Optimizing Digitization and Automation to Improve Smart Manufacturing and Maintenance Activities

NCMS Project #: 142156

Problem: In the age of globalization, the cost to maintain and modernize manufacturing and maintenance repair facilities balanced with key business factors presents a significant challenge. For the United States (U.S.) organic defense industrial base, which requires significant resources to maintain and sustain its much older production and facilities, experience with modernization is not as widespread as the commercial sector. To upgrade or modernize these government facilities, the need to get the most out of current conventional equipment and the government workforce before implementing large-scale automation projects is paramount given limited budgets. A robust pre-modernization planning and analysis activity can help lead to a more balanced approach and better-informed decisions necessary to get modernized manufacturing and maintenance repair facilities executing work at affordable and sustainable costs.

Benefit: The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to manufacturing facilities and maintenance repair shops of all types and sizes. Specifically, they will help commercial industry by providing more efficient and effective processes to upgrade current manufacturing and maintenance repair activities. This initiative will also generate lessons learned for potential implementation of these processes and tools across the Army and other shipyards, depots, and arsenals which is critical to national security and a strong economy.

Solution/Approach: The overall objective of this project is to assess, develop, pilot, and implement a common set of processes and tools to modernize legacy manufacturing and maintenance facilities using Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) as a surrogate. This initiative will help improve U.S. manufacturing and maintenance organizations and the JMTC’s ability to manufacture, maintain, repair, and overhaul various ground systems and their associated components in a more efficient, effective, and affordable way. This will increase the knowledge of the Army to determine which technology advancements and processes will best equip the organic industrial base to ensure technological dominance into the future.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Enhance strategic flexibility and warfighter readiness 
  • Improve national security and protection of intellectual property 
  • Increase organic manufacturing capability and capacity 
  • Reduce maintenance and sustainment costs 

DOD Participation:

  • Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at Rock Island Arsenal 

Industry Participation:

  • MxD
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Workforce development/visualization