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Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, commanding general, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Camp Lejeune, N.C., paints with the STAR4D virtual paint system in Maintenance Center Albany’s Coatings Branch.
Mike Jackson, supervisor at Cost Work Center-749, demonstrates how the Spray Technique Analysis and Research for Defense Program is used to train and improve an employee’s skills as a painter.
The Yermo Annex Marine Corps. Logistics Base in California and the Corpus Christi Army Depot Aviation Center in Texas have acquired new systems to help train and enhance employees’ painting abilities.
The bases obtained a Spray Technique Analysis and Research for Defense (STAR4D) training program from the University of Northern Iowa, a virtual training that the military says improves quality while reducing time, materials and toxic exposures.
The military branches are using the systems in training to apply chemical agent resistant coatings (CARC) required on all combat, combat support and combat service support equipment. CARC is a polyurethane paint that provides superior durability, extends service life for military vehicles and equipment, provides surfaces with superior resistance to chemical warfare agent penetration, and greatly simplifies the process of decontaminating equipment when necessary.
Mike Jackson, supervisor at the Yermo Annex Marine Corps Logistics Base, says the STAR4D improved transfer efficiency.
“It is hands-on training allowing workers to judge their distance and thickness of spray, and allow them to develop speed without the waste of using a booth,” Jackson says. “It prepares workers, giving them an idea of what is to be expected and develop a rhythm.”
The military says that currently the maintenance centers in Barstow, Calif., and Albany, Ga., are experiencing a 40 percent transfer improvement efficiency with a 20 percent projected cost saving. That equates to an average savings of 60 gal of paint per year for every 300 gal used, or about $200,000 in savings.
“We have the ability to train our employees without having to worry about the amount of paint we are using, or any air pollution that we would have to worry about from constantly using the painting booth,” Jackson says. “The system is constantly getting better, and the more it does, the better we can train our employees and also save money on things such as paint. Along with saving the time that we would be using the booth for training, we can now use it for pushing more products off the line.”