NEWS | Sept. 16, 2020

Cable fabrication program 'good fit' for Tobyhanna

By Ms. Jacqueline Boucher

Team Tobyhanna helps protect lives and minimize injuries from threats on the battlefield by fabricating components the Army needs to complete an electrical upgrade of its Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) Urban Survivability Kits (HUSK).

Personnel who work at Northeast Pennsylvania’s largest industrial installation completed 12 upgrade kits, each consisting of more than 35 cables, a main dash harness and an assortment of items. The HET is a military logistics vehicle designed to transport, deploy and evacuate heavy military vehicles.

“We started developing the kit last year for Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center in Illinois,” said Eugene Golembeski, Shelter Harness Branch chief, Systems Integration and Support Directorate. “Team members are doing a fantastic job meeting customer requirements.”

Experts from the Shelter Harness and Tactical Systems Cable branches have applied years of experience to streamline processes and standardize procedures to ensure a higher rate of success, according to Electronics Engineer Jason Menago, Projects Engineering Branch, Production Engineering Directorate. As lead electrical engineer for the project he provides technical assistance to ensure the cables are manufactured correctly and integrate into the system successfully.

“Tobyhanna always tweaks processes to cut costs and increase efficiency. The team came together and worked through all the issues to meet and exceed delivery schedules.” he said. “The program is a good fit for Tobyhanna and we are more than happy to team up with Rock Island Arsenal’s integration effort to ensure the project’s success.” Menago mentioned the future looks bright with workload projected for the next four to five years, producing hundreds of kits.

Electronics Mechanic William Laury and Electronics Technician Carol Rewick love the challenge of figuring how to provide the customer with a quality product within cost and on deadline. It takes the duo days to build the main dash harnesses. Both are assigned to the Tactical Systems Cable Branch.

“I enjoy harness work,” Rewick said. “It’s challenging and satisfying knowing that I can use my skills and abilities to help the customer and ultimately the warfighter.” Rewick has been working with cables for nearly 30 years.

Laury and Rewick were able to make things easier without cutting corners. Changes to the original documentation included reducing the amount of materials needed and eliminating redundancies.

“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the customer,” Laury said. “For instance, we reviewed the schematic at the beginning of the project and realized the instructions called for 26 inches of wire [per harness] for a splice that measured less than three inches. We also eliminated three splices that were redundant,” he said.

Personnel in the Fabrication and Assembly Division track components in the upgrade project for assembling the kits. The team does everything by the book to verify available items, quantity and national stock numbers among other things. Color coding items on the checklist help eliminate redundancies in the process.

Sheet Metal Mechanic Erin Gallagher leads the team making sure everything is in its place prior to packing. Part of her responsibilities include entering information into a database so everyone knows the status of the job.

“Most people don’t realize what goes into the kitting process,” Gallagher said. “The employees in the shop are a dedicated group of people that I can rely on to do the job.”

Employees supporting the electrical upgrade have developed a rhythm to getting the product out the door, according to Jacob Wren, System Assembly Branch chief.

“We have a very good partnership with the customer,” he said. “We’re looking forward to supporting future workload.”