Most military airplanes have extensive avionic systems, such as radar and radar jamming systems. The avionics are powered by small on-board generators. The size and weight of these generators are critical so they are designed to be very small and lightweight, while providing adequate power for the aircraft.
After a set number of flight hours, these generators are removed from service and must be rewound to reduce the chance of failure. Our company has rewound many of these generators thanks to Don Morris and his many years of expertise. Don provided training and has been a mentor to Stephen Clippinger, a winder at Horner Industrial, Springfield OH division. With Don’s help, Stephen has helped train our winding department to learn the finer points of hand winding these small generator stators.
About a year ago, we were approached by a vendor for the Air Force to see if we could wind a larger generator stator. Our sales rep, John Baumann brought the customer into our shop with some factory prints and generator samples. We convinced them we had the experience and could wind these special stators. We quoted rewinding thirty five stators and submitted our bid. Unfortunately, we did not win the bid. Another motor shop got the job and rewound a sample stator, for approval.
Well, if you recall science fair projects in school, the winding looked like a fifth grader did the job. The government inspectors failed the sample and disqualified the vendor. I am very pleased to report that we were awarded the job. Lori Beam ordered special insulating materials and had a vendor water jet cut the collars for the coils. Stephen Clippinger hand wound our first sample stator and John Baumann will hand deliver it to our customer next week. Provided that our stator passes government inspection, we will proceed with rewinding
thirty four more of these stators over the next six months. The moral of this story is there are times that we must get out of our comfort zone to expand our capabilities. This job is an example of taking our expertise to a higher level – about 50,000 feet to be exact.