PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Lean Six Sigma Competency Office hosted a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and 5S Challenge Recognition and Certification Ceremony on Jan. 13.

The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of ARDEC and PEO-Ammunition employees engaged in continuous process and product improvement projects that drive efficiency and effectiveness in support of the warfighter.

LSS project teams and individuals were recognized for projects completed for Black Belt or Green Belt certification from May through December 2010.

These LSS projects resulted in cost savings and avoidance of almost $350 million. There were seven Black Belt and 23 Green Belt projects consisting of 71 team members who were recognized.

Also celebrated were the 12 5S Challenge Teams and 69 team members that participated and successfully completed 5S projects between May and September 2010.

Matt Butler, the PEO-Ammunition Associate PEO for the Program Management Office, delivered the opening remarks at the ceremony and offered the customer's perspective on the growing need to find more efficient ways of developing and delivering our products and services to the warfighter, especially in times of tightened budgets.

Dr. Gerardo Melendez, the ARDEC Director, echoed this theme. He mentioned his desire to have the ARDEC community drive long-lasting change through the application of the LSS methodologies and tools. The resulting benefits would go a long way to meeting customer requirements and delivering robust solutions to the warfighter.

Melendez also spoke about his opportunity to meet with several 5S Challenge teams and the excellent results the teams achieved. On Jan. 5, Melendez and the ARDEC senior leadership visited the workplaces of the top four 5S Challenge participating teams, with each team providing the opportunity to demonstrate how they reduced waste, reduced or eliminated potential safety concerns and increased effectiveness and efficiency in their workplaces.

The ARDEC senior leadership team indicated that it was extremely pleased with the efforts of all of the participating team members and how their contributions will improve ARDEC.

Dominick Carra, the Director of Quality Engineering & System Assurance, closed the ceremony, reminding each of the participants that certification was not the end of the journey, but the beginning, in order to continuously improve ARDEC's contributions to its customers.