By Debralee BestOctober 5, 2017
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - A continuous goal of Rock Island Arsenal - Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is to reduce or eliminate waste to improve performance.
To do this, RIA-JMTC uses Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a methodology relying on collaborative team efforts to improve performance by systematically removing eight kinds of waste including defects, over-production, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion and extra-processing.
The most recent effort, an acquisition value stream analysis, focuses on waiting and inventory.
"In fulfilling the commanders' intent of Gen. (Gustave "Gus") Perna, Maj. Gen. (Clark) LeMasters, and Col. (Kenneth) Letcher, our focus and mission is to everyday work on ways to reduce time to get product to the field," said Richard Nesbitt, RIA-JMTC deputy commander. "The Acquisition VSA provided us with a framework and understanding that could potentially cut up to 45 to 60 days off delivery time for certain projects which makes a positive impact on Army Readiness."
A value stream analysis is a lean-management method used to examine the current state of a product or service and design a future state from conception to delivery.
"VSAs are a tool we use at a high level so our work flow can be examined by leadership and (subject matter experts)," said Wayne Mills, lead Lean facilitator for the Acquisition VSA. "Once the value stream is mapped with the data for each step, we can see where it is having constrains, quality issues and manpower issues. This determines where events will need to be done to improve those areas."
This VSA is reviewing what steps can be taken then to reduce building material purchasing and delivery time at the start of a product.
"We are trying to move work ahead so that when funding is available JMTC will have a head start and will be able to order material sooner," said Mills.
Getting the material sooner, means getting to work sooner.
"The goal for the Acquisition VSA is to shorten the time it takes to purchase material needed for all programs," said Mills. "RIA-JMTC needs to work on on-time delivery. The true goal is 100% on-time delivery from Gen. Perna. If RIA-JMTC can reduce the time it takes to get material to the floor, the craftsmen will have the opportunity to produce the product on time and make the delivery schedule."
The VSA does not have an official end date and is based on when all the events and projects of the analysis are complete. When it concludes, the plan will be implemented immediately.