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Lean Six Sigma project improves inventory planning for cartridge and propellant actuated devices.

A Lean Six Sigma project at the 21st Theater Sustainment Command has applied technology to improve inventory planning and management or cartridge actuated devices (CADS) and propellant actuated devices (PADs). Under the supervision of Colonel Joseph Tirone, Christina Wall initiated the project, which captures and stores real-time requirements from the unit level in a central location and provides users with Valuable tools for managing the inventory of these explosive items used in aircraft ejection, life support, and fire-suppression systems within Army aviation assets.

Each CAD and PAD has a defined service life and must be replaced when expended or when it reaches its expiration date. (If a CAD or PAD is found to be defective or expires, it can cause the grounding of aircraft.) The program used in the Lean Six Sigma project will enable end users to enter the tail number of each CAD and PAD installed and then automatically configure the service life of the item based on the information provided. The system will then send an email to the user and manager of the device to remind them to request a replacement when it is needed.

Additionally, this real-time visibility will provide key technical and logistics notices concerning the extended service life of devices, interchangeable CADs and PADs, and the number of items required in each aircraft.

In keeping with the cradle-to-grave concept, overall responsibility for sustainment remains with the item manager located at the Joint Munitions Command (JMC). However, day-to-day responsibility is delegated to the ammunition managers assigned to the aviation units and is managed within theater and expeditionary sustainment commands.

Theater sustainment managers have long relied on unit planning to predict the quantities of CADs and PADs needed on a yearly basis to replace expiring items, but unit planning did not take into account any Ammunition Information Notices affecting the serviceability of installed items.

Monthly accounting was done using a time-consuming, labor-intensive manual worksheet encompassing thousands of expiration dates of CADs and PADs installed on hundreds of aircraft. The large volume of manual information accumulated using this method sometimes resulted in duplicating or missing sensitive information, and data verification was not possible to accurately project replacements, Unforecasted CADs and PADs led to short resupply notices and additional transportation costs. Long leadtimes (typically 6 to 8 months) also were associated with replacing inventories.

Automating CAD and PAD inventories will give the JMC item manager the opportunity to plan device requirements, procurement, and arrival in theater more precisely. The technology from the Lean Six Sigma project is giving end users an at-a-glance ability to plan inventories. The technology also assists with maintenance scheduling to ensure that the full life of each CAD and PAD is expended, thereby avoiding loss of serviceability and the cost of premature replacement.

The management tools developed in Europe will be incorporated into the future Aviation Logistics Enterprise--Platform for Army-wide use.

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Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:HEADLINES
Publication:Army Sustainment
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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