** Some important notes before you read further; learned after discussion with the MEASURE Deputy Program Manager **
** M-CAL or “Maintenance Calibration” is aimed at use by the O-Level of maintenance or any entity that uses calibrated tools that is not attached to a calibration activity.
** Theses activities manage their thousands of items using only a 350 and 802 paper formats to track their items.
** These activities do not have access to MEASURE, MIQ or SERMIS (Big Navy programs to track these items) and have to rely on other outside activities and personnel, who are very few, that do have access.
** Very rare; if at all do these activities have a person trained in METCAL, they are only afforded a “CAL Petty Officer” with no access to SERMIS or MIQ and have little to no training on managing CAL assets. They are expected to efficiently rotate as much as 1,330 items through the CALAB with only a paper 350 and 802.
** M-CAL is self sustaining, does not use external data bases, will have no down time, and is owned completely by the utilizing activity to effectively mage their CAL items.
** M-CAL is not meant to replace the NAMP (4790.2) mandated use of the 350 as the primary means of communication between the CALAB and maintenance activity, it is meant to ensure ease of 100% timely compliance with that requirement.
Quick Summation of M-CAL:
Below, you will find a long list of technical problems and benefits of the M-CAL program. In the simplest terms, M-CAL ties together four of the most frequently Off-Track programs in Naval aviation and allows one single gathering of all of the information that is the cause of those programs going Off-Track. Those programs are IMRL(AMMRL)/TOOLS/METCAL/S.E. PMS.
M-CAL ties together all four programs and allows multiple reports and queries to be run to ensure accurate reporting. Evidence of its use has seen this squadron (HSM-72) increase from an 86% METCAL proficiency rating to a 96% rating and an IMRL inventory from 14 days to only 5 working days, just to name two specific and common issues.
All of this with an undesignated Airman and a Logistics Specialist Third Class, with no experience in the programs running the database. It has an extremely simple and user friendly design, and is tailored to the most junior personnel. The number one is that the command completely owns the program. There are no out-going transactions or mandatory exports. It is a tool for the maintenance activity, and almost all options are optional use. The more you use however, the more benefits you see.
What is M-CAL?
Problems and Solutions
Currently, the AMMRL program has the IMRL program that manages the high dollar and inter-service Support Equipment (SE) that Naval activities use for maintenance actions. Aviation, shore based activities, Depot level facilities and Ships use SE and Calibrated components to achieve daily business. As a rough estimate, 98% of calibrated items are also IMRL items. However, IMRL and METCAL are two separate programs and may have different, and often times mandatory separate managers due to the constraints and intensive requirements of the programs. It has been seen fleet wide that there is a constant and documented disconnect between the two programs that cause items to move through one program that affects the other program’s ability to operate efficiently. Two other sister commonalities in failure is that the TOOL program and S.E. PMS Some of the direct discrepancies and constraints are:
METCAL managers move calibrated material to AIMD or FRC because they are due for calibration, but the IMRL manager is not involved or misses the opportunity to indicate the change of physical inventory movement in LAMS.
IMRL loans out gear to activities without regard to calibration due dates causing activities to hinder operations due to down gear. For example, a detachment or another squadron borrows a torque wrench, and they verify that the CAL date is good, but the CAL date is a three weeks away, so the det uses the gear up to the due date, and then it drops dead.
Commanding Officer, Maintenance Officer, IMRL manager turnover, AIMD /FRC and annual wing “wall-to-wall” IMRL inventories consume far too many hours of inventory time tracking down items that are at “CAL” by bouncing 350 reports against “white” and “pink” calibration receipts from the Calibration activity.
SE CAL can go off track if items drop for periodic maintenance (PM) without speedy resolve of an item’s location. Too much research is involved right now to expeditiously track down physical location of items because it is currently being annotated in pen and ink or in a messy excel spread sheet or basic access listing.
Unit calibration efficiency is far below average due to elapsed CAL cycle items because of poor screening of the CAL laboratory 350 and or 802 reports.
When time is of the essence for activities to prepare for detachments or deployments, the CAL manager can be a single point of failure or time constraint because there is usually and quite often a knowledge of the 350 or 802 that would take even an experience person in the program hours to divide the information into digestible and accurate inventories for deployment.
Monthly maintenance plan (MMP) inputs are often derived from a local Microsoft Excel file or Access file that often is proprietary to the manager’s knowledge and after 1,000 or more items in the inventory can begin to lose value and accuracy due to “Cell” integration across hundreds of items with like part numbers and serial numbers.
