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  • Writer's pictureDeVal Lifecycle Support

Maximizing Efficiency: The Best Zero-Maintenance Kits for Equipment Upgrades and Extended Life Cycle

Maintenance costs within defense platforms, notably on aging support equipment like the MHU-110 and MHU-141 Munitions Trailers, imposes significant budgetary constraints. The ongoing routine maintenance demands substantial human interaction and man-hours, and requires a significant amount of downtime for mission critical equipment.



 

Addressing these concerns, DeVal Lifecycle Support steps forward with an innovative solution: the Zero-Maintenance (ZM) kit. This advanced kit upgrades key systems affordably and interchangeably, achieving several objectives:

 

  • Reduces required scheduled maintenance time for existing fleets

  • Utilizes modern materials, enhancing reliability, and corrosion resistance of the entire unit as well as vulnerable components.

  • Adaptable to countless armament handling and rolling stock platforms.


Manufactured by DeVal, Zero-Maintenance kits offer a transformative solution by significantly reducing maintenance man-hours on existing platforms, addressing critical concerns surrounding aging fleet maintenance.

 

Successfully implemented in various systems for munitions trailers, transporters, and weapon loaders within the U.S. Navy, these technology upgrades stand as a testament to their maturity and immediate applicability across additional platforms. The kits, referred to in the Navy as CILOP (Conversion in Lieu of Procurement) and as SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) in the Air Force, embody exceptional effectiveness with effortless installation, seamlessly integrated into existing depot maintenance routines with minimal effort.

 

Our strategic aim is to identify and validate DeVal's zero-maintenance kits for immediate deployment on aged support equipment or those relying on outdated technology. This commitment positions DeVal as an immediate solution provider, ensuring swift deployment of zero-maintenance upgrades across various support equipment platforms.

 

Each kit is designed with our rigorous quality assurance standards, with our value added engineering process used to upgrade existing parts and components with the Engineering Service Authority designed to meet and exceed the original package's technical data requirements. To accelerate the validation steps, DeVal meticulously ensures meeting or exceeding all essential standards. Once approved, the kits undergo full-scale production, facilitating a seamless transition from aging maintenance heavy equipment to a fully zero-maintenance unit with extended life cycle.

 

Our objective is twofold: to revolutionize required maintenance while providing cost-effective, practical solutions to our customers. This approach is designed to extend the lifecycle of critically needed equipment while minimizing required downtime and man-hours, thereby enhancing operational availability.


DeVal Zero Maintenance Kits Past Performance

 

DeVal has a proud and extensive history as a manufacturer for the AERO-51E Munitions Trailer and has a proven track record of implementing the proposed zero-maintenance solution. The AERO-51E stands as the Navy’s equivalent to the MHU-141 Trailer and serves as a prime demonstration of the efficacy and feasibility of our zero-maintenance solution.

 

The AERO- 51E Munitions Trailer is a towed transport unit with a non-skid flat deck design and a single Ackerman steering system, hydraulic 4-wheel extended life disc brake system lift assists, tow bar and upgraded wiring harness with LED lighting. It has two center panels that are hinged to open, giving access to the load by forklift-type handling equipment. In addition, it is a 100% zero-maintenance unit with an LED lighting system equipped with a greaseless bearing and steering system that requires no lubrication for the life of the unit.

 

The success story of the AERO-51E Munitions Trailer underscores our ability to engineer and deliver zero-maintenance solutions that alleviate traditional maintenance demands, ensuring increased efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness across defense platforms. 


Zero-Maintenance Modernization & Upgrades

 

At DeVal, our legacy stands as a testament to developing upgrades and conversion kits to modernize existing munitions-handling equipment for the Department of Defense. Our modernization efforts have shown that implementing key upgrades significantly refines maintenance standards, reducing maintenance man-hours by approximately 70% in the most intensive systems. Simultaneously, it extends the life of mission-critical assets. 

 

We have successfully implemented the designs and SLEP conversion kits across several existing munitions trailers, weapons loaders, bomb racks, and other rolling stock for Navy and FMS markets. These include AERO-51E and Munitions Trailers, SATS A/S32K-1E Air-Launched Weapons Loader, MHU-191A/M Weapons Transporter, and others.

