Program uses lean process to sort equipment from overseas
August 7, 2013
Pine Bluff Arsenal's Individual Chemical Equipment Management Program or ICEMP has been a part of operations here for approximately 10 years. Formerly known as the Chemical Defense Equipment Go to War program, ICEMP manages chemical equipment returns from combat operations overseas in such locals as Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We receive material on a daily basis in tri-wall containers off milvans or trucks," said Jerrod Weilacher, ICEMP program manager for the Directorate of Material Management. "The items in the containers are then sorted by number into different bins with the same number on what we call the K-line. This makes it easier to process."
Twenty-two different types of material come into the Arsenal for processing, according to Weilacher. "We get boots, gloves, chemical suits, hoods, decontamination kits, etc. We try to keep everything that is serviceable," he said. "If the equipment has a good seal, and we can still read all the numbers, it is a good item. If we get one that is open or shows signs of usage, that isn't good. We recover all of it."
Weilacher calls the operation "organized chaos". However, the ICEMP process, which is housed in Building 53-990 and utilizes the skills of 12 Arsenal personnel, has become more lean and streamlined over the years as processes have expanded and changed. "We process approximately 25 milvans during a month," he said. "Twenty pallets are in each milvan. It is a lot of work."
When the tri-walls get filled with equipment under the different lot numbers, they go into full boxes. "When we get five boxes filled, they are placed on pallets, and shipped to wherever they are needed," said Weilacher. "The Army has already paid for these items. The point of ICEMP is to recover as much material as we can, so we can try to save the government money. The received material is free money to the Army. They don't have to buy these items again."
Every year the ICEMP processes have expanded and improved to accommodate the different processes that evolved, including the material demilitarization.
"Certain types of gloves that come to us now are automatically disposed of because they are no longer in service by the military," said Weilacher. "We change the flow of the warehouse to accommodate these processes. It is an ever changing process. We just make it happen."
Rob Amaral, director of Material Management, said that since he has taken over ICEMP in mid-May this year, the output of material has doubled. "This is a direct result of Jerod Weilacher and Willie Williams, ICEMP supervisor, continually working together to streamline the processes," said Amaral. "Some folks have an "A" team but when it comes to ICEMP, Material Management has our "W" (Weilacher and Williams) team!"