Modernization: making it from scratch

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Making everything from scratch takes on a new meaning as aircraft metals technology Airmen from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida prepare to fabricate a time-saving and efficient paint rack.

Over the past few months, construction has begun on a new paint booth for the aircraft structural maintenance's corrosion control facility. The new booth will replace the old one and contain modernized features. One of the unique features, in the paint booth, will be a specialized rack. With a new adjustable capability, the new rack will be able to be lowered and raised based on the part's size. In addition, the rack will also be removable.

With the need for a customized rack, the metals technology Airmen drafted a blueprint by hand and confirmed the design with corrosion control. Then they ordered steel squared tubing material that will be used to construct the rack.

Once the material is delivered, the metals technicians will begin sizing, welding and essentially creating the rack.

The steel rack will consist of a four-legged stand with a rectangle framed roof. The roof will function like a clothing rack and have parts hanging off the framed roof. The design creates easier access during the painting process.

"It allows corrosion control Airmen to get a 360-degree perspective around the part as it is suspended in midair," explained Staff Sgt. Armand Guting, an aircraft metals technology craftsman with the 6th Maintenance Squadron (MXS). "It makes it so they don't have to take it down and remount it constantly."

The hanging feature on the rack also allows for faster paint times.

"The rack is necessary because it allows all sides of the part to be painted at once instead of painting one side, waiting for it to dry then repeating the process again on the other side," said Staff Sgt. Robert Dyson-Cersley, the corrosion control NCO in charge assigned to the 6th MXS.

In an ever-changing world, modernization is key to the Air Force maintaining global range, speed and strategic agility. The rack will revolutionize how structural maintenance Airmen paint because the rack can be moved and adjusted to fit the part being painted.

The rack is scheduled to be completed within a week and half of receiving the necessary parts and the entire booth is projected to be completed by August 2016.