Original Date: 07/18/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
In business since 1827, Mason & Hanger (M&H)-Silas Mason Co., Inc. (now American Ordnance LLC) is the country's longest-existing engineering and construction company. Originally involved in large construction and landmark infrastructure projects, M&H accomplishments include: the Grand Coulee Dam; the Lincoln, Boston, and Brooklyn-Battery automotive tunnels; and New York City subway tunnels.
M&H entered the ordnance plant construction arena during World War II and set industry standards for blast resistant structures and explosive safety procedures. Its engineers developed new technologies for automated processing and new methods for melting, curing, and shaping explosives in the load/assembly and pack operations. In 1947, M&H began construction of a Nuclear Weapons line at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa for the Atomic Energy Commission. M&H became the IAAAP operating contractor for the U.S. Army in 1951. It continues to operate this government-owned, contractor-operated facility and refine its ability to efficiently manufacture products critical to national defense.
The IAAAP is a 19,000-acre load, assembly, and pack facility that provides munitions and high explosives development, processing, production, testing, and demilitarization. The plant encompasses 1.7 million square feet of manufacturing space and 1.9 million square feet of warehouse area, for a total of over 4.3 million square feet within the confines of the facility. Also included are 142 miles of roads and 103 miles of railroad tracks. These efforts are supported by almost 900 M&H personnel.
The IAAAP facility is recognized as a leader in the high, medium, and low volume production of pressed or melt-poured warheads such as Hellfire, TOW, Patriot, Stinger, Javelin, and Hawk. The facility also produces 120mm battle tank ammunition and a variety of mines, mortars artillery rounds, demolition charges, and blanks. Named as the Midwest Area Demilitarization Facility in 1992, the IAAAP now has an additional mission of disposing of old and/or obsolete ammunition in an environmentally-conscious manner.
As with all defense related activities and companies, M&H has faced serious challenges to its survival. To aggressively meet the challenge, M&H put the emphasis back on the basic ingredient to success quality. "Quality is an attitude" definitively describes all facets of business at M&H. This attitude permeates every aspect of not only what the company does but more importantly, monitoring and measuring how well it is done. M&H's quality management system (QMS) is one of the most extensive ever documented by the BMP Program.
A main component of the QMS is the performance indicator (PI) system (a centralized metrics retrieval/reporting system) which is M&H's tool to track current status, change effects, and progress. This comprehensive system provides a set of indicators for over 600 different areas as a means to assess and set goals for the company's continuous improvement efforts. All personnel actively apply these indicators in areas from customer satisfaction, cycle time, and quality, to timeliness and productivity. By contributing to and continually measuring continuous improvement, M&H employees go beyond "ownership" typical of many successful continuous improvement processes and programs. They know they represent the pivotal element to the company's success.
This complete assimilation of the quality attitude into the company culture has resulted in numerous quality awards for M&H including its certification by the U.S. Army Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command under its Contractor Performance Certification Program. This same command has stated that M&H is "Number One in Product Quality." In addition, the company has received quality awards from the State of Iowa, Rockwell International, Loral Aeronautic, Martin Marietta, and several U.S. Army commands. The continued growth of its quality efforts was recognized in 1993 and 1994 when M&H was a semi-finalist for the Manufacturing Category: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award the company is vying for again in 1995.
M&H and the IAAAP (called Team Iowa) represent the very best in quality programs and continuous improvement. By successfully recognizing and applying the two important elements of benchmarking and quality management through its personnel, Team Iowa stands well positioned to provide other companies new standards by which to measure themselves. The BMP survey team found the following practices to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|GBL|| ||Government Bill of Lading|
|IAAP|| ||Iowa Army Ammunition Plant|
|IE|| ||Industrial Engineer|
|M&H|| ||Mason & Hanger|
|MI|| ||Manufacturing Instruction|
|ME|| ||Methods Engineering|
|PI|| ||Performance Indicator|
|QMS|| ||Quality Management System|
|TQM|| ||Total Quality Management|
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