PMEL airmen increase efficiency

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Precision Measurement Equipment and Laboratory airmen devised a plan to decrease the work load of the Test Measurement Diagnostic Equipment Flight and various shops on base.

Staff Sgt. David Hallinan, 366th Component Maintenance Squadron PMEL quality assurance technician, first thought of the idea after noticing the amount of time spent working on equipment that was going unused for long periods of time.

"We have a system that can say that this piece of equipment is good for three months," said Staff Sgt. Jaime Gardiner, 366th CMS PMEL production control NCO in-charge. "Well, if you don't have to use it for three months we would still have to do the work again for no reason."

The airmen at PMEL are responsible for calibrating equipment which makes a quantitative measurement. This ranges from torque wrenches to scales used for airmen's fitness assessment and complex test sets used to test aircraft weapon systems.

PMEL airmen can now extend the calibration intervals of equipment that isn't being used, explained Hallinan. This new process is meant to reduce man hours.

Unused equipment can be placed on Contingency Equipment Exception, or CEE, status if it's not used within its normal calibration interval. CEE status allows PMEL to extend the calibration interval, saving time and resources. 

Once a piece of equipment is needed again it can be removed from CEE status, and will return to its regular calibration interval.

"If you have a work center with five people and seven multi-meters that belong to that unit, they're not going to use all seven at the same time," said Hallinan. "It's unnecessary for us to calibrate that item when they're not even going to use it."

In a time of low manning, any little bit helps, explained Hallinan. That's what makes
this so important.

"The main question would be, 'when's the last time we used this?'" said Gardiner. "If the answer is 'I don't know,' then look into the options of contacting us to see what we can do about it."