America Makes/AFRL-Phase 1 MAMLS (Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-Cost Sustainment)

America Makes Impact

Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low-cost Sustainment (MAMLS) Program –

A partnership between the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and America Makes.

MAMLS Video Description:
Legacy aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force (AF) require parts that may be out-of-production due to manufacturing obsolescence, excessive costs to create, low-quantity requirements, poor documentation, or other availability-related challenges. Additive Manufacturing (AM) along with other advanced manufacturing technologies such as reverse engineering; digital modeling, analysis and simulation; advanced Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) technologies; etc. offers the potential to increase part availability at the supply chain level, depot level, flight line, and in theater, alleviating high part and tooling costs and long lead-time issues to better enable mission readiness.

The MAMLS three-phase program was created to incorporate these advanced manufacturing technologies to provide rapid, low-cost sustainment opportunities. The MAMLS program objective is to enhance and improve AF sustainment operations through the development, demonstration, and transition of these advanced manufacturing technologies by:

  • Developing and demonstrating advanced manufacturing technologies related to AM that improve rapid part replacement and maintenance for legacy aircraft
  • Enabling on-demand replacement of critically damaged or obsolete components that would not meet economic requirements of conventional supply chains
  • Developing and demonstrating rapid fabrication of shop tools such as assembly aids, jigs, and fixtures for sustainment center utilization
  • Identifying technology gaps and workforce issues that need to be solved prior to effective implementation.

The technical team on the MAMLS program encompasses advanced manufacturing leaders from industry, academia, and government agencies working together to provide solutions to the DoD world. A wide range of technologies to enable improved sustainment was investigated, including:

  • Reverse Engineering & Model Generation
  • Assembly & Manufacturing Aids
  • Metal Forming & Composite Autoclave Tooling
  • Directed Energy Deposition for Metal Part Repair
  • Metal Casting Tooling • Direct Digital Part Production.

Each of these technical approaches has been demonstrated to provide value in sustainment of aircraft and peripheral equipment. The MAMLS team worked closely with supply chain partners, the depot and unit level maintenance/sustainment crews to transition these technologies into solutions for improving operational readiness for legacy equipment including providing focused workforce training.

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