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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Chapter Three Enabling New Technology Insertion The goals of the Army with respect to its fleet of trucks are to reduce the logistics footprint, maintenance costs, and fuel burden while maintaining other performance parameters. The lightweight structural materials and new processing technologies described in Chapter 2 can help achieve these goals. Barriers to the insertion of new technologies are described briefly below, followed by a discussion of ways to promote the introduction of lightweight materials. BARRIERS There is a variety of general barriers to the implementation of new technologies and materials in Army trucks. Large organizations, especially bureaucracies, can become highly risk-averse and resistant to change. Management research has recently focused on this topic because so many commercial companies failed during the past decade as a result of their inability to change quickly enough to remain competitive. Even if upper management supports a new direction, middle management and line personnel can resist the necessary changes. The Army is no exception, and the reluctance of some personnel to make necessary chances is a serious barrier to improving the mobility and fuel efficiency of the truck fleet. Infrastructure costs inhibit change. Changes in materials systems in Army trucks will require many other adjustments downstream—for example, changes in maintenance practices including service and repair. To keep abreast of such changes, the Army must develop training programs for service personnel and must modify or rewrite service manuals. These downstream changes add costs and may create resistance to system changes. In addition, as the materials mix in Army trucks becomes more varied, recycling issues add additional complexity. The budget for the Department of Defense (DOD), including its R&D funding, has decreased significantly over the past several decades. In 1960, DOD accounted for over 50 percent of the total R&D spending in the United
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks States. Today, it accounts for less than 20 percent.1 Decreased R&D funding, combined with reduced direct funding for Army trucks, will make it difficult for the future Army truck fleet to achieve world-class capability. At current funding levels, the truck fleet will continue to degrade at a significant rate. According to one estimate, 28 percent of the Army truck fleet was judged to be over age in 1997, and this statistic is expected to increase to 40 percent by 2013.2 Although recent events have created a more positive political attitude toward military spending, the Army will most likely have to continue to do more with less. Few Design Cycles The commercial automotive industry is able to continuously improve its production systems and products because of the large number of design cycles per product. Technical risk is mitigated because new technology can be introduced in smaller steps or piloted on lower-volume products until proven ready for large-scale introduction. This sequence of events also helps bring down costs prior to large-scale deployment. Constant practice keeps the design, engineering, and manufacturing teams at top efficiency and capability. Automotive manufacturers, however, still rely heavily on computer-aided design and prototype development, especially when new technologies or materials are being introduced. Fewer design cycles and limited capability for prototype development increase risk. The Army will need to decrease its use of heavy conventional materials such as mild steel and begin using lighter materials for primary and secondary truck structures. Although the lightweight materials most likely to be used (high-strength steel, aluminum, and composites) have already been used in ground vehicles and aircraft, they will now require different design, development, fabrication, joining, use, and maintenance practices. To reduce risk, the Army should employ the same practices used in commercial product development: computer simulation supported by prototype development and testing. In addition, the Army should leverage appropriate technologies developed for commercial vehicles over the course of multiple design cycles. 1 National Research Council. 2002. Equipping Tomorrow’s Military Force: Integration of Commercial and Military Manufacturing in 2010 and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. 2 U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). 1998. Tactical Vehicle Fleetbook. Washington, D.C.: Fleet Planning Office, U.S. Army TACOM.