The US Air Force projects it will turn a small $485,000 investment for four PinPoint II Testers, from Diagnosys, into $13-plus million in cost avoidance to re-host more than 100 previously developed software programs for repair of its AWACS fleet. The cost avoidance will come in lower re-hosting costs, according to the AWACS Support Equipment Program Manager, USAF, Hanscom Air Force Base, MA.
"Re-hosting test programs to conventional functional automatic test systems (ATS) has become quite cost prohibitive at a time when large budgets no longer exist," the manager said. "With the PinPoint, a smaller, more economic workstation, we've found it nicely satisfies the requirements for testing our digital workload, taking only a few days to write a test program versus the months we had originally anticipated. The savings are going to be enormous, and we're going to get a technical capability that is on par with any other system on the market."
"We have more than 100 digital TPSs that need re-hosting, and if we had to use the 'conventional' functional test systems, it would have cost in excess of $150,000 for each item re-hosted and would take anywhere from eight to 18 months per item re-host," he said. "With the PinPoint II systems, we'll turn each TPS around in a matter of weeks at one-tenth the cost of conventional ATS. We're projecting a 20-month project, and that's where we'll achieve our savings."
The PinPoint testers are one of the systems replacing an older AWACS legacy test system that is no longer fully supported by its manufacturer. The PinPoint testers provide a means to prevent repair workflow downtime due to premature legacy system failure, a situation unacceptable to AWACS.
"The simplicity of the programming for PinPoint allows us to spread the work out to more people, getting the job done faster," the manager said. "We have a large fleet of AWACS aircraft and need to keep them flying. Electronic parts fail, so it's up to us to make sure we find the causes of the failures, make the repairs and get those items back into the Air Force's supply system as quickly as possible, available to the flight line mechanics."
"While PinPoint II won't handle every test application required by AWACS, its existing capability produces life-cycle cost savings of millions of dollars, while providing the military with a leading edge technology replacing older, legacy test systems," he added.
Diagnosys is the world’s leading company specializing in complete solutions for the support and maintenance of high value electronic Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and modules. Having over 40 years’ dedicated experience for the test, repair and maintenance of electronic circuits means that we understand the challenges faced by our customers and have developed a full range of products and services to overcome them. Headquartered in the Republic of Ireland and with offices in the UK, USA, India, France and Germany, Diagnosys supports customers across many industry sectors around the world including industrial, defense, and mass transit. Products are sold and supported through offices and an extensive global network of sales partners.