Communications Security Division earns Shingo silver
September 6, 2012
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- A Shingo Silver Medallion for operational excellence was presented to members of Tobyhanna Army Depot's Communications Systems Directorate's Communications Security Division Sept. 5 during an outside ceremony.
The ceremony recognized the members of the COMSEC Value Stream for winning Tobyhanna's seventh Shingo medallion, this one a Silver medallion, and Tobyhanna's first enterprise-level Shingo. A Shingo win by an entire division highlights the depot's commitment to continuous improvement through Lean techniques.
The prize recognizes world-class organizations for creating a culture of continuous improvement through employee-empowerment and effective leadership. Rather than point to a single event or process improvement, COMSEC Division employees said there were a number of changes, plus support from other directorates, that led to the recognition.
Employees earned the Shingo for process improvements that led to a 50 percent cut in the time it takes to receive, process and store equipment.
"I believe this achievement demonstrates Tobyhanna's high military value and that Northeastern Pennsylvania has the ability to build and sustain world-class organizations," said Col. Gerhard Schröter, depot commander. "With the Army focused on efficiencies amid emerging fiscal constraints, Tobyhanna's COMSEC team shows that improving processes are the key to warfighter readiness and to a solid bottom line."
COMSEC's mission is to receive, store, maintain accountability, and issue COMSEC and Controlled Cryptographic Items (CCI) and materiel. About 160 employees in seven branches perform depot--level maintenance of secure communications, and Crypto Graphic Items and sub-assemblies, and secure demilitarization and disposal capabilities. The COMSEC Division, which is comprised of 164,104 square feet of shop space, also performs wholesale and retail logistics management efforts for the COMSEC enterprise.
"The COMSEC team went from good to great, stepping up and meeting the challenge," said Ronald Cappellini, director of the Communications Systems Directorate. "They learned that it's not about the prize -- it's the journey, the transformation, the evolution of maturing a workforce. The look in their eyes is inspiring and their energy is contagious."
Employees began to apply Lean concepts in 2004 to balance and streamline their work processes to improve their support of the warfighter. One of the most important improvements was made by redesigning the shop floor, installing new benches that can be reconfigured easily to adapt to new missions and establishing work cells to smooth process flow. These and other improvements from implementing Lean methods resulted in an average savings of 32 percent in fiscal 2011, and an overall average savings of 31.5 percent since fiscal 2008.
"Each Shingo submission team has learned from those who went before them," said Brad Jones, director, Productivity, Improvement and Innovation Directorate. "Best practices are shared across the organization enabling Tobyhanna to become a stronger, more efficient and effective enterprise."
Tobyhanna earned a Shingo Bronze award for the AN/TPS-75 Air Defense Radar System in 2006, a Gold Medallion for the AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar Antenna Transceiver Group in 2007, Bronze Medallions for the AN/TYQ-23 Tactical Air Operations Module and the AN/ASM-189 Electronic Shop Van in 2008, a Bronze Medallion for the Sidewinder Guidance and Control System in 2010, and a Silver Medallion for the AN/MST-T1 (V) Miniature Multiple Threat Emitter System in 2011.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.