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks While advanced materials research has been funded, relatively little funding is available for materials system integration and development testing, and none has been allocated for field-testing and evaluation of new materials systems.3 Low Production Volumes Insertion of lightweight materials technologies in Army trucks is inhibited by the fact that development costs must be distributed over the comparatively low production volumes typical for military vehicles.4 Obvious fixed costs associated with truck manufacture include buildings, equipment, and tooling. Additional costs that are largely fixed are those associated with development, such as vehicle design, engineering, testing, certification, and documentation. These costs can contribute significantly to the overall unit cost of a low-volume truck. Variable costs per unit also tend to decrease as production volume increases, owing to the greater purchasing power of a high-volume buyer and the greater flexibility regarding whether to make or buy components that a high-volume manufacturer has. Most contracts for new Army trucks call for low production volumes compared with those for commercial products. Because of the difficulty in recovering the costs of low-volume production without setting high prices, many high-volume vehicle manufacturers have withdrawn from bidding on military contracts, resulting in a reduction in the competitive field. The Army must find other ways to minimize unit costs. Several steps are already being taken, including the use of common parts across truck lines, where possible, and the use of modular design permitting commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. A strong case has been made for accelerating the use of 3 J. Eberhardt, U.S. Department of Energy. 21st Century Truck Program: Research and Development Funding Allocation and Project Reviews. Presentation to the committee,.April 23, 2001. 4 The cost of manufacturing a product is generally dependent on the production volume. The elements that contribute to the cost of a product are categorized as either fixed or variable. Fixed costs are those that do not vary with production volume, such as capital equipment costs. Variable costs are those that do vary with production volume, such as raw materials costs. When the number of units being produced is small, the per-unit allocation of fixed costs becomes large, and the product becomes more expensive.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks commercial technology and components.5 Additional strategies to control and minimize the costs associated with low-volume manufacturing include minimizing fixed costs and buying flexible fixed assets. One method of increasing the Army’s purchasing power is to partner with other NATO nations in contracting for basic truck structural architectures and standard commercial components. More sensitive systems, such as electronics unique to the U.S. Army, could be added later as “black box” components. Although this approach seems feasible from a business perspective, it may be difficult politically. Changes proposed for DOD business practices, however, may make such an approach possible in the future.6 IMPROVED ARMY PROCUREMENT PROCESS The structure of the current procurement system encourages the acquisition of trucks that have a low purchase cost at the expense of higher operating, maintenance, and disposal costs. The latter costs are not included in the competitive bid process and are therefore not taken sufficiently into consideration during the design and manufacturing process. Fuel-Efficiency Requirements Lack of aggressive fuel-efficiency requirements in the acquisition process precludes the introduction of lightweight materials into the Army truck fleet. An important step toward enabling the introduction of those materials is to set more aggressive fuel requirements, with goals for individual vehicle types being determined from an overall fleet strategy. Improved engine efficiency alone is not likely to enable the truck fleet to meet the logistic footprint goals set by the Revolution in Military Logistics initiative. Meeting this goal will require a combination of vehicle improvements, including optimal structural design and the aggressive application of lightweight materials. To provide the incentives for the truck-system integrators who are competing for a new vehicle to include lightweight materials in their proposals, procurement specifications will have to include 5 National Research Council. 2002. Equipping Tomorrow’s Military Force: Integration of Commercial and Military Manufacturing in 2010 and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. 6 The Economist. July 20, 2002. A more commercial future. 364(8282):15-16.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks aggressive fuel-consumption requirements rather than simply requirements with respect to vehicle range. Life-Cycle Assessment As noted earlier, procurement and operating budgets, and therefore decision making regarding these two issues, are currently decoupled within the military. The incorporation of life-cycle assessment as a required element of the procurement process would promote the consideration of operating, maintenance, and disposal costs during initial acquisition. Life-cycle assessment would promote the use of new materials and the replacement of older trucks in the fleet. Military vehicles have long service lives, often on the order of 20 years. As a result, actual total life-cycle costs include substantial operations and support (O&S) costs that may approach or exceed the initial acquisition cost. When personnel costs are included in O&S costs, TACOM found the total O&S costs for the medium tactical truck to be 66 percent of the total life-cycle cost.7 The O&S costs for a recapitalized truck could be as high as 72.5 percent. The total life-cycle cost of a tactical truck with an initial cost of $150,000 could be $441,000, and that of a recapitalized truck as high as $546,000. In some cases, the O&S costs are increased owing to corrosion problems. One study estimated that corrosion damage to cargo trucks cost the Army between $850 and $1,000 per truck per year, not to mention the cost of the downtime of the trucks.8 Other data indicate that the cost may be as high as $1,200 per year per truck when the cost of labor is included. Corrosion also impairs the readiness of trucks for duty. It was recently reported that 17 percent of the cargo trucks in Hawaii were so corroded their mission capability is seriously impaired.9 The use of lightweight, corrosion-resistant structural materials in truck designs would be promoted if real fuel costs and O&S costs were given more prominence in acquisition requirements. Life-cycle costing should be 7 R.S. Bazzy. TACOM. Cost and Systems Analysis Information. Presentation to the committee, May 9, 2002. 