Pennsylvania Army Depot Saves $4.5 Million and Wins Efficiency Award

Pennsylvania Army Depot Saves $4.5 Million and Wins Efficiency Award

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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It’s rare to see someone win an award for discovering that less is actually more. But that’s exactly what has happened – at least, in part – at the Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania. The depot crew has saved millions of dollars by taking a smarter approach to painting military vehicles.

The winner of the award, called the Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award, is the Process Support Division Black Belt team within the Letterkenny Directorate of Industrial Operations.

The Army crew won the award by looking at an old problem in a new way. It resulted in $4.5 million in savings.

Not surprisingly, Six Sigma was involved.

Process Time and Labor Saved

The award came from the efforts by the Army depot crew to reduce the time and labor spent painting mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, called the RG-31 route clearance vehicles.

The crew discovered that by allowing the non-skid adhesive and paint primer to dry on the vehicles for a longer period, the amount of paint blistering decreased. That significantly reduced the amount of rework time needed on the vehicles.

The crew also dug deep into the details of the process. They found that using more aluminum foil and less masking tape reduced the time needed to de-mask an RG-31. All this led to faster approval in the Army’s meticulous quality acceptance process.

In all, they team reduced labor time by 34%. That helped reduce costs by $4.5 million over a five-year period.

One member of the team earned his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt by completing the project. Another member is a candidate for Master Black Belt certification.

Honored For Their Efforts

The Pentagon recognized the efforts of the Letterkenny Army Depot at the 10th Annual Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Award Program (LEAP).

The Letterkenney Army Depot is an economic force in Pennsylvania, where a recent report found it adds about $1.75 billion to the local economy. It employs more than 3,000 people. The depot has been putting Six Sigma into practice since 2005.

The crew at the depot have done so well that they have received 10 Shingo medallions, which are given to organizations that practice operational excellence. They are awarded by the Shingo Institute at Utah State University.

The U.S. Army has become one of the foremost adaptors of Six Sigma, where it is used to find efficiencies and solve difficult challenges. The Army calls Lean Six Sigma “a vital part of U.S. Army’s business environment.”

The U.S. Army Forces Command works with personnel around the world on Lean Six Sigma projects through the Business and Readiness Improvement Directorate. Typically, there are 50 to 60 projects happening at any given time.

The U.S. Army Forces Command has 500 Green Belts in Lean Six Sigma, 150 Black Belts and six Master Black Belt experts or candidates, as of July 2018.

The post Pennsylvania Army Depot Saves $4.5 Million and Wins Efficiency Award appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: September 18, 2018, 11:00 am

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