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AF, Army Teams Lauded for Manufacturing-Technology Advances

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2004 – The sixth annual Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award was presented today at the Defense Manufacturing Conference in Las Vegas.

John B. Todaro, director of the Defense Department's Office of Technology Transition, presented the award to the Air Force's Lean Depot Repair and the Army's Uniform Cannon Tube Reshaping initiatives.

The award recognizes defense and private sector individuals responsible for developing innovative manufacturing processes that improve the affordability, cycle time, readiness, and availability of weapon systems and components for warfighter needs.

The Lean Depot Repair team -- consisting of representatives from the Air Force Materiel Command and Air Force Research Laboratory, both at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; and Simpler Consulting, of Ottumwa, Iowa -- was recognized for implementing Lean Depot Repair procedures at Warner Robins.

"This lean approach revolutionized the Programmed Depot Maintenance lines for F-15 and C-5 aircraft, generating dramatic payback for the warfighter in the form of reduced repair time, increased on-time return of aircraft to the field, and lower maintenance cost," according to a news release from the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for Advanced Systems and Concepts.

The release noted that in fiscal 2000, only 25 percent of C-5 aircraft were returned to their units on time. That figure increased to 100 percent in fiscal 2004. Likewise, the on-time return of F-15 aircraft to the active fleet increased from 12 percent in fiscal 2000 to 80 percent in 2004.

"As a result of this remarkable achievement, lean depot practices are being expanded across the defense industrial base, including arsenals, depots, and shipyards," the release said.

The Uniform Cannon Tube Reshaping team -- composed of representatives from the Army Research Laboratory, in Adelphi, Md.; Army Aberdeen Test Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Bent Laboratories in Watervliet, N.Y.; and the Training, Doctrine, and Combat Development Directorate at Fort Knox, Ky. -- developed and refined a new method for making gun barrels more uniform than in the past, enabling "dramatic accuracy improvements" in the Abrams tank fire- control system.

The team developed more precise barrel-straightness-measurement equipment. Once implemented for production, the new process "is expected to provide a 65 percent reduction in impact dispersion of cannon tubes across the Army fleet of tanks," the release said.

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Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award
Lean Depot Repair

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