8 Army Materiel Command. 1998. Army Corrosion Prevention and Control. Program, Army Regulation 750–59. Available at <http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r750_59.pdf>. Accessed March 2003. 9 J.M. Argento. U.S. Army. Industrial Ecology Center Initiatives. Presentation to the committee, May 9, 2002.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks institutionalized in future truck procurements in order to evaluate the impact of new vehicle designs, material changes, and technology alternatives by quantifying the cost of ownership of current vehicles and using these data to project fuel efficiency, up front production costs, O&S costs, maintenance and repair costs, and obsolescence and refurbishment costs. The Army should develop a standard life-cycle model that could be used in the acquisition process by both proposers and evaluators. Before a truck is purchased by the Army, the contractor should have in place a government-approved system of cost accounting to justify the selling price of these future systems. This change would require the implementation of new procurement practices, and on Source Selection Boards for Army vehicles there would need to be trained personnel who were capable of taking a holistic approach. Best-Value Procurement The "value" of a product is a function of procurement price and operational costs and performance, measured over useful life. An inexpensive product that has high maintenance and operating costs, or that is unreliable, is not a "best value". With Army trucks, it is difficult to harness competitive market forces because of the small market and consequent narrow supplier base. Traditionally, the suppliers of light trucks have been domestic automakers, such as Ford and Dodge. The suppliers for medium and heavy trucks have been specialty vehicle manufacturers and defense contractors with dedicated manufacturing and assembly lines. Stewart and Stevenson is the primary source of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), and Oshkosh Truck Corporation is the primary source of heavy tactical vehicles. The remanufacturing program for 2.5- and 5-ton trucks is undertaken by AM General and Oshkosh Truck Corporation. High unit costs and small production runs of items built to military specifications are typical of the defense-unique industrial base for trucks. An alternative type of procurement process could provide suppliers with incentives to produce products that maximize the Army’s value. The Army could develop an understanding of the utility function10 governing the use of trucks, and then compete its supply contracts in such a way as to reward suppliers whose product maximizes the Army’s utility function. For example, it would be useful to understand how much of a reduction in price offsets a 10 10 The utility of a truck is a complex function of characteristics such as its price, durability, logistical footprint, and reliability.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks percent reduction in reliability, or how much more should be paid for a truck with extremely high reliability. At least one study has addressed the principles of measuring utility.11 The Army would benefit from an investigation of utility analysis and its applicability to the truck procurement process. A utility function could provide the Army with a single, quantitative equation that could be shared with suppliers and used to award procurement contracts. Utility analysis, or a similar method that places a quantitative measure on the value of performance, can be the basis for achieving best-value procurement. The Army’s existing procurement system could be adapted to this approach. IMPROVED MAINTENANCE SYSTEM Traditionally, trucks are owned and maintained by the Army, with the supplier’s role ending shortly after procurement. A network of Army depots provides most or all of the maintenance support. Spare parts may be purchased from commercial suppliers, but these transactions are generally separate from the original procurement. Furthermore, warranties covering material defects rarely extend beyond the first year, and, given the harsh conditions that Army trucks are subjected to, warranties are limited by design. A by-product of this arrangement is that there is no channel for quick feedback of information to the supplier regarding design defects or opportunities for performance improvement. The Army has done only selected detailed studies of O&S costs to date. The downtime costs associated with repair, maintenance, and overhaul are challenging to quantify and are usually not taken into consideration. These costs, however, have a major impact on operational readiness. The Army does not have enough information to adequately characterize these costs in life-cycle assessments. Because the Army generally does not track vehicles by vehicle identification numbers, it is unable to perform extensive and statistically meaningful studies of maintenance activities for either the fleet as a whole or particular vehicle types. A system of vehicle tracking and better data collection would enable the Army to maintain its fleet more efficiently. 