M1 Tank Test Panel Project

In 1988 as a subcontractor for Chrysler Corporation building the test panels for the M1 Abrams tank. While working as temp labor on an assembly line for the test panel, several thousand wires had been improperly prepared and needed to be reworked. Being the new kid on the block, that laborious task landed on Nicholas having been trained as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy and Kennedy Space Center and understanding specs for stripping the wires for connection with the test ports and the strict tolerances, Nicholas’ job was to clip the wires and re-strip them with a standard set of wire strippers. The problem was that a tech was essentially “guessing” on stripping the wires for the correct amount.

    • Nicholas found that there was a screw in exactly the right place on the wire strippers where a crimped terminal lug could be attached and bent to the exact length needed. What had formerly been the bottleneck in the assembly of operation, Nicholas was now able to catch up the 14 units of the 129 test point panel in just 2½ days. The previous rate was 2 panels per day which was increased including the new stripping procedure to 5.6 panels per day.

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