TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Do-It-Yourself (DIY)-type projects saved Tobyhanna a bundle by cutting labor hours and material costs during fiscal year 2015.

Internal efficiencies accounted for more than 30 percent of the $25 million financial benefit that resulted from multiple continuous process improvement (CPI) initiatives. Successful Lean events, belt projects, employee suggestions and value engineering ideas are also credited with helping Tobyhanna surpass last year's savings/cost avoidance goal of $14.8 million.

An internal efficiency is a shop-generated process or idea that is implemented on a DIY basis to reduce direct labor hours or material costs in order to generate savings specific to a cost center.

Earlier this year the C4ISR Directorate's Thermal Targeting Section teamed up the Ground Sensors Program Management Office to learn how to reprogram circuit cards found in the Long Range Advance Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3). Reprograming the cards instead of discarding them generated a $7.3 million cost avoidance over three years.

"Prior to the training, we would tag and set the circuit cards aside for possible future repair," said Electronics Worker Jack Scott, adding that he joined Electronics Mechanics Patty Decker and Carl Harshbarger and Electronics Engineers Corey Petruncio and Vince Shuta to develop and learn the new procedure. "I am pleased with how well the process to convert scrap to useful material came together. In the end, it benefited not only the cost center, but the warfighter as well."

Petruncio and Shuta work in the Production Engineering Directorate's C4ISR Maintenance Engineering Division. Scott, Harshbarger and Decker are assigned to the C4ISR Directorate's Avionics and Sensors Division.

Another internal efficiency helped the USMC Surveillance Systems Section realize a $713,000 financial benefit by reducing labor hours on AN/TPS-59 Transportable Air Radar transmitter operations and receiver overhaul processes.

Further benefits were achieved when an employee's idea for a new handheld tool became a reality.

His ingenuity and attention to detail saved $15,000. Electronics Mechanic John LaCapra crafted a prototype of a thumb screw adapter from an ordinary binder clip and attached it to a screwdriver.

The tool was designed to keep coworkers from having to perform frequent and repetitive motions while installing and removing countless thumb screws. He submitted his idea to the Army Suggestion Program as an invention that could improve working conditions and increase customer satisfaction. Once the suggestion was approved, a custom-machined bit was fabricated using material that keeps the tool from marring the painted screws. LaCapra works in the C4ISR Directorate's Microwave Radio Section

"With this tool we can produce a quality product while keeping safety a priority. Because of the speed at which we can accomplish the job, we're able to provide on-time delivery thus keeping customer satisfaction at its highest level," said LaCapra.

Tobyhanna also realized a $717,000 savings generated process improvement initiatives conducted on Lean systems. The Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) provides monthly reports on any of these systems that have completed some type of Lean initiative over the years. Tobyhanna's total savings is based on the comparison of standard and actual hours charged in LMP for completed programs.

Lean systems include the AN/TRC-190 Line Of Sight Multi-channel Radio Terminal, AN/TPT-1 Unmanned Threat Emitter System, AN/ARN-89 Direction Finder Set, Blue Force Tracking, AN/PSS-14 Mine Detector Set, and the AN/TSQ-253 Air Defense and Airspace Management Cell Overall.

The final boost to Team Tobyhanna's savings effort came from the Value Engineering Program.
Electrical Engineer Stan Czock discovered a way to improve the Nett Warrior Program while saving $9.4 million His hard work led to new cable testing procedures and an alternative power source, providing a better value to the warfighter. Czock works in Production Engineering Directorate.

"Financial benefits resulting from CPI initiatives play a substantial role in making Tobyhanna an attractive place of business for our customers," said Elijah Londo, management analyst who validates the financial benefits. "In times of budget cuts and uncertainty, it is extremely important that we look for ways to improve processes to save money. Doing so keeps Tobyhanna competitive, and more importantly helps ensure that the warfighter receives a quality product from the depot."

Since its inception in 2002, the CPI Program has realized $306 million in financial benefits from process improvement initiatives.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for C4ISR systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters.

About 3,100 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 Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, 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.