11 F.R. Field. 1985. Application of Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis to Problems in Materials Selection. Ph.D. dissertation. Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Design for Reduced Maintenance Products and systems can be designed for reduced maintenance. Using special materials selection, designs that prevent water damage on parts, and corrosion protection, the commercial sector has successfully produced vehicles with superior performance and low maintenance costs. In addition, monitoring the condition of vehicles through inspection procedures could be used to schedule preventive maintenance activities that preserve performance and avoid costlier repairs down the line.12 Systematic Replacement of Older Trucks Based on the average annual cost of ownership, the economic useful life13 of a truck has been calculated to be approximately 16 years.14 At that point, the effectiveness factor of the vehicle is reduced to about 0.5 and, in effect, two older trucks are required in order to accomplish the work of one new truck. The useful life of a military truck may be as low as 13 years. Until that point, the average annual cost of ownership has been decreasing. Beyond 13 years, these costs begin to rise. These analyses suggest retiring trucks at some point between 13 and 16 years of service. A centralized tracking system could record the present age of every truck in the fleet and help ensure that trucks were retired and replaced on a regular basis. Federal Express and United Parcel Service both use such tracking systems. Tracking the age of trucks in the fleet could also enable the selection of appropriate trucks for recapitalization programs. Currently, the age and condition of trucks selected for these programs vary widely. Some are only a few years old, are in good general condition, and have been driven as few as 4,000 miles (Hathaway, 2001). Trucks should be selected for recapitalization on the basis of age or general condition. For example, trucks not built to the 22-year corrosion specification could be recapitalized after 8 to 10 years, since the HEMTT program includes more corrosion protection than was 12 National Research Council. 2002. Equipping Tomorrow’s Military Force: Integration of Commercial and Military Manufacturing in 2010 and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. 13 The economic useful life (EUL) is the average age at which replacing an old vehicle with the same type of new vehicle minimizes the life-cycle cumulative cost of ownership for a fleet of similar vehicles. 14 V. Lambert, Fleet Planning Office, TACOM. Economic and Military Useful Life of Army Trucks. Presentation to the committee, May 9, 2002.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks originally available for these vehicles. Data on repairs and parts failure could be shared with manufacturers, thus helping lead to improvements. An optimum mixture of old and new vehicles would result in a more modern fleet that was cheaper to maintain on a life-cycle cost basis. This mixture could be achieved without increasing the total cost of fleet ownership over the next 20 years. By aggressively retiring vehicles with marginal reliability and performance, significant O&S cost savings could be realized and used to finance additional modernization and rebuilding or remanufacturing programs. Alternative Ownership Strategies The remanufacturing program in place with Oshkosh Truck Corporation is an innovative effort to extract better value from the used truck fleet by remanufacturing these trucks to as-new condition. It is also a positive step toward closing the feedback loop between the supplier and the customer, effectively allowing the supplier to take partial ownership of the product as it is used in the market. Alternative ownership strategies could go farther, however. The commercial airline industry has discovered that leasing, rather than buying, is economically efficient. Airlines lease not only aircraft, but also subsystems within aircraft, such as engines and brakes, and effectively pay for these items on a per-use basis. Aircraft engine and brake systems suppliers are responsible for maintenance, repair, and, when necessary, replacement of the subsystems. In this business model, the supplier is highly motivated to develop and implement the best-available technologies—those that improve performance, extend life, increase reliability, and reduce lifecycle costs. Leasing arrangements have been widely adopted in the commercial sector, especially for complex, long-lived systems requiring extensive maintenance. The Army should investigate alternatives such as the purchase of trucks with extended service warranties, the leasing of trucks by the year or by the mile, and contracts structured so that suppliers are rewarded on the basis of ton-miles transported. In addition, the Army should investigate contracts for life-cycle support. Such arrangements have been shown, in the commercial sector, to be particularly beneficial for products with high operating and maintenance costs. The Marine Corps currently has a contract
