Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1-14-09: NPR's "Army Ramps Up Repairs To Fix Battered Equipment"

On my way to class tonight, I heard on "All Things Considered" on NPR an interesting piece about the Red River Army Depot in Red River, Texas. The Army spends approximately $17 billion a year repairing and improving broken equipment (trucks, humvees, etc.) damaged in battle. It seems like a lot of money, well at least it used to up to the recent talks of hundreds of billions being spent to fix the economy, but it seems reasonable to me knowing how much we spend in war anyway.
The interesting part of the piece, to me at least, was how the depot was using Lean Manufacturing techniques it learned from, all of places, Toyota. My company employs a similar system of lean manufacturing (they call it "ACE", which stands for Achieving Competitive Excellence), and it's interesting to see that the Army is employing it at such a scale as this. It takes 16 minutes to strip a humvee. That's pretty damn fast.
I just thought it was neat. See the link above for the story.

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