Currently it takes many steps and preparation to efficiently and in a timely manner gather all of the information to provide for IMRL and CAL to work together to plan out CAL items going to the CAL lab for their CAL cycle, bouncing those against technical directive (TD) implementation and PM cycles.
Even the best of commands that consolidate the 350 and 802 reports into some form of data base still present single points of failure, lose data due to Excel and open based Access data basses and electronic data bases located on single computers and/or LAN style hard drives.
There is no standardized data basis for “Wings” or “CAGS” to search out needed calibrated equipment in the event that those items need to be requested for loan or transfer other than phone calls and emails to their prospective subordinate commands and activities.
Maintenance Officers, MMCO’s, MMCPO’s and IMRL managers must rely on the CAL manager for research into CAL items when they should have immediate access to information, that as you will see below can be accessed instantly with the push of a button.
Reduced manning and gapped billeting throughout the fleet often lead to little if not gapped CAL program manager turnovers and far to often lead to lost data in that transition. This once again causes a trickle effect and disconnect between the IMRL and CAL program costing man hours, reduced ready for use gear and expended inventory times.
Calibration activities such as FRC, JAQ or AIMD rely on inputs from the commands and/or other activities to make changes to the METCAL or CAL databases based on inputs from those activities that own the gear. Those calibration laboratories or CALABS manage thousands of pieces of gear. Inputs from the commands are submitted on paper from the commands. Changes, additions and deletions among other notes are submitted on the 350, 802 or other locally generated informational paper work. Those “pen and ink” changes, mixed with thousands of pieces of gear and limited resources can lead to a loss of data, causing discrepancies and poor accuracy of supplied information over time, and usually do. This leads to reduced “proficiency” and “accuracy” in command’s “CAL overdue” rates and not to mention lost gear and pertinent failure data.
Fleet operational activities are responsible for maintaining and inventory of “reject” CAL items until proper disposition through the DRMO, DLADs and or IMRL disposition procedures. Tracking of these items are at the mercy of the CAL manager at the command level to supply this information to supply and the IMRL manager. Far too often items sit around and are found during inventories that should have been properly dispositioned at the appropriate time. This is important to properly maintain command and program appropriate inventories for operational environments.
Currently, just like Aircraft Specials, IMRL items that get load tested by FRC (jacks, torpedo slings, engine lifting bars, etc..) are to be taken to FRC or AIMD 900 division for load testing in much the same manner as METCAL items. The Due date comes due, so you take it over to be tested and have the Periodic Maintenance (PM) done. The main problem is that there is no 350 or 802 report for these items. The PM pops in OOMA/NALCOMIS three days prior to the due date. 900 Division (FRC/AIMD) has hundreds of items they deal with on a weekly basis. So, by time you get all of the OOMA/NACLOMIS paperwork done at the O-Level and get it over to the load testing activity, and then receive it back, the load test due date has passed. This is normal, and is to be expected. However, come inventory time, it would be easier to have one stop shopping for ALL of the IMRL/METCAL items that you have “Off Station”. Being especially that 900 division, AIMD or FRC has hundreds of the items to do from all squadrons on base; these items frequently do not make it back before the load test date has dropped dead. If your logs and records watches these items, this may be avoided, but below, in the solutions paragraphs you will read of a guaranteed way to track these items months in advance with the click of a mouse and decrease your inventory times while planning well in advance much faster for Cruise or Detachments.
There are more examples of discrepancies that are documented by OMPA inspections, INSERV and AMI inspections throughout the fleet.
The submitted computer application will provide correction and improvement on the above mentioned items, to name specifically:
An electronic calibration database that will effectively track 100% of CAL items locally assigned to USN activities.
Allow the chain of command access to the data base that is password protected but easy enough for an Airman or Seaman of any rate to manage. Proof has been supplied by beta testing and design of the program in an operational environment at HSL-42 (HSM-72).
Allow one button access to a report that shows all items out of the command at calibration activities.
Maintain a database of historical information and printable reports based on notes inputs.
Two input date algorithm that supplies all items due within a specified date range for easy management of due CAL items and 100% accurate MMP inputs.
A simplified database that manages all CAL items that once populated with a command’s CAL items is as easy to manage as a NMCI email account.
Simple inputs can immediately produce reports for work center inventories, part number inventories, nomenclature, CAL due dates, mother gear part and serial numbers and partial input note searches.
Fail-proof data base management by requiring double click input of database information.
Searchable fields that can return information based on partial inputs based on 7 different search algorithms, unlike the IMRL LAMS program.
Point and click operational controls with a visual electronic main menu display geared in development to the lowest junior person, as beta test in an actual operational command (HSL-42).