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks with Oshkosh Truck Corporation under which the company performs service and repair procedures on some Marine Corps trucks.15 REDUCING THE COST OF NEW TECHNOLOGY In addition to those discussed above, another barrier to the insertion of lightweight structural materials and technologies in Army trucks is the initial higher costs of these materials and the cost of changing to new production processes. Methods of reducing these costs include the use of modular design and of common components and subsystems for several different vehicles. Modular Design Designing trucks for modularity can enable the insertion of lightweight materials and reduce costs. As they become available, components using new lightweight materials can be inserted into existing products. In addition, modularity facilitates the sharing of components and subsystems across platforms. Costs can be reduced when the use of a common component or system over several platforms results in increased production volume for that component and subsequently leads to reduced unit cost. Modularization would enable the improvement of military vehicle performance during design cycles. This strategy has been used extensively by automobile and truck manufacturers to allow for the ongoing improvement of product and a gradual buildup of the processing infrastructure. Life cycles are relatively short in automotive applications because of the dynamics of exhaust emission regulations, which require a new power plant every several years. Despite these short life cycles, manufacturers introduce enhancements, upgrades, and modifications to increase performance and effectiveness. Military vehicles have a longer life cycle and can therefore reap more benefits from performance and efficiency upgrades. Upgrading and retrofitting are enabled if a vehicle is designed with flexibility, allowing major vehicle components and subsystems to be replaced with improved ones. Analytical tools pertaining to system modeling can be used to assess and tailor the desired improvement. 15 N. Osborne, Oshkosh Truck Corporation. Presentation to the committee, August 21, 2002.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Modularization works well for stand-alone components, such as engines, suspension springs, wheels, and tires. The electronics and computer industries have used this approach to bring down the unit costs of commercial products. However, modularization cannot be used as extensively for the complex structural systems typical of automotive vehicles.16 It is more difficult to design modular features into the vehicle architecture, because all the elements of the architecture are part of a system and cannot be retrofitted without affecting the whole system behavior. For example, vibration behavior is affected by mass and stiffness distributions as well as by joint stiffness characteristics. Replacing a critical structural component with one made of a different material could degrade the overall vibration behavior of the vehicle and negatively impact critical performance criteria such as crashworthiness. Despite these limitations, there are significant opportunities for the Army to use modularity in its truck designs. The Army has already used this approach for electronic systems and information technology and could extend it to stand-alone vehicle components. System analysis tools could provide guidance on what is achievable regarding more complex structural elements. Common Systems/Components and Standardization Increased use of common components and subsystems across truck platforms could facilitate the use of new lightweight materials by reducing the cost of these components. Economies of scale could be leveraged for truck procurements, component purchasing, and lean manufacturing and assembly cost reductions, as well as downstream O&S costs on fielded trucks. Lean practices, pioneered by Toyota, combined with flexible building concepts and common locating and fixture systems, are already being implemented in commercial passenger vehicle and truck manufacturing. Some commercial vehicle manufacturers are currently able to switch model builds on the same production line without stopping the line for retooling. The Army has already used component standardization in some truck models—for example, with the use of Steyr Symatec truck cabs from Austria. There are significant opportunities for transferring this strategy to other truck programs, 16 D.E. Whitney. 1996. Why mechanical design cannot be like VLSI design. Research in Engineering Design: Theory, Applications, and Concurrent Engineering 8(3):125-138.