APT Advocates Risk Summing Requirement for System Safety

At the recent 33rd International System Safety Convention in San Diego, Tom Pfitzer and Melissa Emery presented a proposal to the G-48 committee to add a new task titled “Total System Risk Analysis” into the ANSI System Safety Standard. A similar task is being offered for consideration to add in the next MIL-STD-882 update. The process and methodology for risk summing has been under development at APT since 2005, and is currently in use by a number of leading safety professionals. APT advocates that the time is now to include the practice as a part of nationally recognized best practices.

S-MASS II Contract

NASA KSC exercised Option 3 of the Safety and Mission Assurance Support Services (S-MASS) II contract.  APT is looking forward to another exciting and challenging year at NASA KSC.

APT Conducts IMESAFR Training in Norway

APT has recently worked with regulators and industry in Scandinavia to conduct a three-day training course on IMESAFR v2.0. Twenty students from Norway, Sweden, and Finland registered for the August class, which was held at Nammo’s facility in Raufoss. As regulators in all three countries are looking to update the way quantitative risk assessment (QRA) is used for explosives safety, IMESAFR is being evaluated, as it is now recognized as the industry standard in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Hendrix Joins APT Staff

APT is pleased to announce that Barry Hendrix has joined the APT staff as a Principal System Safety Engineer. Mr. Hendrix is a senior member of the International System Safety Society, former President of the North Texas chapter, former Director of Member Services, and was awarded Manager of the Year in 2001. Prior to joining the APT team, he served as the Integrated Battlefield Command System (IBCS) System Safety Manager and Software Safety Leader at Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control. Among other leadership positions, his career also includes serving as Technical Fellow, Principal Engineer for Aviation Safety & Airworthiness, System Safety/Software Safety Manager on company aircraft product lines for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and as System Safety Engineering Team Lead for Airborne Interdiction Weapons at Texas Instruments and Raytheon. He has contributed to many Safety Standards including ANSI/GEIA-STD-0010-2009, Standard Best Practices for System Safety Program Development and Execution; MIL-STD-882E, Department of Defense Standard Practice System Safety; IEEE STD-1228, Standard for Software Safety Plans; and SA-18 Committee for Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP).  He is on the G-48, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International, and RTCA Committees. Mr. Hendrix will support special studies out of the SEAC and a variety of APT customers.

A-P-T Research, Inc. Celebrates 25th Anniversary

A-P-T Research, Inc. has achieved its 25th year in business and is celebrating with two events for employees, their families, and guests. To kick off this momentous anniversary, a picnic was held at APT’s headquarters in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama on Saturday, June 20, 2015. A second celebration will be held for APT’s Florida employees at Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral on June 27.

Starting with just a handful of employees in 1990 in Huntsville, APT has grown over 25 years to over 130 employees located all over the United States, supporting more than 50 government and commercial customers.  APT provides professional engineering services in a variety of disciplines including systems engineering, risk assessment and analysis, test planning, range safety, system safety, software system safety, explosives safety, industrial and quality engineering, quality assurance, and mission assurance.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Grants Variance Based on IMESAFR

APT recently prepared a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) study using IMESAFR 2.0, which was used by a commercial explosives manufacturer to seek a variance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for an explosives facility in the United States.  ATF approved this variance request, which marks the first time the American Table of Distances (ATD) requirement has ever been waived based on a QRA study. IMESAFR is commercially available [APT Research, Inc. | Products | IMESAFR] and APT offers consulting services if needed.

Company President Re-elected as Chair of the Launch and Re-entry Safety Committee of IAASS

In October, Company President, Tom Pfitzer, was re-elected for a three year term as the Chair of the Launch and Re-entry Safety Committee of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS). This Committee of international range safety experts prepares and publishes analyses and policy recommendations on the safety issues of protecting the public from the hazards of launch and reentry. The Association also holds an advisory seat at the United Nations (UN).

APT, the DOT’s First Designated FCA

Before attempting to transport any explosives within or into the U.S., with certain exceptions, they must be submitted to a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved explosives testing laboratory to be tested and assigned a recommended shipping description and hazard class/division. The laboratory then submits a report to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) where the explosive is approved and issued a DOT classification approval number (EX number). One exception is that Division 1.3 or 1.4 fireworks may be classed, approved, and offered for transportation without prior laboratory examination if the item conforms to the requirements of American Pyrotechnic Association APA Standard 87-1. The approval process can take up to 120 days or more to obtain a classification for the firework.

Effective August 15, 2013, PHMSA established an alternative to the approval process for Division 1.4G consumer fireworks. Now, firework manufacturers may submit applications directly to a DOT-approved Fireworks Certification Agency (FCA) instead of applying to PHMSA. APT was the first explosives testing laboratory to be designated as an FCA by the DOT. As an FCA, APT is authorized to review and certify that division 1.4G consumer fireworks conform to the requirements of the APA Standard 87-1 (UN0336) based on test and criteria prescribed in 49 CFR § 173.65. APT’s commitment to our customers is to issue every certification as quickly as possible – measured in hours, not months. In an effort to continually improve our customers’ level of satisfaction and the speed with which we can respond to customer requests, we will soon offer the ability to quickly and securely enter information and process all transactions right on our website at www.fireworkscertification.com.

A-P-T Research Employees Give $680,000 to Charity Through Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County

Officers at APT gathered Monday, December 15, with members of the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County to celebrate the launch of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) transaction.

The event at APT’s headquarters in Huntsville also recognized the company’s new Corporate Giving Fund to support local charities and the donation of more than $680,000 to the Foundation. The ESOP transaction, giving fund, and donation marked a new milestone for APT, which was incorporated in 1990 and is now 100-percent employee owned.

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