Continuous process improvement savings over $3 million
October 17, 2011
Earlier this year, Pine Bluff Arsenal opened its continuous process improvement office in the Directorate of Engineering and Technology. Staffed by David Deane and Anthony Gabriel, the office's goal was to improve the value engineering management system on the installation, and increase efficiency by using the tools of Lean Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. Their hard work has paid off.
According to Deane, the Arsenal achieved 142 percent of its goal, which means they have saved approximately $3.659 million in CPI saving, using value engineering and LSS.
"I give a lot of credit to the formation of the office and the coordination of our efforts," he said. "We have also gotten the word out about the value engineering program. The office was the success for this year."
Gabriel said that they have had the ability to focus more on the various projects.
The CPI office had three Green Belt certifications this year, as opposed to last year there were none. One Black Belt project was completed by Gabriel, and it is currently being validated by headquarters. Both Deane and Gabriel are the Arsenal's two LSS Black Belts.
"We did four VE proposals this year for the first time in several years," said Deane. "It was something that should have been done several years ago. Our goal was at least $3 million this year and we have achieved and exceeded that. Hopefully, we will do the same thing next year. We didn't work on that many projects."
VE is the systematic approach looking at the function of an item in regards to customer need. You break down the function of an item or process with a noun and an action verb. For example, a flashlight's purpose is to emit light. If you look at the function and find out if the function provides more value than what the customer is willing to pay for. The Army has been using VE since the 60s, and it has saved over a billion dollars by using this tool, according to Deane.
The CPI office is in need of projects for fiscal year 2012, and is requesting that all Arsenal personnel submit good project ideas. "Any and all project ideas will be accepted," said Deane. "Each idea has to generate at least $5000 in annual projected savings."
Deane also said that if people are hesitant to submit an idea because of the paperwork, they don't need to worry about that. "The CPI office will prepare the documents. All we need from you is good data," he said. "Cash awards are possible for completed projects."
PBA exceeded the fiscal year 2011 VE savings goal by 42 percent ($1.92 Million total savings) and the fiscal year 2011 LSS savings goal by eight percent ($1.74 Million total savings) and this would not have been possible without ideas submitted by PBA employees, said Deane.
For information, or to submit your ideas, contact Deane at 540-2928 or Gabriel at 540-3103.