Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Located on a 946-acre island in the upper Mississippi River, Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) is one of the largest employers in the area with an estimated economic impact of $1,000,000 daily. As the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the western world, the Arsenal provides manufacturing, logistics, and base support services for the Armed Forces.
Noted for its expertise in the manufacture of weapons and weapon components, every phase of development and production is available from prototype to full-scale production of major items, spare parts, and repair items. Product items range from artillery gun mounts and recoil mechanisms to aircraft weapons sub-systems. Some of the Arsenal's most successful manufactured products include the M198 and M119 Towed Howitzers, and the M1A1 Gun Mount.
RIA’s capabilities include tool, die, and gage manufacturing; precision investment castings; foundry; heat treating; prototype; gear manufacturing; forgings; spring manufacture; machining; plate and sheet metal; blasting; rubber and plastic molding; welding; and surface finishing.
RIA’s laboratory, testing, and inspection capabilities include chemical analysis; a weapons testing complex; coordinate measuring machines; test and measurement equipment calibration; and testing in the areas of vibration, oil and lubrication, radiological, mechanical/metallurgical, nondestructive, environmental chamber, and rubber, plastic, and fibrous materials.
The Arsenal's logistics mission includes the primary tool set mission for federal agencies, the application of chemical- protective coatings to combat vehicles, and the construction of storage units for the Army's War Reserve Ships. The tool set mission can be customized, with a lifetime warranty. Sets range in size from carrying case to fully equipped and mobile shelters. Noted products include the New Aircraft Tool System which saved the Department of Defense over $10 million, and the Contact Maintenance Truck Humvee. Capabilities include turn-key operations; prototype; engineering/design; fabrication; assembly/disassembly; laser etching; indoor/outdoor storage; demil; equipment/component acquisition; and fielding support.
The Arsenal has been evaluated and selected as a regional center under regionalization initiatives as part of the Army’s effort to consolidate services. Basic services offered include information technology, public works, law enforcement, equal opportunity, community/family activity support, supply, personnel administration, and fire protection which are provided to over 30 tenants on the island. As home to a Post Exchange, Commissary, and Health Clinic, the Arsenal is a regional service center for active and reserve military and 15,000 military retirees who live within 125 miles of the Arsenal. The Arsenal’s grounds and facilities include 2.1 million square feet of manufacturing space; 3.8 million square feet of storage space; and 2 million square feet of administration space.
RIA has evolved over the years into a center of technical excellence for weaponry, tool sets, and base support services supported by a highly educated and motivated workforce of 1,900 civil servants who are represented by five local unions, nine military personnel, and 500 contract personnel. Its annual budget is $185 million.
RIA’s efforts are guided by a planned and documented management and quality system. Self-directed work teams, customer/supplier partnerships, and customer feedback are used throughout the Arsenal. Whether the mission is manufacturing, logistics, or base operations, key customer requirements are measured, monitored, and improved based on cost, quality, and timeliness. In recent years, the Arsenal has been recognized as a Center of Excellence for Quality, an ISO-9002 registered facility, a National Partnership facility, a Contractor Performance Certification Program certified facility, and a Presidential Quality Award finalist.
The Arsenal’s 117 self-directed work teams share the responsibility and authority to plan, implement, and control work processes, resulting in a streamlined organization from six layers of management down to two. RIA’s Labor- Management Council is recognized as one of only five National Labor Partnership winners in 1997. The council has been the primary driver for such improvements as the alternative work schedule, self-directed work teams, and the 360 degree appraisal system. Recent examples of RIA’s partnering with customers include M1A1 Tank Co-Production Program with Egypt; Tank, Automotive, and Armament Command to design and build 5-ton truck armor kits; and General Services Administration customized tool kits. The Arsenal’s Community Team, through the Manufacturing Technology Consortium, strengthens the overall community services and practices in education, employment capabilities, manufacturing, and tourism.
