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U.S. Navy salutes Consolidated Casting for Operation Desert Storm support.

Consolidated Casting Corp. has been honored by the U.S. Navy for producing a crucially needed part for Operation Desert Storm.

The foundry, located in Hutchins, Texas, constructed what other companies had not been able to do-high-quality head caps for the MK 22, MOD 4 rocket motor. The motor propels the Mine Clearing Line Charge System (MCLCS), which was used extensively by Desert Storm's front-linetroops for clearing minefields.

Consolidated Casting received the contract to build the steel-investment-cast head cap after field failures of the rocket motor were traced to previous vendors' inability to adhere to critical design specifications. The failures rendered the system unusable on the eve of one of the largest minefield-clearing efforts in history.

This created an immediate opportunity for a new head-cap vendor-one that could maintain tight specifications while rapidly ramping up to high production levels.

Consolidated instituted manufacturing techniques and controls that were comprehensive enough to ensure quality. Special tooling and fixtures were developed to produce the head caps at volumes high enough to quickly alleviate the shortage of rocket motors in the field.

The entire process-tooling development, sample qualification and satisfaction of the initial production requirements-tookeightweeks, less than a third of the normal time, said Jim Lukas, Consolidated sales manager.

As a result of their success, the foundry and its employees were given a special plaque last fall by the Naval Ordnance Station Indian Head.

Consolidated Casting's timely manufacture and increased production of these critical parts were key to the accelerated shipment and final utilization of the MCLCS by our troops on the front lines in Kuwait and Iraq," Capt. E.P. Nicholson, Indian Head's commanding officer, said while presenting the plaque. Consolidated Casting can be justifiably proud of its contribution to the success of Operation Desert Storm.'

In addition to saving lives on the battlefield, Consolidated's efforts also may have saved indian Head. Because of reductions in defense spending, the base was under consideration as a possible candidate for closing. The rocket-motor failures had hurt Indian Head's reputation at an inopportune time.

Consolidated's swift resolution of the head cap problem was a key factor in saving Indian Head from closing,' said Roger Smith, technical director of the naval station.

Consolidated is one of the largest investment casting companies in the U.S. The foundry uses computerized process controls, robotics and a shell-processing conveyor to produce precision investment castings weighing up to 100 lb.
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Title Annotation:Consolidated Casting Corp. honored for producing a crucial part for the MK 22, MOD 4 rocket motor of Mine Clearing Line Charge System
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:"Using the best of the best".: conference stresses ways to use people, time and facilities to advance customer needs.
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