Setpoint to Bring Lean Manufacturing to Army Ammunition Plant

Ogden, Utah, September 2008 – Setpoint Systems, Inc., an industrial automation integration company, has been selected to modernize the back-end manufacturing process for 7.62mm ammunition cases for ATK’s Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP).

Setpoint’s winning proposal (prepared with assistance from McKinnon-Mulherin, Inc.) describes how their solution to incorporate lean manufacturing principles will increase plant efficiency, increase output, reduce costs, and radically improve product quality.

For the past 60 years, the LCAAP has produced ammunition cases for the U.S. armed forces using manufacturing equipment originally built in the 1940s. The U.S. government and ATK (the private company who manages the plant) realized that the time had come to modernize this manufacturing process.

Setpoint gave ATK the perfect modernization solution through “lean” manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) methodology, which breaks manufacturing processes down into multiple, compact workcells rather than using the enormous manufacturing lines common in the 20th century.

“Lean [manufacturing] is what we do. The system that we’re going to build for the Lake City plant is going to make their process better in every way—safer, more efficient, less expensive, higher quality. Lean is where manufacturing is headed, and we’re excited to help LCAAP modernize,” said Clark Carlile, Setpoint’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing.

Setpoint’s solution for LCAAP involves identical but independent workcells. Each workcell can manufacture all the required products, but the workcells are easier and faster to maintain than current processes, increasing production uptime by 90 percent.

The lean workcells reduce part handling and part transportation, which reduces the risk of damage and errors. Greater automation saves ATK labor costs and improves worker safety. Most importantly, Setpoint’s solution incorporates in-process inspection and error-proofing to improve the quality of the overall product. This creates more reliable equipment for the soldiers who ultimately use the ammunition.

Setpoint provides engineering services specializing in the design, build, and controls programming of turn-key custom automated solutions. Setpoint has more than 16 years of experience designing and building lean automated solutions for a wide range of manufacturers. All of Setpoint’s employees have been trained in the TPS methodology and have direct experience with some of the most discerning manufacturers practicing lean manufacturing principles today.

McKinnon-Mulherin, a strategic communication and information design firm, helped Setpoint develop their proposal. Since 1997, McKinnon-Mulherin has helped leaders in the financial services, information technology and telecommunications industries improve their productivity and profits with better training and documentation.

Setpoint contact: D. Clark Carlile, 801-621-4117

McKinnon-Mulherin contact: Kate Reddy, 801-531-7620

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