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks through the use of common powertrain, drivetrain, and chassis components, as well as telematics and military electronics modules. Future modified Army trucks bearing common modules and systems could be produced at commercial truck OEM facilities and then turned over to a contractor or specialty truck manufacturer for final assembly, which would include add-on armor or sophisticated military electronics not needed for the civilian market. This is particularly likely for Class 2B vehicles, as was recently demonstrated by the Commercially-Based Tactical Trucks (COMBATT) program of the National Automotive Center (NAC). This program focused on improving the mobility and intelligence-gathering capabilities of commercially manufactured light trucks to meet the Army’s tactical support truck needs. Previously, trucks had been purchased directly from the commercial fleet, and in some cases such as that of the Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV), they fell short of meeting the Army’s performance requirements. The insertion of new lightweight materials could be enhanced by the standardization of military vehicle components with commercial components and assembly practices. The Army would thus be able to take advantage of technological advances resulting from the multiple design cycles of commercial vehicle manufacturers. Truck development times and testing times could be reduced if suitable commercial component designs were mature and had a track record of reliability, cost, performance, and maintenance routines. In addition, the unit procurement cost to the Army could be reduced by the purchase of COTS products. RADICAL REDESIGN ENABLED BY NEW TECHNOLOGIES The present truck paradigm consists of a power plant burning a single fossil fuel and providing power to the vehicle’s wheels through driveshafts. As noted in Chapter 2, future truck architectures may become modular, with power plants providing electric power to driven axle or bed modules. Such fundamental changes in frame configurations would enable the use of radically different lightweight structural materials. The long-term opportunities described in this report refer to the types of materials that might become viable as a result of changes in the basic truck paradigm. New technologies that would require complete vehicle redesign and thereby open up opportunities for the use of lightweight structural materials include hybrid and alternative power sources. A hybrid design could result in the use of a much smaller engine, with significant additional weight savings.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Hybrid Electric Powertrains The hybrid electric powertrain offers perhaps the greatest potential for tactical vehicle redesign in the near future.17,18 This system consists of an internal combustion engine coupled with electric motors and an energy storage system or battery. Operating energy is provided by the engine, by the electric motor, or by both. The battery is charged when the engine provides excess power, for example when the vehicle decelerates. When the vehicle requires additional power, such as for climbing hills, the battery adds power by channeling electrical energy to the motors. Use of the hybrid electric powertrain reduces two important sources of inefficiency in engine-based transportation: the need to use an engine that is oversized for the average duty cycle of the application, and the transient operation of the internal combustion engine caused by the drive-wheel speed and the traction effort required. In addition, hybrid electric powertrains allow auxiliary systems and accessories to be decoupled from the engine, permitting their use on demand and increasing overall efficiency. Finally, because the electric traction motor is designed to function as a generator during deceleration, a portion of the kinetic energy of the vehicle is converted back into electrical energy. Hybrid electric powertrains would be most beneficial in light and medium trucks, the duty cycles of which include variable driving schedules, high operating speeds, and widely varied vehicle loading. Light-duty passenger cars with hybrid electric powertrains have already been commercialized (e.g., the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight). Prototypes of hybrid electric trucks have also been produced.19 For this technology, areas that require research include electric motors and generators, electrical energy storage systems, power electronic products, electrical safety, regenerative braking, and engines built for specific purposes (see Appendix B for additional information). 17 National Research Council. 2001. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Seventh Report. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 18 U.S. Department of Energy. 2000. Technology Roadmap for the 21st Century Truck Program: A Government-Industry Research Partnership. Report No. 21CT-001. Available at <http://www.trucks.doe.gov/pdfs/P/62.pdf>. Accessed March 2003. 19 S. Nimmer. Oshkosh Truck Corporation. Presentation to the committee, August 21, 2002.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Fuel Cells The use of fuel cells as auxiliary power sources or, in the very long term, as primary power sources, would provide opportunities for new truck design and the insertion of radical new materials. