Original Date: 02/28/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Mine Clearing Line Charge
Crane Army Ammunition Activity pursued several initiatives to improve quality, reliability, and efficiency since the 1996 Mine Clearing Line Charge Renovation. These improvements have been exported to other facilities and resulted in better reliability and less rework, with rejections virtually nonexistent.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) started renovating the Mine Clearing Line Charge (MCLC) in 1996. The MCLC is a 350-foot long explosive line, which is fired out to its full length and detonated to clear a path through mine fields. Since 1996, CAAA has completed several renovation and conversion programs involving more than 1,000 line charges. There were significant problems weaving the line charge during the first program, which resulted in significant levels of rejects and rework. CAAA pursued several initiatives to improve quality, reliability, and efficiency since the 1996 program.
Originally, the weaving of the arming wire and the reaming of the fuse connector were problematic and resulted in the necessity to rework the 1996 shipped quantity. The employee manually positioned the line charge and held the knurled nut while weaving the arming wire with alternate tucks over and under the arresting cable strands. The fuse connector front was located and a hole was manually drilled in the vertically-held connector. These operations were difficult to perform repetitively and resulted in drill chip debris and unacceptable weaving with damage, cut, or exposed electrical wires on the arresting cable.
In 1999, fixtures were developed to aid the operator in repetitively performing both the arming wire weave and the fuse connector reaming operations. The arming wire weave fixture was developed and implemented as a result of an employee’s suggestion. This process placed the arresting cable into the holding fixture and assured that the knurled nut was correctly positioned, freeing the operator’s hands to complete and inspect the weaving operation. This simple fixture was extremely effective in eliminating rework and rejections and, as a result, was exported to other ammunition facilities (Hawthorne and McAllester) for use on similar programs. The fixture, which was developed for reaming the fuse connector, also eliminated problems such as oversized holes and debris. The employee now attaches the fixture, inserts the fuse connector, and accurately drills a perpendicular hole allowing debris to fall away from the line charge.
CAAA has demonstrated a continuous improvement philosophy on this program resulting in improved methods of renovating and converting the MCLCs. These improvements have been exported to other facilities and resulted in better reliability and less rework. Rejections are now virtually nonexistent. Production rates have increased from a maximum of 20 per day to more than 75 per day.
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