Advanced technology is clearly linked to improving the quality of our lives, and even saving lives; but how often do we hear about using advanced technology to save money? Well, that’s exactly what Reliability Information Analysis Center (RIAC) is doing for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Homeland Security and a host of other agencies.
The airplanes, ships, tanks and weapons used by the government are getting older every day. The newest U.S. Army missile system is now over 15 years old and other missile systems are over 30 years old. Another example of our “graying” technologies can be found on our state-of-the-art fighter jets. Some of their electronics were designed and built in the 1970s. As new technologies are developed, equipment is kept in operation for longer than originally expected; meanwhile, many individual parts have long since been out of production.
So, how exactly does RIAC use technology to save money? RIAC maintains a group of subject matter experts who can study an obsolete part or system, re-engineer it and then have a new one built and tested. This ensures the new part or system is as good as, or better than, the original. How does that save money? Well, think about whether or not you’d rather replace a bad muffler on your car or have to pay to buy a new car entirely. Most would choose to replace the muffler. Now think of your car as a tank, ship or fighter jet. That’s where the real cost savings comes in.