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert energy from the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. By 2005, fuel-cell vehicles using pressurized hydrogen may be produced as passenger cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). There are significant barriers to be overcome, however, including overall performance limits, cost, fuel availability and onboard storage, and lack of infrastructure.20 For military applications, fuel cells will not be a viable primary power alternative for many years to come. As fuel-cell stacks of high efficiency are developed, however, they could be used as auxiliary power units in tractor-trailer, vocational, or medium-duty trucks that have much accessory equipment (see Appendix B for additional information). LEVERAGING COMMERCIAL TECHNOLOGIES Despite the potential advantages, there are numerous barriers to the integration of military and commercial business practices. A recent NRC study discusses barriers to the introduction of new commercial technologies, such as lightweight materials, into military products.21 The barriers are as follows: Government practices regarding intellectual property that are inconsistent with commercial practice and limit R&D partnering opportunities; Government acquisition provisions that many commercial suppliers are unwilling to accept, thereby limiting the supplier community; The lack of longer-term contracts that would motivate suppliers to make investments that would yield savings over the product life cycle; such contracts are particularly important to investments in new manufacturing processes needed to produce structural systems made of lighter-weight materials; and A burdensome oversight process, dedicated to preventing abuse, that creates an almost adversarial relationship between the Army and potential R&D partners, truck manufacturers, or suppliers. 20 See note 3 above. 21 National Research Council. 2002. Equipping Tomorrow’s Military Force: Integration of Commercial and Military Manufacturing in 2010 and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks As the commercial automobile and truck industries make progress in the design, application, and qualification of new lightweight structural materials and related technologies, the Army would benefit from the ability to leverage these advances and incorporate them into new generations of military trucks. Cross-platform dual use (i.e., commercial to military and vice versa) of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies is the key to the Army’s benefiting from economies of scale and best manufacturing practices. Partnerships with commercial and passenger vehicle manufacturers are needed to access new technologies and implement them in new truck platforms. Early involvement of maintenance personnel is essential when incorporating advanced lightweight materials into future trucks. The Army should pay close attention to the global vehicle codes and standards established by commercial industry, regulatory bodies, and trade organizations. These codes and standards would help prevent duplication of R&D, as well as avoiding the dilution of limited supplier resources and capabilities by focusing them on aspects important to achieve battlefield dominance and mobility. Knowledge spillovers from joint government-and-industry-supported R&D programs are critical in accelerating the transfer of emerging advanced materials technologies to the Army truck fleet.22 Ongoing programs through which the Army can leverage new technologies into truck platforms include the R&D in progress in other military services, commercial automotive partnerships, industry-university consortia, and cross-industry collaborative programs. Some of these programs are described below. Government Programs The National Automotive Center is an existing Army program that was established in 1992 as part of the U.S. Army Tank-automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center under TACOM. The NAC is the focal point for DOD collaboration on ground vehicle research and development with the commercial automotive and truck industries. The NAC aims to develop technology that improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions without degrading performance in light, medium, and heavy trucks. The NAC funds collaborative automotive technology contracts, Small Business Innovative 22 C.B. Fitszsimmons. 2001. Knowledge Spillovers from Joint Government-Industry Supported Research: Case Study from the Automotive Industry. Ph.D. dissertation. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks Research (SBIR) contracts, and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements; sponsors an academic center of excellence for automotive research; and participates in national initiatives such as the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles and the Intelligent Transportation System. The goal of these collaborations is to evaluate the technology developed by the automotive industry and to leverage commercial advances in military systems. The Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies (OAAT) has partnered with the domestic "big three" automakers for the development of new technologies, including lightweight materials, alternative fuels, energy storage, combustion and emission control, and power electronics. DOE created the Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies (OHVT) in 1996 to address the energy-efficiency challenges facing manufacturers, suppliers, and users of heavy transport vehicles. The office works with industry partners and their suppliers to research and develop technologies that make heavy vehicles more energy-efficient and able to use alternative fuels while reducing vehicle emissions. Currently, OHVT programs are focused on high-efficiency, clean