NORFOLK (NNS) -- In 2015, then-second year apprentice Adam Fahy teamed up with the Rapid Prototype Center (RPC) to create the Fahy Frame, a rotating breaker stand used to flip 540-pound breakers.
This innovation provided an ergonomic solution to workers who had to lift and work on the breakers, and eliminated days off of the maintenance schedule.
The team came back together this year to tackle another innovation: a custom socket tool used to torque the staked bushing that holds racking gear in place on all 2000-style framed breakers. It would ensure the staked bushing that is installed with the framed breakers does not come loose.
"We noticed the bushing always arrive at a 10th [of] their required torque," said Fahy, who works in the electrical shop (shop 51). "The bushing is used to absorb impact and provide stability with the joints, and without the required amount it could cause the racking gear to wobble and bend, and go loose.
This issue would affect all 2,000 framed breakers we work with on a daily basis. The original tool we developed to alleviate this problem wasn't able to engage enough of the sidewall of the bushing and would wobble when used due to the lack of stability. We would also bang our knuckles on the breaker frame, and we didn't have the confidence in the tool when torquing. It was inefficient, and we needed a change."
Seeing the need for a new prototype, Fahy turned to the creative team at the RPC to help get the job done.
"We took that original idea and brainstormed some ways we could improve it," said John Tate, RPC toolmaker. "We machined, welded and heat-treated a socket prototype with tabs that were made to have less chance of wear, and provide accuracy in its use. As this is a tool that is used regularly, we wanted to ensure the design was made to ensure there was no rework necessary and it fit the user's needs."
"The new socket engages twice the amount of depth the old tool did and with only a few thousandths of an inch clearance," said Fahy. "There is no possibility for wobbling or slipping, which lets the mechanic focus on proper torquing. It's a great addition to the tool belt and can assist in our day-to-day operations to ensure a safe and efficient workday. I'm thrilled for the assistance the RPC has provided me and my team yet again, and I'm always looking for new ideas we could work on to help improve the shipyard."
If you have an idea that might improve your job, contact the RPC at 396-4950/4956/4758 or 778-4181.
To check out the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Service to the Fleet that featured the Fahy Frame article, visit http://issuu.com/nnsy/docs/sttf_dec-jan_issuu. To check out the YouTube video on the Fahy Frame, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdJJXQFdXjQ.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Norfolk Naval Shipyard, visit www.navy.mil/local/nnsy/.