The Arsenal has been transitioning from a traditional manufacturing facility to a flexible facility looking to the future. Results of its manufacturing efforts include the reduction in the manufacturing rejection rate of 66% from 1992 to 1996; simulation facility testing reduced the cost of live-firing of howitzers by 33%; volume of hazardous waste has been reduced by 85% and disposal costs reduced by 75%; process cycle time for Computer Numerically Controlled program changes have been reduced by 90%; and $10.9 million in value engineering savings in 5 1/2 years has been achieved. Logistics results show an 84% cost reduction through redesign of the tool procurement process; and a government supply center, “Uncle Sam's Emporium,” with competitive prices, a World Wide Web catalog, free deliveries, and credit card purchasing. Base operations relationship has resulted in a reduction of 30.2% in the internal operating budget; $2.2 million in depreciation expense; and 24.8% per capita tenant costs. A Paperless Equal Employment Opportunity complaint system reduced processing costs by 70%. Local community and state government partnering developed the Iowa Communications Network, saving an estimated $200,000 to $600,000 per user.
Streamlining and modernization must continue to take place in all areas of the Arsenal if it is to survive into the 21st century. Decreasing military budgets, increasing technological demands, and legal and regulatory changes involving topics such as privatization and tightened environmental controls present daunting challenges. RIA is fully capable of meeting these challenges and becoming the Department of Defense’s provider of choice for military products and services. RIA’s manufacturing facility, information technology infrastructure, expertise, and capabilities are world-class and unparalleled within Government. The BMP survey team considers the following practices to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|360 DPMS|| ||360 Degree Performance Management System|
|AAP|| ||Advanced Acquisition Plan|
|ADI|| ||Austempered Ductile Iron|
|ADPE || ||Automated Data Processing Equipment|
|AIEP|| ||Army Ideas For Excellence Program|
|AMC || ||Army Materiel Command|
|AMCCOM|| ||Armament Munitions and Chemical Command|
|ARDEC|| ||Armament Research Development and Engineering Command|
|BCL|| ||Basic Control Language|
|BII|| ||Basic Item of Issue|
|CAD/CAM|| ||Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing|
|CAPP|| ||Computer Aided Process Planning|
|CISP|| ||Continuous Improvement in Safety Performance|
|CMTH|| ||Contact Maintenance Truck Humvee|
|CNC|| ||Computer Numerically Controlled|
|CP2|| ||Contractor Performance Certification Program|
|DNC|| ||Distributed Numerical Control|
|DOD|| ||Department of Defense|
|EEO|| ||Equal Employment Opportunity|
|EVMS || ||Earned Value Management System|
|FWS|| ||Flexible Welding System|
|GUI|| ||Graphical User Interface|
|HEARTS|| ||Honesty, Ethics, Accountability, Respect, Truth, and Support|
|HEAT || ||Help Desk Expert Automation Tool|
|ICN|| ||Iowa Communications Network|
|IEPA|| ||Illinois Environmental Protection Agency|
|IMPAC|| ||International Merchants Purchase Authorization Card|
|IOC|| ||Industrial Operations Command|
|LAN|| ||Local Area Network|
|LGV|| ||Laser Guided Vehicle|
|LIP|| ||Laying Away In Place|
|MASAG|| ||Math and Science Are Great|
|MNS|| ||Mission Need Statement|
|MRP II|| ||Manufacturing Resource Planning System|
|MSDS || ||Material Safety Data Sheet|
|MTC|| ||Manufacturing Technology Consortium|
|NMR|| ||Nonconforming Material Record|
|OSHA || ||Occupational Safety and Health Administration|
|PC|| ||Personal Computer|
|PC-LAN|| ||Personal Computer Local Area Network|
|PCO|| ||Program Change Order|
|PCS|| ||Permanent Change of Station|
|PDF|| ||Portable Document File|
|PIP|| ||Product Improvement Proposal|
|PM|| ||Preventive Maintenance|
|RFW/RFD/ECP|| ||Request for Waiver/Request for Deviation/Engineering Change Proposal|
|RIA|| ||Rock Island Arsenal|
|RMA|| ||Rocky Mountain Arsenal|
|SDWT|| ||Self-Directed Work Team|
|SIFS|| ||Standard Industrial Funds System|
|SPC|| ||Statistical Process Control|
|SSSC|| ||Self-Service Supply Center|
|TAMMS|| ||Tool and Maintenance Management System|
|TAPES|| ||Total Army Performance Evaluation System|
|TC|| ||Ton Container|
|TSG|| ||Teaming Support Group|
|USE|| ||Uncle Sam's Emporium|
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Point of Contact for this survey.