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Achievement Award Winners

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2007 Award Recipients

Lean Battery Initiative (LBI)

LBI Graphic

The LEAN Battery Initiative (LBI) addressed problems related to peacetime and surge production for the battery most widely used by our Warfighters.

Primary lithium batteries are the power source for over 200 systems used by the WarFighter of today. During Operation Iraqi Freedom the supply of military unique lithium batteries almost reached zero days of in-theater supply, with this commodity being the only logistics item briefed to the President. The most significant reason for this was the inability of the production base to keep pace with demands.

Chief contributors were limited production capacity, long lead-times for supply chain and production equipment and relatively high levels of scrap.

The Lean Battery Initiative was established with a team consisting of government personnel, lean enterprise specialists and the lithium battery production base. Goals of the lean Battery Initiative were to conduct Value Stream and Capacity Analyses of the 5590/5390 battery supply chain and identify and implement supply chain performance improvements to increase the responsiveness of the chain to customer demand. A combination of government and company funded corrective actions were implemented, including reorganization or start-up of factory floor production and test processes, pre-positioning of long lead-time components and introduction of automation and other technology improvements to increase product consistency and production flexibility.

The impact of LBI benefits the WarFighter in several important areas:

The LEAN Battery Initiative provided process improvement solutions that cut across three battery producers, improving production processes to increase industrial base capability to respond to a sharp increase in BA-5590 / BA-5390 battery demand levels. The LEAN Battery Initiative improved production processes by 25% across the industrial base

Government / Industry Team Members:

LBI Team Members

Low Cost Pressure Assisted Densification of SiC-N Armor Ceramic Tiles (LCP S-N CT)

Example LCP Equipment

The Army has traditionally used heavy steel armor for its combat vehicles. Transformation requires movement toward a lighter, modular, future force. Through the Future Combat System, the Army’s goal is to provide the firepower and survivability of an M1 tank in a 25 ton vehicle rather than a 72 ton vehicle. Next generation combat vehicles require ceramic armor that can protect against enemy threats, however, armor tiles present challenges to manufacture for vehicle applications.

The baseline method for producing ballistic armor tiles was through a batch process. This process took over 2 days to produce just one batch and was not even capable of producing enough tiles for prototype FCS vehicles. The Army Manufacturing Technology Program invested in the automation to mature the manufacturing capability from a batch process to a semi-continuous process. This allows fielding of advanced armor for FCS and current force vehicles at a greatly reduced cost.

Force vehicles

This allows fielding of advanced armor for FCS and current force vehicles at a greatly reduced cost.

This Army ManTech project developed advanced manufacturing methods for ceramic tiles that reduced hot press, consolidation, die stripping and diamond machining process times.

The net result was a reduction of cost from $135/lb to $85/lb, saving over one million dollars in 2007. Additional cost reductions are projected for FY08 to bring this to $50/lb. This program will net a total cost avoidance of $327M from full rate production; an ROI of 7.7 to 1 for the Army.

Vehicles made with lightweight armor can also be manufactured in a more modular, or “open” manner, allowing production of different types of vehicles for different Warfighter situations. The Low Cost Ceramic Tiles for Ground Vehicles team successfully demonstrated the manufacturing processes that are so important to producing weapons systems for our Warfighter.

Government / Industry Team Members:

LCPAD Team

Translational Friction Welding Of Titanium Engine Blisks (TFWTEB)

This project developed enabling technologies to allow for the demonstration of The technical and commercial viability of fabricated titanium blisks vs. forged And machined titanium blisks, using the TFW solid-state joining process for Airfoil attachment and full airfoil replacement repair.

It demonstrated that:

Solid-State Joining Process Example

The TFW Titanium blisks passed full engine test conducted by the GE23A Program Office. In evidence of a rapid transition to implementation, GE has invested their money to install a multi-million dollar TFW manufacturing cell, with installation scheduled for December 2007. This new TFW capability will be used on both military and commercial engines.

Government / Industry Team Members:

TFWTEB Team

2007 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award Nominees

The manufacturing technology project nominees that were considered for the ninth annual award were completed and/or demonstrated in FY07 or FY08. The nominees were:

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