Original Date: 07/01/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Combined Effective Munitions Cell
Kurt Manufacturing was awarded a DOD $150K Value Engineering Award as the result of their improvements in manufacturing Combined Effective Munitions (CEM) canisters by welding a cast nose piece to a rolled and welded aluminum sheet. The award, which was shared with Honeywell, came about by improving the original Rockeye CEM canister manufacture which was accomplished by machining an extruded aluminum body. Kurt developed a fabricated rolled and welded unit to produce a CEM canister that would meet all the specifications at a lower cost. Kurt also experimented with a casting to replace the considerably more expensive forged nose piece for the CEM. After six months of experimentation and testing, the first welded units were accepted.
This engineering improvement has continued to provide significant savings over the past ten years. A manufacturing cell has been developed to produce this product line. The nose piece is machined on six different machines that are dedicated to the various processes required for its manufacture. These processes include facing, turning, drilling, tapping, boring, milling, slotting and deburring. The machines that perform these functions were mostly designed and built by Kurt. Many evolved from excess surplus machines and were adapted to perform a specific task. The canister sections of the CEM begin as 0.160-inch thick aluminum sheets that are sheared to size. The sheets are then rolled to a 14-inch to 15-inch diameter on a two roll polyurethane machine. Once rolled, the piece moves through several other machining operations on specially built machines, one of which punches 36 holes in the canister body from the inside out thereby reducing the deburring problem.
After all machining is complete, the canister is welded together and the nose section is welded in place. After welding, each unit is submerged in water and pressurized to check for leaks. Following the leak check, each weld seam is dye-penetrant tested to ensure a sound weld. A final visual inspection of the fabricated unit is performed before shipment.
This cell like many others at Kurt, is made up of many unique machines designed and built from cast-off machine tools. Personnel in the manufacturing cell have a strong commitment to continuous process improvement and are encouraged to suggest changes that will produce a higher quality product, reduce time and costs, and improve safety wherever possible. The cell continues to evolve with the addition of a robot for handling the sheet stock in December 1991. This has improved cycle time and consistency of product quality.
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