Easy LAN application for the MO, MMCO, MCO, MMP manager (etc…..) so that there is no single point of failure or single point of informational production.
Standardized database that can be supplied to Wings or CAGS for digestion and percentage METRIC evaluation.
Decreased overdue rates due to simplified but more accurate tracking of data at the Maintenance level activity.
Input parameters geared and designed to the lowest ranks with self-evident simplified inputs so that even junior personnel can track, produce and input METCAL information into the database.
Backup is as easy as copying a word or excel document to a disk or C: drive.
Reports producible from the main menu that generate data for Calibration activities with historical importance, updates to gear, sub-assignment data, rejection tracking and non-hand written inputs. Producing a digestible check off driven data format for the commands to share.
Improved turnover time and reduced loss of data between program managers.
The program is written in the same program as the IMRL database (LAMS) and will be open source for the LAMS database management team to combine into the LAMS database in future revisions for worldwide tracking of CAL assets and tying them to IMRL assets, which share and estimated 98% share rate.
Single click access to a menu for brand new items for a text input point and click addition form to simplify those inputs for non-experienced data base users, which auto populate the master data table. Immediately making the input available to all end users and reports.
Most importantly, date, part number, serial number, notes, sub-part number and sub-serial number reports that can be produced to provide inputs to the IMRL manager for accurate inventory of all items that belong to both programs. For example: During a MO to MO IMRL inventory of all assigned SE to a command totaling over 4,000 items, during the inspection you would want a list of all items “currently off station at the CAL facility”. This program provides single click access to either a report or a “HUD” that provides that list. This is just one example of the simple but massive time saving abilities of the program.
As an added bonus, due to the fact that the initial programming is provided by an active duty service member and a patent is NOT requested on the proprietary idea, the splash-screens and VED or HUD is completely customizable for any command. Logos and pictures are easily addable and editable to add a professional look. I highly encourage the modification of “visual” attributes of the program and will provide a generic password for initial command implementation. Algorithm and equations however should not be made without fleet wide dissemination, as seen in the LAMS database to ensure that all ISIC activities can view and combine the database for mass consumption.
In version 1.5 (and above), there is a “S.E.” portion to MCAL that will monitor your Load Tested S.E. exactly the way it manages METCAL items. You can now track the items months in advance and plan ahead easily. This is important for planning the right items to put with the right DETs or Detachments for Cruise or Work-Ups. Why not just rely on OOMA/NALCOMIS? Well you can. But once again, with M-CAL you can use this section to provide reports to your Logs and Records clerk, plan for the best equipment for your IMRL pools and shorten your inventory times with just a click of a few buttons. M-CAL does not claim to watch the PM cycle for you, just more of you location and accountability for the items. OOMA and NALCOMIS do not give you inventory reports based on Work Center and location, changeable notes on the gear and a historical ability to research why like items have failed or been dispositioned. In summation, it is for the IMRL manager to find the item more quickly and maintain accountability during inventory more expeditiously.
All of this is built into the simple database, manageable from one main menu, designed with simple algorithms, and geared toward the most junior personnel. It is however advanced enough to provide wing or CAG wide data usable by the Cal or IMRL program to alleviate all of the discrepancies above with increased accuracy and decreased failure rate.
Final Note: I am currently working on Version 1.8. Big points are ability to add pictures to each part (by assigning it once to the P/N), and being able to move items to a historical file for future research of items you have ever owned.
How does it work?
Are you wary of using a “”New”” or different program. M-CAL has hundreds of functions and reports designed to use by the most junior Seaman, but has all the functions needed by the most senior management. Here is how it works in a very simplified manner. Most METCAL managers already have to use an Excel spreadsheet to track their hundreds if not thousands of items. M-CAL simply puts pretty menus and buttons on top of the spreadsheet ((in Access it is called a Table)). Then it uses those menus to make the changes to the spreadsheet. Then it uses the existing data to run all of your reports and search results. (Figure 1) This is of course a “”Very”” short explanation. If you are interested in the technical algorithms and VBA coding, I have left M-CAL open source.
1. It is free for ALL DOD components.
2. It can be kept on a Military LAN and is not installed (it runs on top of Access).
3. Once you start using it, you (the Command) owns it, no outside exports/imports.
4. If accessed by a LAN link, multiple people can operate it simultaneously.
5. Back ups can be made to CD/DVD and taken anywhere just like any other file.
6. Version 1.9 (and above) offer a historical option.
It is operationally proven! By over 24 Navy and Marine Corps commands since 2011
The best way for you to experience M-CAL is to watch the training videos?
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