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AFPTEF has the lead service responsibility for new designs as well as redesigns of specialized, long-life, shipping and storage containers. Our facility is equipped to design, fabricate, and perform environmental and dynamic testing to qualify containers for world-wide transportation and storage.
The design process starts out by determining the container requirements. We evaluate the item being packaged based on its fragility, environmental protection, interface requirements, and field usage procedures. We then determine the appropriate handling, transportation, and storage requirements for the asset. Once the requirements are defined, we design and test a customized container to protect the asset from any anticipated events that would otherwise cause mechanical or environmental damage while interfacing with the existing support equipment (if possible).
AFPTEF engineers use a parametric, 3D, computer aided design (CAD) software to design and perform structural and dynamic analysis through finite element analysis. The design/development process yields a prototype container, a production level drawing package, a project report, and a draft special packaging instructions (SPI).
AFPTEF has extensive in-house facilities for prototyping and light production. CAM data is taken directly from the design system and imported into the CNC milling machines for specialized parts and extrusions. The majority of welding is done using TIG welders. The in-house facility is run and operated by a skilled and experienced staff of model makers.
Shop capabilities include but are not limited to prototyping aluminum, steel, or wood containers, item restraint systems, cushioning systems for shock mitigation and simulated items for testing. AFPTEF shop facilities are also capable of small production runs to meet mission deployment requirements.
In addition, we are skilled in the refurbishment of fielded containers. We fully inspect each container and create a repair process to ensure each container meets original mission requirements. We repair all structural and welding damage, replace all missing and damaged hardware, parts, and assemblies, and then clean and re-stencil the container before returning it to the field.
AFPTEF maintains a full range of container testing services which are used to prove in-house designs, as well as other DOD and contractor end-item, developmental, qualification, and commercial-off-the-shelf containers. AFPTEF also has extensive UN Performance Oriented Packaging (POP) testing experience and stays up to date on the latest DOT test requirements. Our environmental testing chambers duplicate a wide range of shipping and storage conditions encountered by military packaging worldwide: heat, cold, humidity, salt-fog, wind, rain and altitude. Dynamic test capabilities include, but are not limited to: impact shock (with hot/cold capability), vibration (resonant dwell, repetitive, and random), pendulum impact, structural pressure, and structural component tests.
As the Lead Service for cushioning materials we can perform virtually all cushioning tests including dynamic cushioning, combustibility, compressive strength, compression creep, compression set, combustibility, friability, and hydrolytic stability for polyolefin and polyurethane foams.
AFPTEF specializes not only in container design and development but also in container/packaging evaluation and analysis. AFPTEF can evaluate commercial off the shelf containers as well as contractor developed containers. Methods ranging from testing to finite element analysis are employed to measure whether the package/container meets the requirements.
We also provide engineering support for container/packaging acquisition. We can develop requirements, prepare the specification and/or statement of work, provide technical support during technical interchange meetings, and perform the first article inspection and test. We can provide assistant in the evaluation or preparation of drawing packages, special packaging instructions (SPI), technical orders (TO), and life cycle cost analysis.