In what has become only the second time in which Landmarc staff have been recognised in this manner, three members of the Netheravon-based Targetry Support Team have been singled out for receipt of the Head of Overseas and Training Region’s ‘Gold Coin’ award for their initiative in developing an improvement to the SARTS targetry system.
Brigadier Bartholomew, DIO’s Head of Overseas and Training Region (left) presents John Foster, Maintenance Manager, Ed Jackson, Maintenance Tecahnicin and Bill Mundy, Workshop Supervisor with their Gold Coin certificates.
IDENTIFYING THE CHALLENGES
Following extensive observations and repairs, the carrier frame for the Location Of Miss And Hit (LOMAH) bar on SARTS targets has been found to be a frequent source of failure on these mechanisms. On analysis, the breakages appear to be due to fatigue failure from the repeated cycles of raising and lowering the target. Some locations, particularly those in coastal environments, have shown that the frame can also suffer disproportionately from corrosion. The current design of the carrier fame is such that, in order to remove it, requires the target movement to be arrested mid-cycle. This can expose staff involved to unnecessary risk.
Spares of the carrier frame are now no longer available on-demand from the original manufacturer. The only option for replacement looked to be a bulk purchase at significant cost.
CREATING A PROTOTYPE
Working on their own initiative, John Foster, Bill Mundy and Ed Jackson of the Targetry Support Team put their heads together to see if there was a better way to both construct and attach a replacement frame. The aims were to produce a more robust frame, less prone to fatigue stress, that would also allow for easier and safer removal and re-fitting.
Constructed initially as a timber mock-up, it allowed the team to develop a stainless steel prototype for operational testing. This has since been found to have met all the above criteria. The resulting end product is thus safer, of greater rigidity and longevity and simpler to both fit and detach to the SARTS mechanism. Of equal, if not greater importance, however has been the reduction in cost of production with the newly devised frame coming in at a cost of less than £50 per item, as compared to more than £500 per item as has been paid previously – a ten-fold reduction in cost that has already led to savings to the MOD of more than £250,000!
A SAFER, MORE COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION FOR DEFENCE
Brigadier Bartholomew, Head of Overseas and Training Region, said:
“This is a truly fantastic initiative that brings the advantages of a safer, easier and longer lasting solution to the SARTS targetry fleet with the added benefit of vastly reduced cost to Defence. I am hugely impressed, not just with the simplicity and elegance of the design but by the motivation of the Landmarc Targetry Support Team, who took it upon themselves to develop this initiative. It gives me great pleasure to present each of them with my Gold Coin award, in recognition of their contribution to the outputs of the Defence Training Estate.”
Technical Services Director at Landmarc, Tim Shapland, commented:
“I am delighted that Brigadier Bartholomew has seen fit to recognise the Targetry Team in this way. This serves as a reminder of the value that the Bright Ideas scheme has in identifying and implementing solutions to issues that we routinely encounter in our day-to-day business. I would encourage all colleagues everywhere to put forward any similar thoughts or initiatives that can improve the service that both we and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation provide.”