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When SMART rejections help.

It's inevitable that some suggestions for equipment improvement will be turned down in the SMART program. Sometimes those rejections recognize the soldier has correctly identified a problem but that another solution has already been adopted.

An example is the grease seal, NSN 5330-00-849-4366, for the CH-47, shown in Fig 182-2, TM 55-1520-240-23-P.

A soldier noted in his suggestion that the grease seal comes as a single piece. The seal is removed every 100 hours in order to inspect the swash plate bearings. Unfortunately, the seal can be damaged during removal. Replacement requires removal of blades, rotor head and ram shield.

The soldier's solution was to cut the replacement grease seal in half. The two equal parts could be installed with less effort at the unit.

The SMART program evaluated and rejected the idea because the problem had already been addressed by Research, Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM) personnel. They have been developing a procedure for removing the one-piece swash plate grease seal since 2004.

The RDECOM solution allows the cutting of the grease seal in one place. A special tool has already been designed to allow the proper cut to be made and to ensure that each seal modified is modified in the same manner.

Flight testing of this modified grease seal win begin this year.

However, the modified seal is a temporary fix. Past problems associated with both the forward and aft swash plate are driving development of new swash plates. The new swash plates will use a three-piece grease seal.

So, while the soldier's suggestion wasn't implemented, he was nonetheless informed about both an interim and a final fix.

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Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
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