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NEWS | April 26, 2022

New Tobyhanna team perfects production – before it starts

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

New Tobyhanna team perfects production – before it starts | Article | The United States Army

An innovative prototyping area is helping improve downstream operations at Tobyhanna Army Depot.

The Systems Integration and Support (SIS) Directorate recently created the Preproduction & Development Branch, responsible for onboarding and developing comprehensive processes for new cable workloads. Alongside a variety of depot stakeholders, branch personnel conduct initial production runs, prototypes, and/or engineering design models, guiding the project through completed first article testing (FAT). Once the FAT is completed, the workload is transitioned to the appropriate SIS cable shop for final production through the program’s lifecycle.

The new Branch was created out of a need for increased organizational cohesion and efficiency, according to Kelvin Spencer.

“SIS makes hundreds of different kinds of cables and harnesses. Creating a single point for developing workload sets our entire team up for success from day one.” Spencer leads the Electronics Fabrication Division in SIS.

Branch leadership explained the distinction between the traditional depot maintenance process and the novel preproduction activities within their shop.

“Our specialized team, the first of its kind at Tobyhanna, focuses on consistency and accuracy in the development of technical data, documentation, and internal shop processes.  Like private industry, we take more time at the beginning of the process to ensure we can give the warfighter the best product possible at a competitive cost,” said Supervisory Electronics Mechanic Jesse Tutino, a former soldier who brings a wealth of practical experience to the position.

Stakeholders who have utilized the Branch’s new work processes gave the experience rave reviews.

“The Nett Warrior mission has worked with the Preproduction & Development Branch for several new cable missions. The benefits of this process include specialized experience, dedicated quality support, and new equipment. It has also offered us a new set of eyes during the process of preparing workload to be rolled out to full rate production,” said Thomas Sweeney, the project manager for the Nett Warrior program. Sweeney works in the Production Management Directorate.

Prime cable shop leadership agrees that the new Branch is making Tobyhanna better.

“This new process benefits our mission by developing documentation and identifying proper materials needed long before production starts. The Preproduction & Development team also finds and resolves issues before fabrication production orders hit the shop floor for full rate production – allowing us to start production quickly with no delays,” said Eugene Golembeski, chief of SIS’s Shelter Harness Branch.

Tutino says he has high hopes for his Branch’s mission.

“This process has already improved quality and I believe it will create synergy through our cable missions in the future.”

The creation of the Preproduction & Development Branch is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028 – specifically the C5ISR Readiness and Shape the Future lines of effort. The plan aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense's premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.