Original Date: 02/28/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Material Movement
During the past 10 years, Crane Army Ammunition Activity’s Depot Operations Directorate has been addressing and solving problems pertaining to material movement. A contributing factor to the Directorate’s success has been the joint teaming effort between the Activity and the Navy to implement low tech, highly effective material movement practices that have produced significant benefits.
An important part of Crane Army Ammunition Activity’s (CAAA’s) mission includes the receiving, storing, and shipping of conventional ammunition. With more than 1,800 storage buildings and magazines nestled within 100- square miles of property and over 200 production buildings all interconnected with an array of 150 miles of rail and 450 miles of roads, ammunition material movement is not only a challenge but must be performed safely and efficiently. CAAA has a total storage capacity of 650,000 short tons of ammunition. In 1999, CAAA received and shipped 96,000 tons of ammunition without incident and with a 98.8% on-time delivery rate. Continuous improvement is evident throughout the material movement operations.
In the 1940s, the buildings, magazines, and production buildings at CAAA were designed for the smaller trucks and the popular rail cars that existed during that time. Today, truck transportation usually offers the best price, flexibility, safety, and speed over shipping by rail; however, today’s larger truck size also offers a set of unique loading and unloading challenges that did not exist before, such as smaller loading zones for the large trucks, varying dock heights, and the existence of only rails as there were no roads to some of the magazines.
During the past 10 years, CAAA’s Depot Operations Directorate has been addressing and solving these problems. A contributing factor to the Directorate’s success has been the joint teaming effort between the CAAA and the Navy to implement low tech, highly effective material movement practices that have produced significant benefits. Three such practices are described below: Material Movement Specialty Trucks Specialty Trucks are conventional trucks that have been modified. Two types of Specialty Trucks have been designed and put into use. The first type is the Stake Trailer which is set up for both low and high dock loading and unloading, and the second type is the Road Railer which can either operate on railroad tracks or haul explosives over the road. A total of 12 specialty trucks is in operation. Most operations can now be performed with a two-man crew versus the three- or four-man crew required in the past. Most material designated for shipping can be on the road in less than four hours after it is requested. First year savings was $230,000 as a result of the Specialty Trucks.
Material Movement Extended Reach Forklifts Extended Reach Forklift Trucks are forklift trucks that have been fitted with a telescopic arm that extends out 20+ feet. The extended reach allows material to be directly loaded and unloaded into containers on bogie trailers without the need of a ramp and a forklift entering the container resulting in approximately 0.5 man-hour savings per container. A total of 10 extended reach forklift trucks is in operation. All bogie container loading and unloading operations can now be performed more efficiently, safer, and with quicker reaction time.
Material Movement in High Explosive Areas The use of a ramp and a spark proof, clean-burning diesel forklift have replaced the two electric forklifts previously required for loading and unloading material from magazines onto trucks in a high explosive area. The utilization of the ramp eliminates the need for an electric forklift on the truck and replaces it with a clean-burning diesel on the ground. It also eliminates the need for the truck to back into the narrow loading area in front of the magazine, allows direct loading and unloading, and eliminates double handling. Ramps can be set up prior to use and left at the magazines. Downtime is eliminated because the diesel forklift does not require battery replacement. The use of ramps and diesel forklifts allow the material movement operations to be performed more efficiently, safer, and with quicker reaction time.
With these improvements and more to come, CAAA has improved its overall capacity and capability to move ammunition to and from any building, magazine, and production building by truck or rail in a highly efficient and safe manner. Current reaction time is less than four hours. The overall goal is just-in-time delivery which is being quickly approached.
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