Press: IFDIS Voted 2012 DoD Great Ideas Competition Winner






Expanding Role within the DoD Maintenance Enterprise

Voted “Great Ideas” Competition Winner at the 2012

Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium


Ogden, Utah.  November 2012 – Universal Synaptics Corp. announces that the “Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System (IFDIS™) – Expanding Role within the DoD Maintenance Enterprise” has been selected as the “Great Ideas” Competition Winner at the 2012 Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition. The DoD Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition is the premier annual event for DoD maintainers and their industry counterparts. The DoD Maintenance Symposium has been approved by the DoD and accordingly meets all departmental guidelines for attendance by all Services, Agencies and Industry.

The “Great Ideas” Competition provides a forum for the sharing of new and innovative ideas relative to maintenance technologies and processes. Universal Synaptics Corp was one of six finalists selected from all eligible “Great Ideas” submissions for the honor of competing in the 2012 competition. The competition took place on Monday, November 12th 2012 at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids Michigan. Each presenter was allocated exactly 15 minutes to make their case as to why they should be chosen as the best of the “Great Ideas” participants. Following all “Great Ideas” presentations a winner was selected through an audience vote. The winner was then announced in the Plenary Session on November 13th 2012.

This is the second “Great Ideas” win for Universal Synaptics and the IFDIS™. The first win in 2010 focused on the innovative and advanced technology contained in the IFDIS™ and an initial United States Air Force (USAF) case study that produced a 25 times return on investment and tripled the reliability of F-16 Radar components. The IFDIS™ has now successfully demonstrated its effectiveness on dozens of military weapon system platforms, the 2012 winning presentation focused on the expansion of the IFDIS™ across the Department of Defense and highlighted a few of those success stories. 2012 also marked the third consecutive year that Universal Synaptics has competed in the “Great Ideas” Competition.

“To be selected as a “Great Ideas” Competition finalist three years in a row is extraordinary, to be voted the winner twice is extremely significant as we work to dramatically reduce the $2 billion annual intermittent / No Fault Found cost to the Department of Defense” said Ken Anderson, Universal Synaptics Vice President of Sales & Business Development. “The forward movement within the Department of Defense and selection of IFDIS™ as a two-time “Great Ideas” Winner is credited to the hardworking and dedicated individuals at Ogden Air Logistics Complex (OO-ALC), Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRC SW), Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRC SE), Universal Synaptics and Total Quality Systems (TQS).


Mr. John B. Johns Presents 2012 DOD Mainteance Award to Ken Anderson

Mr. John B. Johns, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance, Office of the Secretary of Defense (right), presents to Mr. Ken Anderson, Vice President of Sales & Business Development (Universal Synaptics) the Winning “Great Ideas” Competition Award for the “IFDIS – Expanding Role within the DoD Maintenance Enterprise” at the 2012 Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium, DeVos Place Convention Center, Grand Rapids Michigan (November 13th 2012).


Since 1996, Universal Synaptics Corporation, based in Roy and Ogden, UT., has been an industry leader in detecting and isolating elusive intermittent faults, and spent years in the "trenches" researching and solving complex diagnostic and testing problems. Their research into the primary root causes of intermittent / No Fault Found (NFF) problems and the massive digital testing void that exists today with conventional scanning test equipment, led to the development of the patented Intermittent Fault Detector (IFD™), Ncompass™ flight-line IFD™ and the Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System (IFDIS™). For more information, please contact Universal Synaptics (801) 731-8508 #1

The Intermittent Fault Detection & Isolation System (IFDIS™) was selected as the Department of Defense Maintenance Symposium “Great Ideas” Competition Winner in 2010 & 2012, The Tibbetts Award winner 2011 (The Tibbetts Award is given by the U.S. Small Business Administration, to honor outstanding small businesses who participate in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program), a “Top 5 Finalist” in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Technology Challenge 2012, and a “Top 3 Finalist” in the Aerospace & Defense Category of the American Technology Awards 2012.  In 2012, Universal Synaptics was also ranked 41st on the Utah 100 list of fastest growing companies in Utah according to the MountainWest Capital Network.


For more information, please contact Universal Synaptics:

801-731-8508  #1

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


International Sales and Distribution through:


Derco Aerospace Inc.


Copernicus Technology LTD

Europe and Australia


Star Aviation

Commercial Aviation Sales and Distribution



IFDIS –Expanding Role within the DoD Maintenance Enterprise


Author Name(s): Ken Anderson, Bryan Steadman

Company Name: Universal Synaptics Corp

Mailing Address: 4066 S. 1900 W. Suite B

Roy, UT. 84067

Phone: 801.731.8508 ex. 1

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



There is a growing problem that continues to threaten the airworthiness, mission readiness, ownership cost and safety of aircraft.  However, recent technical developments have made possible a new inspection method that greatly mitigates this threat, and now multiple case studies are validating the effectiveness of this new capability.

The growing problem is intermittent faults in new and aging aircraft electronic boxes.  The recent development is the Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System (IFDIS), and the case studies and expanding role within the Department of Defense maintenance enterprise that are validating the effectiveness of the IFDIS thus far involve the F-16, the F/A-18, and the EA-6B.

Maintenance personnel well know the challenge they face when the pilot reports that a system malfunctioned during flight, but the subsequent ground test of that system shows “No Fault Found” (NFF).  It is apparent that there is an intermittent problem somewhere in the system, but the frustrated maintenance crew simply lacks the test equipment needed to enable them to detect and isolate the problem.

Repairing the intermittent circuit is seldom difficult; the difficult task is detecting and isolating which circuit within the box is intermittent.  An intermittent fault, or momentary “open,” can be due to a number of different conditions including a cracked solder joint, a corroded contact, a sprung connector receptacle, a loose crimp connection, a hairline crack in a printed circuit trace, a loose wire wrap, a broken wire, or various other conditions.  As the electronic boxes are pulled from the errant system for bench test, they often all test NFF.  No repair is performed, because no problem can be detected.

Conventional test equipment is simply not designed to detect intermittent circuits.  Rather, conventional equipment is designed to test the electronic box for nominal operation, and it usually “averages out,” and hence hides, any short term anomalous events.  The IFDIS is a tester that was specifically designed to detect and isolate intermittent circuits in aircraft electronic box chassis.  Hence, the IFDIS very effectively compliments conventional testers.

The conventional testers test for nominal equipment operation, while the IFDIS detects and isolates intermittent circuits.  Because intermittent faults often only occur during the vibration and/or temperature extremes experienced in an operational environment, the IFDIS includes an environmental chamber and vibration platform that subjects the box to simulated operational conditions, substantially enhancing the probability an intermittent circuit will manifest itself.

At the heart of the IFDIS is state of the art intermittent fault detection circuitry which continuously and simultaneously monitors every single electrical path in the chassis under test, while the box is exposed to the simulated operational environment.  The intermittent fault detection analog neural network circuitry will detect when an intermittent event, even as short as *50 nanoseconds (0.00000005 seconds), occurs in any chassis circuit, and it identifies in which circuit the intermittent event occurred.

One IFDIS project alone has produced over a $56 million dollar return (25 times ROI) while tripling the Mean Time Between Repair (MTBR).  Previously undetectable problems are being rapidly identified and repair shop troubleshooting time is being substantially reduced. More importantly, the IFDIS is significantly enhancing aircraft reliability, aircraft availability, mission readiness and safety.

*Intermittent fault detection specifications measured using Hewlett-Packard 8111A Pulse/Function Generator

Tags: ,