CRANE, Ind. - Crane Army Ammunition Activity hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its Crane Flexible Manufacturing Complex, a newly renovated production facility, as part of the U.S. Army's modernization effort to upgrade existing workspaces and increase efficiency on Dec. 12, 2018.
The facility's upgrades allow the entire manufacturing process for a munitions program to run continuously in a single location, improving production rates and better providing munitions readiness to the Warfighter.
"The work we do here at Crane Army goes far beyond Crane or even Indiana," Col. Michael Garlington, commander of Crane Army, said. "The work we do directly impacts the Warfighter on the front lines, globally. We need to make sure we get them the munitions they need, when they need them, and that they work the first time, every time - all at the speed of war."
The current focus at CFMC is the M1122 program, where shells from outdated conventional munitions are refurbished into low-cost training projectiles. Due to the high demand for economical training rounds, Crane Army was selected for M1122 production along with McAlester Ammunition Plant. CAAA began manufacturing the rounds in 2015 in various facilities throughout the installation and continues the production here today.
"Just as the name suggests, CFMC will give the Department of Defense a truly flexible manufacturing facility able to support either multiple programs at one location or a multi-step process program all within one complex, such as the 155mm HE training round," Tom Long, program manager with the Manufacturing and Engineering Directorate at Crane Army, said. "Having the facilities and equipment located all under one roof allows Crane Army to eliminate most transportation wastes, paving the way for a truly LEAN operation."
As part of the renovation, the complex utilizes a conveyer system to transport rounds between connected buildings, a much faster process than the previous method which delivered munitions from building to building via truck.
Another key improvement is the complex's ability to be flexible, meaning CFMC can take on other production lines once the workload for the M1122 is complete.
Joint Munitions Command's Director of Sustainment Operations John Campbell spoke at the ceremony on the plan to improve efficiency throughout the organic industrial base.
"Crane Army was the first stop in implementing change, and Crane continues to lead the way in this effort," Campbell said. "This complex is an excellent example that demonstrates how dedication, determination and proper planning can help create a more efficient process and structure."
Crane Army will reestablish active rail service to CFMC to further enhancing transportation efficiencies. That project is estimated to be complete by the beginning of fiscal year 2020.
"While doing this, we must also try to maximize the value of every dollar and operate transparently to use the resources entrusted to us to achieve the Army's number one priority: to provide readiness to the Warfighter," Campbell said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the efforts that went into making this complex a modern and efficient means to provide munitions to the Warfighter.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity produces and provides conventional munitions requirements in support of U.S. Army and Joint Force readiness. It is one of 14 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base installations under the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which include arsenals, depots, activities and ammunition plants.