreased the need to out-source repairs and increased serviceable assets.  The effort is a significant benefit to the customer as that increases the ability to perform more maintenance organically since overall self-sufficiency is a major goal of the TNI-AU.

Annual quality assurance audits were also conducted and those results were forwarded to the USG and TNI-AU personnel to keep all lines of communication open. PPITS discussed the findings and non-conformances of the audit with TNI-AU along with the corrective actions required to improve the shop quality.

In the evaluation area of Scheduling, PPITS met all requirements as set forth in the IMS at the beginning of the project. Refresher training elements were requested by TNI-AU, approved by USG and completed by PPI within budget.  All transition milestones have occurred on schedule and TNI-AU has taken ownership of these processes. PPI continued to monitor to ensure TNI-AU’s success. Monthly Status and Funds Reports and other CDRLs were delivered satisfactory and on schedule. 

PPITS also met the contractual requirements and exceeded some to the benefit of the Government when it came to Cost Control for the entirety of the project as well. PPITS continued to closely monitor incidental procurements and travel expenses while keeping costs under budget.  These reimbursable costs, being rated, are 25% of the contract effort; the other 75% is Firm Fixed Price.  As part of PPITS’s cost control initiative, PPITS researched and sourced local vendors or manufacturers whenever possible to help decrease costs. 

Management was another area PPITS exceeded expectations. By providing skilled and experienced personnel to manage the program, PPITS continued to foster good relationships with TNI-AU by attending meetings/discussions with several TNI-AU commanders concerning the program status. PPITS continued to seek ‘best business practices’ in providing logistical support and acquiring equipment for the Propeller Repair Shop upgrade. The in-country PM provided professional support to the program and to Depot 10 PRS and communicated effectively through the use of weekly project status reports. The weekly reports provided an informative snapshot of the status of the program, the work being accomplished as well as issues needing resolution and which were beyond the CDRL requirements. Also, towards the end of the contract period, the PRS shop experienced complete power failure when a transformer failed.  PPITS quickly initiated dialog with TNI-AU officials and assessed the impact to the program/contract and was proactive by presenting the USG PM a plan for approval which eliminated a potential program/contract delay.

PPITS maintained a consistent team of qualified personnel throughout the PRS program.  The ability to deal with the same points of contact month after month allowed for stronger communication and a better relationship between all parties involved. The ability of PPITS to keep the team together speaks highly of their desire to provide the best customer service possible in relation to this effort.  PPITS provided regular program status updates which were comprehensive in nature.  These updates provide not only program successes but also challenges and issues that are being faced. This open communication facilitated the collaboration of all interested parties while promoting problem-solving. This communication occurred not only at the working level but extended to the highest levels of PPITS management.  PPITS management regularly participated in meetings and written communication as evidence of PPITS’s commitment to the success of this program.

**See CPAR Scores Below***

Evaluation Areas Past Rating Rating
Quality: Exceptional Exceptional
Schedule: Very Good Satisfactory
Cost Control: Exceptional Very Good
Management: Exceptional Exceptional