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News | June 4, 2021

Gantry machine provides critical functions while increasing support to the warfighter

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

Final preparations are underway for bringing the massive gantry machine online at Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s Engineering Directorate’s Industrial Plant Equipment Services Division facility in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

The IPESD executes the machine tool acquisition mission, administration and management oversight from DLA Aviation located in Richmond, Virginia. They maintain the only IPE maintenance depot in the federal government. They have a team of highly skilled craftsman and managers dedicated to customer satisfaction in the rebuilding, retrofitting, and repair of metalworking machinery for the Defense Department and all other federal agencies.

David Theriot, chief of the directorate’s IPES Division, said the gantry machine, when fully operational, will take the place of two machines currently being used while providing extra capacity for these functions.

“A milling machine function will allow for metals to be cut in 3-dimensional fashion, forming the surfaces as needed on the machine tools we rebuild, returning them to original equipment manufacturer specifications,” he said. 

Theriot said the second function is as a surface grinder that will take those formed surfaces and grind them to a smooth finish allowing a perfect fit between parts.

He said the gantry provides a third function using a new laser hardening technology that hardens surfaces to ensure the smooth operation between the machines’ matting surfaces.

“Having two machines combined into one will significantly allow for increased productivity, and the end user, which in this case is the warfighter, will reap those benefits,” he said.

Theriot said barring any snags, the gantry machine should be ready for use later this year.