diesel and natural gas technologies. OHVT takes an integrated systems approach that encompasses a wide range of technologies. The high-strength, lightweight materials program aims to reduce vehicle weight by 35 to 40 percent for Class 1 and 2 vehicles, 25 percent for Class 3 to 6 vehicles, and by 5,000 lb for Class 7 and 8 vehicles (up to 65 tons). The propulsion materials program aims to develop new materials for fuel systems, exhaust gas after-treatment systems, valve trains, and air-handling systems.23 Commercial Automotive Partnerships The United States Council for Automotive Research is the umbrella organization of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors. USCAR was formed in 1992 to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative precompetitive research. The Auto Aluminum Alliance (AAA) was created in 1999 as a cooperative effort between the major aluminum suppliers and the big three auto companies. AAA promotes collaboration on research to accelerate the use of new aluminum technologies in cars and light trucks. This alliance conducts joint 23 U.S. Department of Energy. 2001. Office of Heavy Vehicles Technologies. Available at <http://www.trucks.doe.gov>. Accessed March 2003.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks R&D projects and, with the assistance of a specialty steel company, has had some recent breakthroughs in the recycling area. UltraLight Steel Auto Body is an international design consortium of 35 steelmakers from 18 countries that joined forces in 1994. ULSAB is making great progress in component design. The ULSAB designs for a body-in-white used high-strength steels, finite element modeling, and innovations such as laser-welded blanks, hydroformed tube structures, and roof panels.24 Joint Government-Industry Collaborations The 21st Century Truck Initiative was established in 1997 by the National Automotive Center to address challenges facing the trucking industry. This initiative, a collaboration between government agencies and industry, seeks to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, increase safety, and reduce the cost of ownership for commercial and military trucks. The program seeks to increase triple fuel efficiency for Class 2B and 6 trucks and Class 8 buses and to double fuel efficiency for Class 8 line-haul vehicles. The 21st Century Truck Partnership was established in 2000 and includes the Army, DOD, DOE, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, trucking industry affiliates, and academic institutions. This partnership seeks to develop advanced, commercially viable truck technologies through partnerships between government and industry. The goals of the partnership are to improve fuel efficiency, enhance safety, reduce operating and ownership costs, lower emissions, and maintain or enhance performance. The partnership has a thrust area for advanced materials and plans for an integrated approach to R&D on hybrid electric powertrains for commercial and military applications. Use of high-strength steel, increased use of aluminum, and incorporation of carbon fiber composites are several examples of technical approaches under consideration by the 21st Century Truck Partnership.25 Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities is a cooperative agreement between DOD and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences established in 1998 to leverage commercial practices in repair, remanufacturing, and maintenance technologies. This program is aimed at 24 National Research Council. 2000. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Sixth Report. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. 25 See note 18 above.
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Use of Lightweight Materials in 21st Century Army Trucks the development of commercially proven methods and tools for reducing the O&S costs incurred by Army depots supporting the remanufacturing and rebuilding of weapon and support platforms. Thus far, this partnership has resulted in several new-fielded technologies in rapid prototyping, nondestructive evaluation, and corrosion sensing and repair. IMPACT is a joint program between NAC, the Ford Motor Company, the University of Louisville, and the American Iron and Steel Institute. The program supports the development of lightweight, fuel-efficient, corrosion-resistant, low-cost technologies for commercial and military vehicles. It focuses on the use of high-strength steels, laser-welded blanks, and improved bonding to significantly reduce the weight of the Ford F-series for potential military applications. Ford’s P2000 lightweight vehicle platform uses aluminum extensively for major components such as the body and frame, as well as carbon fiber, magnesium, and titanium for a variety of parts. IMPACT is also studying the potential for using primarily steel, a more affordable material, to achieve near-P2000 weight reductions. The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles is a nonprofit organization established in 1992 as a joint effort between government and automobile manufacturers for R&D into vehicle technologies that are safer, stronger, lighter, and more fuel-efficient. The PNGV program seeks to reduce body-in-white weight by 50 percent and conducts studies of weight reduction in the chassis and powertrain of automobiles.
Representative terms from entire chapter: