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Lean Manufacturing at Army Ammunition Plant

Ogden, Utah, April 2009 – Setpoint Systems, Inc., an industrial automation integration firm, has been selected to modernize the case mouth waterproofing process for .50 caliber ammunition at ATK’s Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP). Setpoint’s winning proposal describes how their solution to incorporate lean manufacturing principles will increase plant efficiency, increase output, reduce costs, and radically improve product quality.

For the past 60 years, the LCAAP has produced ammunition cases for the U.S. armed forces using manufacturing equipment originally built in the 1940s. The U.S. government and ATK (the private company who manages the plant) realized that the time had come to modernize this manufacturing process.

Setpoint gave ATK the perfect modernization solution through “lean” manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is based on the Toyota Production System (TPS) methodology, which breaks manufacturing processes down into multiple, compact work-cells rather than using the enormous manufacturing lines common in the 20th century.

“Lean manufacturing is what we do. The system that we’re going to build for the Lake City plant is going to make their process better in every way—safer, more efficient, less expensive, and higher quality. Lean is where world class manufacturers are headed, and we’re excited to help LCAAP modernize,” said Clark Carlile, Setpoint’s V.P. of Sales and Marketing.

Setpoint’s solution for LCAAP involves identical but independent work-cells. Each work-cell can manufacture all the required products, but the work-cells are easier and faster to maintain than current processes, increasing production uptime by 95 percent.

The lean work-cells reduce part handling and part transportation, which reduces the risk of damage and errors to the ammunition. Greater automation saves ATK labor costs and improves worker safety. Most importantly, Setpoint’s solution incorporates in-process inspection and error-proofing to improve the quality of the overall product. This enables LCAAP to produce more reliable ammunition for the soldiers who ultimately use it in combat.

About Setpoint:

Setpoint provides lean automation engineering services specializing in the design, build, and controls programming of turn-key custom automated solutions. Setpoint has more than 17 years of experience designing and building lean automated solutions for a wide range of manufacturers. All of Setpoint’s employees have been trained in the TPS methodology and have direct experience with some of the most discerning manufacturers practicing lean manufacturing principles today.

For more information please contact:

Kara Smith
Setpoint Systems, Inc.
Phone 801-621-4117


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From The Setpoint Blog

Lean Ammunition Manufacturing Part II 

Today's brass case factories operate on the principles of traditional mass production techniques developed in the early 1900's. Setpoint has designed a brass case "U" shaped cell that has many benefits, much like the automotive industry saw in the 1980's.

Learn more about the revolution.  Continue reading on our blog

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