RIC STORY

ROCK INDUSTRIES CORPORATION
Corporate History

Rock Industries Corporation Corporation (RIC) was established in 2007 to operate a precision manufacturing facility to provide parts-on-demand (Mobile Parts Hospital) for Army CONUS operations. 
Support will be provided for National Guard and Reserve units throughout the country.  RIC is located on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, at Fort Yates, North Dakota and is owned by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. 

RIC is a cooperative effort with the following team players:

  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, ND—Owner/Operator of RIC
  • Sitting Bull College, Fort Yates, ND—Provide training
  • University of North Dakota, School of Engineering and Mines, Grand Forks, ND—Provide technical support for training and equipment selection and specification
  • Alion Science and Technology, Grand Forks, ND—Provide technical direction, training in manufacturing, and participate in conduct of each program activity

MOBILE PARTS HOSPITAL
The Mobile Parts Hospital (MPH) was developed for the purpose of manufacturing parts, on demand, to support Army operations in the field. Alion Science and Technology is the prime contractor for the MPH development program. The first unit was deployed to Kuwait in 2003 and in 2005 two additional units were deployed to the region. These MPH units have produced over 22,000 parts. Translated into operational terms, this means that at least 55,000 vehicle-days of operation were saved during this period. These are the idle days that would result if the vehicles had to wait for supply of the needed parts from the standard supply network.
Parts produced by the MPH have included:

  • Bearing sleeves (machine gun)
  • Shafts
  • Couplers
  • Pintles (weapon)
  • Plates
  • Brackets (machine gun)

Alion is currently prime contractor for development of several advanced manufacturing technology systems that will provide RIC additional parts-on-demand capability—and extend the range of parts for which such rapid turnaround of parts supply would be feasible. As a subcontractor to Alion, RIC is developing several manufacturing technologies. 

These technologies and systems are:

  • Extended In-Field Manufacturing—being developed in collaboration with the Rock Island Arsenal for the purpose of extending the in-field parts-on-demand capability of the MPH to include part repair capability.
  • Micro-Factory—being developed to provide an economical capability to manufacture and repair the numerous micro-size components being introduced into military equipment, particularly for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), which will be used extensively for military and Homeland Security operations.
  • Super Finishing—for which the team of the University of North Dakota and Alion is developing practical applications for military equipment to extend part lifetimes.
  • Laser Cladding – being developed in collaboration with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to provide a capability for refurbishing parts

Initial RIC production work was performed on production tasks 1) assigned by the Army and 2) ventures with private sector contractors employing such operations as assembly, kitting and joining and precision machining.