By U.S. ArmyMay 30, 2008
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala.-A partnership between the depot and defense contractor Honeywell turned out its 100th product delivery on May 21 during a celebration of the AGT 1500 engines being built for the Egyptian government.
The milestone is part of a public-private partnership that began in 2005 when the depot signed on to serve as a subcontractor to Honeywell in the production of 250 AGT 1500 Egyptian engines.
The eight mechanics-four Honeywell workers and four with the depot-assigned to the effort produce three engines each month, with only 25 engines left to be built on the initial contract.
The Egyptians have an option to buy another 125 from the partners. Although mechanics at the depot have assembled four more engines than they've delivered, those not shipped were manufactured at Anniston for test and control purposes only.
"This is an amazing program," said Mike Cuff, vice president of surface systems for Honeywell. "We only build brand new AGT 1500 engines at one place in the world, and that's right here at Anniston."
The depot's Turbine Value Stream is known worldwide for overhauling that same model of engine for the U.S. military when the power packs are pulled from M1 Abrams tanks returning from war. One of the two Shingo awards for excellence in manufacturing received by the depot last year was for process improvements made in the turbine engine production area such as 100 percent on-time delivery, a 20-percent reduction of labor hours needed for each engine and a 90-percent first-pass-yield rate.
The new engines being built by Honeywell and the depot are for use in the Egyptian's M1 tanks. It is not known whether or not the depot will see the overhaul work on these same engines when they're ready to be repaired.
Workers on the production line and in the support shops said they felt a sense of accomplishment as the 100th engine rolled off the depot and that they're ready to build more.
"I enjoyed participating in getting this milestone accomplished. Just proud to do it," said Fred McGrady, a depot mechanic who works to overhaul used engines but participated in earlier production of the new AGT 1500s.
McGrady said it helps depot mechanics who work in the overhaul shop when they have an opportunity to build the same type of engine from scratch.
"It's great we have gotten to this point," said Angela Smith, a logistician for Honeywell.