WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 16, 2007) -- Army Materiel Command received 12 Shingo Public Sector Awards Oct. 11 for using Lean manufacturing practices.

The Shingo, considered the "Nobel Prize for Manufacturing," recognized various Army depots who manufacture, repair, overhaul, and maintain Warfighter equipment.

The Army earned triple the Shingo prizes in 2007 than last year's four.

Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, AMC commander, said this increase "recognizes the men and women in our workforce responsible for improvements.... [this] is an affirmation of the best business practices we have integrated into the Army's industrial base."

The awards were presented Thursday during the 3rd Annual Public Sector Shingo Prize ceremony at the Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, Arlington, Va.

Established in 1988, the Shingo Public Sector Awards for Excellence in Manufacturing and Achievement, is administered by Utah State University and is considered the Nobel Prize for Manufacturing.

The Army earned prizes this year in all three categories: Gold awards, Silver, and Bronze.

The achievement exemplifies the AMC commitment to readying the Army for the challenges of the 21st Century, according to Gen. Griffin. He said a more efficient, cost-effective, and productive Army will have more of an impact and will help Warfighters maintain Army readiness.

"I am extremely proud of AMC's efforts to provide Warfighters with equipment much faster, better quality, and at a lower cost," Gen. Griffin said. "This three-fold increase in awards also recognizes the men and women in our outstanding work force who are directly responsible for these improvements.... [These] awards are an affirmation of the best business practices we have integrated into the Army's industrial base."

Recognizing his own leadership in guiding the Army toward the challenges of a new century while improving the manner in which the Army does business across depots everywhere in the continental United States, Gen. Griffin himself was awarded with Shingo Hall of Fame status. He was honored in a Pentagon ceremony at the Hall of Heroes Oct. 11.

Recipients of the 2007 Shingo, Gold medal winners include Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania; the Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center at Rock Island, Ill.; and the Red River Army Depot in Texas.

Tobyhanna is being honored for its work on the AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Antenna, increasing production and reducing repair cycle times. Rock Island Arsenal is being recognized for resolving safety and ergonomic issues related to its Forward Repair System, while also increasing monthly production of FRS units. Red River, meanwhile, has exponentially increased its Humvee production while also achieving a significant cost avoidance of almost $4 million.

The 2007 Silver recipients are: Letterkenny Army Depot in south central Pennsylvania; Anniston Army Depot in south central Alabama; and two additional Silver awards earned by Red River.

Letterkenny's efforts in Humvee recapping increased production and lowered the cost of the repair process.

Anniston's Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle, or FAASV, production increased total units by 41percent and significantly reduced cycle time.

In winning two Silvers, Red River was recognized for its output increase of the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, known as HEMTT, and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle-Power train which reduced labor hours and expanded output.

Those awarded the Bronze this year are: The Aviation and Missile Command at Fort Rucker in Alabama; Letterkenny; Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas, and Anniston.

Fort Rucker's AMCOM specifically worked on saving costs and reducing the cycle time of the C20J Engine Line TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter.

Letterkenny's power-generator maintenance operations have been recognized for their ability to increase output at a lower cost.

Corpus Christi's project on the HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter reduced labor hours and achieved a cost avoidance of $287,000. Lastly, Anniston's AGT 1500 Turbine engine (found in tanks) operation is being lauded this year for a number of milestones, including a 100-percent on-time delivery.

"[These] awards acknowledge AMC as a viable partner in lean manufacturing processes and procedures," said Gen. Griffin.

See related article: Army Refitting More Humvees Faster with New Approach