HomeAir Force Packaging and Technology and Engineering Facility

 

THE AIR FORCE PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING FACILITY

  AFPTEF logo    AFPTEF is assigned to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson AFB.  We can support any government activity. Our mission is to satisfy our customers' Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHST) needs in times of peace and war.  We do this through management of hazardous and non-hazardous packaging, container engineering and design, packaging material evaluation, testing, and support. Our goal is to promote continuous improvement in military packaging through reduction of our customer's life cycle costs, while maintaining quality and environmental sensitivity in our changing global posture.  

DOD PACKAGING SOLUTIONS

The Air Force Packaging Technology and Engineering Facility (AFPTEF), at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the packaging engineering organization for the Air Force. The unit specializes in custom-engineered packaging prototypes for the Department of Defense.

AFPTEF offers the Air Force, DOD and other government agencies complete consulting, design, prototyping, fabrication, testing engineering and evaluation services. AFPTEF is a cost-reimbursable activity assigned to the Engineering and Technical Management/Services Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. The facility can provide packaging, handling, storage, and transportation solutions to any activity of the Federal government.

The organization is the DOD-recognized leader in hazardous and non-hazardous package container engineering and design, packaging material evaluation, testing, and support. AFPTEF-developed applications have ranged from specialized containers for tool kits to shipping containers for satellites.
 

CONSULTATION

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.

AFPTEF HISTORY

By September 1944,  the packaging function had been organized under the Army Air Corps as the Packaging Branch, Engineering Standards Division, at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB) in Ohio.

In 1955 the Packaging Engineering Section was established at Brookley AFB. With the impending closure of Brookley AFB, the packaging organization returned to Wright-Patterson AFB,  and was assigned to HQ Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) on July 6, 1967.

The mid-1980s saw a major shift in AFPEA workload from trying to field-fix existing problems to preventing them.  On July 1, 1991 the Packaging Policy office was reassigned as a branch of AFPEA and physically moved into Building 70. AFPEA officially ended on Oct. 1, 1994, when the Air Force formed the AFMC Logistics Support Office (LSO) and we were renamed AFPTEF.

During the 1990s, we greatly expanded our design capability with parametric computer design systems and rapid prototyping. Container testing was upgraded with the purchase of nearly $1M of NEW test equipment.  This put AFPTEF in the position of being one of the best equipped organizations of its type in the government.

In 1998, a decision was made that resulted in AFPTEF being downsized  and converted to a fee-for-service organization.

PRODUCTS

AFPTEF containers are aluminum, long-life, controlled breathing, reusable shipping and storage containers. Using specialized double walled aluminum extrusions, AFPTEF containers are robust, sealed containers that protect countless Air Force assets mechanically and environmentally during worldwide shipment and storage.

FABRICATION

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.

DESIGN

AFPTEF has the lead service responsibility for new designs as well as redesigns of specialized, long-life, shipping and storage containers.  We have a complete in-house development capability from design; to fabrication; to performing environmental and dynamic tests qualifying the containers for world-wide transportation and storage. 

AFPTEF engineers use a parametric based, 3-D, solids modeling software for designing, finite element analysis for performing structural and dynamic analysis on components and full container designs, and creation of numeric code for manufacturing.

The design process starts out by determining the container requirements.  We evaluate the item being packaged for it’s fragility, environmental protection, and interface requirements, just to name a few.  Then we determine what the handling, transportation, and storage requirements are.  We ensure our container design works with support equipment and if we can incorporate features into the design to eliminate the need for special support equipment, we do so.

The design/development process yields a prototype container, a production level drawing package, a project report, and a draft special packaging instructions (SPI).

TESTING

AFPTEF has extensive testing capabilities due to a wide range of testing equipment.  All tests are in accordance with standard container testing specifications. 

AFPTEF TEST EQUIPMENT:

▪ ELECTROHYDRAULIC VIBRATION TEST MACHINE  

▪ CONTAINER DROP TESTER

▪ TEMPERATURE/HUMIDITY WALK-IN ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMBERS  

▪ PENDULUM IMPACT TESTER

▪ RAIN/SALT-FOG/WIND WALK-IN ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMBER  

▪ ALTITUDE CHAMBER

▪ DYNAMIC CUSHION TESTER - LANSMONT MODEL 23  

▪ CONSTANT TEMPERATURE/HUMIDITY CABINET

▪ DIGITAL PRESSURE/VACUUM MANOMETER  

▪ TIE DOWN/HANDLE PULL TESTER  

▪ DIGITAL DATA ACQUISITION STORAGE  

▪ UNIVERSAL TENSILE/COMPRESSION TESTING MACHINE  

   a. PEAK G SHOCK

   b. VIBRATION ACCELERATION, RESONANCE AND ANALYSIS

MISSION GUIDANCE

The following publications provide mission guidance as well as information about our interaction with other organizations:
  • AFPD 24-2
  • AFI 24-203
  • AFMAN 23-110
  • AFJMAN 24-206
  • AFJI 24-10
  • AFMCI 24-201
​AFPTEF is a cost-reimbursable organization.  

CONTAINER DESIGN RETRIEVAL

  The Container Design Retrieval System (CDRS) is now managed by AFPTEF at Wright-Patterson AFB.

Download the CDRS Search Request Form, fill in the required information, and email it to CDRS@us.af.mil.  

An AFPTEF representative will perform the database search based on your form's information and provide you with the results. If the search is unsuccessful, we will also provide you alterative courses of action to fulfill your container needs.           
 

PACKAGE DESIGNER

  The "Package Designer" computer program referenced in  MIL-HDBK-304 has been updated.  
     
  Request Package Designer Obtain the software manual  
       
  Polyethylene Cushion Design Curves for Extreme Temps:  
  Type I (2 pcf)
Type III (4 pcf)
Type IV (6 pcf)
Type V (9 pcf) 
 

CONTACT US

Air Force Packaging Technology and Engineering Facility
5215 Thurlow Street
Suite 5, Building 70, Area A
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-5540
Commercial Phone: 937-257-3362
AFPTEF.webmaster@us.af.mil