 

Several aging and maintenance-intensive systems on existing platforms provide great opportunities for reducing routine maintenance, repairs, and replacement. Below are some of DeVal’s Zero-Maintenance solutions that are available to address several maintenance issues and eliminate the need for numerous routine maintenance tasks. Each solution listed has been embraced by the Department of Defense. These solutions are mature, have established markets, and are ready to be adapted to specific support equipment platforms immediately.

 

Zero-Maintenance Steering Systems:

 

DeVal’s zero-maintenance steering system designs are engineered to revolutionize traditional steering components. We replace all pivoting connections with precision-ground stainless steel alloy pins and bushings made from innovative bronze alloys. These corrosion-resistant connections eliminate the need for grease fittings, ensuring no additional lubrication is required throughout the asset’s lifespan. Our design also replaces tie rod ends and ball joints with permanently greased units enclosed in protective boots, safeguarding against dirt, liquids, and contaminants that commonly limit the lifespan of these critical components.

 

Sealed Wheel Bearings:

 

DeVal’s advanced zero-maintenance wheel bearing designs replace old tapered roller bearings and grease seals with permanently sealed wheel bearings. This eliminates the need for lubrication after installation and is effectively maintenance-free throughout the asset’s life. With a proven track record in commercial markets and successful deployment across Department of Defense weapons trailers and transporters, these upgraded designs ensure extended reliability without maintenance hassles.

 

Modernized Electrical & Lighting Systems:


DeVal has introduced advanced electrical and lighting systems, replacing outdated incandescent or halogen setups with durable LED fixtures that ensure continuous functionality throughout the equipment’s operational lifespan. The upgrade includes a complete replacement of the electrical harness with modern materials and connectors that are water, fungus, and corrosion-resistant. It offers enhanced durability and environmental resilience, significantly reducing power consumption and eliminating the need for frequent bulb replacement. These proven solutions are widely embraced in the market and present a cost-effective and accessible modernization solution for various support equipment platforms.


Modernized Braking Systems:


DeVal’s braking system modernization kits are designed to seamlessly replace dated drum brake systems with advanced disc brake systems. This advanced system doesn’t require any adjustment during use and utilizes corrosion-resistant clippers and stainless-steel rotors, ensuring optimal performance even in harsh marine environments.


Corrosion-Resistant Hydraulics:

 

DeVal’s hydraulic system conversions represent a leap in hydraulic modernization by transitioning to exclusively corrosion-resistant materials. Our conversion involves replacing existing rubber hoses with stainless-steel Teflon flexible variants that boast resistance to corrosion, abrasion, tearing, fungi, and rot. This upgrade extends to all hydraulic fittings and rigid tubes, which are revamped with corrosion-resistant materials to withstand even the harshest marine conditions. Additionally, surge brake cylinders are converted to corrosion-resistant materials or coated with corrosion-resistant plating, including both internal and external surfaces.

 

 

DeVal also offers a conversion service that replaces conventional pneumatic tires with “foam-filled” variants which eliminates the need for periodic pressure checks. The converted tires maintain tread characteristics while gaining enhanced protection against punctures and debris, equipping them with a “run-flat” capacity even after substantial damage. With the utilization of modern elastomers, these tires mitigate "solid shock," ensuring operator safety akin to pneumatic tires.

 

 

DeVal Lifecycle Support, a Parts Life, Inc. Company, is a full service build to print mechanical manufacturer of armament and ground support equipment, sub-assemblies, and major parts and components for military systems and sub-systems for over 60 years. As a small business certified HUBZone contractor for the Department of Defense, DeVal LCS is a full-service original equipment manufacturer with extensive high precision machining capabilities used to support our prime and government customers. Products include munitions trailers adapters & add-ons, drawbars, cargo loaders, weapon transport adapters, bomb hoist, dollies, self-propelled weapons loaders, testing and tool sets, and more. DeVal operates under regimented performance guidelines constituted by ISO9001:2015 and AS9100D Certified Quality Management Systems Programs.

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