By Sonja Freeman, BMONovember 24, 2008
While many partnerships at Anniston Army Depot may enjoy greater visibility, none negate the significance of ANAD-Honeywell partnering agreements.
For more than a decade, Anniston and Honeywell have worked together to continuously improve M-1 Abrams readiness for the warfighter.
In the 1990s, Honeywell-then AlliedSignal-operated the government-owned Stratford Army Engine Plant, or SAEP, which manufactured recuperators (cooling plates) used in Army tank engines. After the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission closed SAEP, Honeywell purchased the plant and relocated from Stratford, Conn., to the depot, investing $3 million to turn an old depot warehouse into a modern-day manufacturing facility.
This was the beginning of a partnership that continues to expand to meet the immediate and long-term requirements of the warfighter. Co-location led to clear, open communication, allowing Honeywell and ANAD to discover what worked and what improvements were needed. Initially, the Army saved $1.3 million annually (based on the delivery of 20,000 recuperators per month) by eliminating shipping costs for recuperators. Forklifts simply carry recuperators from Honeywell's depot facility to a depot-operated building where tanks are repaired.
The recuperator partnering program was a building block for continuous M-1 Abrams AGT 1500 engine improvements. As part of an initiative to rebuild the existing engine, the Army Program Manager, Abrams, TACOM LCMC and Honeywell implemented the Partnership for Reduced Operations & Support Costs, Engine, or PROSE, program. Under the PROSE, Honeywell managed the supply chain, while providing project and field service engineering, customer support and quality assurance. Anniston repaired and overhauled the engines while providing testing, failure analysis and sustainment management. Before partnering with Honeywell, the depot ordered different parts from multiple vendors, and there was no guarantee of parts availability or quality. PROSE resulted in improved reliability, reduction in the number of parts, improved vehicle mobility and decreased life cycle costs.
From the PROSE emerged the Total InteGrated Engine Revitalization, or TIGER, program. With AGT 1500 turbine engines accounting for 42 percent of all M1 support costs, TIGER was implemented to double the meantime between depot repairs for the engine. The first TIGER engine was built in September 2007 with ANAD performing labor with engineering support, supply chain management, material management, data collection and durability design improvements from Honeywell. The program has resulted in improved operational readiness and weapon system availability, reduced operating and sustainment costs and increased engine durability. To date, 1,000 TIGER engines have been built at Anniston.
Honeywell and the depot are also partners in an AGT1500 engine production program supporting the Egyptian government. Anniston provides facilities and performs all direct labor to produce the engines; Honeywell provides technical and engineering support, work instructions, supply parts and other manufacturing support.
With the depot and Honeywell partnership, there is no lack in the joint commitment to continuous improvements, quality and readiness.