Combined effort achieves timely replacement of crane at AEDC Propulsion Wind Tunnel
By David Wilhite, SABER Program Manager, AEDC/PA
/ Published April 09, 2018
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. --
In a unified effort, AEDC Propulsion Wind Tunnel management, AEDC Test Operation and Sustainment contractor National Aerospace Solutions, the Arnold Air Force Base Contracting Office and the Arnold Civil Engineering Branch's Simplified Acquisition Base Engineering Requirements (SABER) contractor, SDVE, LLC, executed a very timely replacement of a 20-ton 20-202 bridge crane at the Propulsion Wind Tunnel Facility.
“Although this was a very tight installation window, SDVE and their subcontractor, Deshazo Crane Company, LLC, expeditiously executed this project from Feb. 19 to March 1 completing the lead and asbestos abatement, electrical upgrades, new walkway grating, crane and control installation, and load testing and training,” said Ed Mickle, Flight Systems CTF schedule integrator.
The original Sherpard-Niles bridge crane was assembled and installed in the 1951 to 1953 timeframe and had greatly exceeded its life expectancy. The control systems for the original crane were antiquated and part availability was becoming increasingly more difficult as the years passed.
To avoid long downtime periods and impacts to PWT operations anticipated in the near future, this project was a PWT and AEDC top-priority. The load test, conducted on Feb. 23, comprised of loading the 20-ton main hook to 125 percent of the crane and hook's listed capacity. With the weight on the hook, the test crew lifted the load off the ground a specified distance and held it there for 5 minutes to verify the crane components would hold the load without any slippage.
The load was then trolleyed north and south to verify the crane could operate under the required test load. The load test was subsequently repeated for the 5-ton auxiliary hook.
On Feb. 26, a representative with Deshazo led the crane operation and maintenance training, which allowed time for operators and maintenance personnel to get familiar with the new crane and wireless remote system and ask questions to ease any concerns. Approximately 30 personnel, comprised of operating engineers, engineering technicians and maintenance technicians were trained and certified on the operation and the maintenance of the crane.
This safer, more efficient crane will be utilized for maintenance of the large equipment within PWT Motor Drive.
“The project’s completion is a great example of how AEDC professionals execute work on this base day-in and day-out through teamwork, proactive project management and communication,” said Mickle.
This project was executed for AEDC Propulsion Flight Systems Combined Test Force with assistance from Mickle; Jon Paul Wallace, portfolio manager; Barry Banks, construction manager; and Erin Robinson, systems engineer. Scott Key, PWT maintenance planner, led the overall coordination on the crane installation, and Barry McWhorter, rigging crew lead, facilitated the testing of the crane. David Wilhite, SABER program manager, Robert Greene, PZI Contracting C.O.; Patricia Henderson, contract specialist; and members of SDVE, LLC were also instrumental in acceleration of contract schedule to meet the window of opportunity during the busy testing schedule.