Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Watervliet Arsenal Works With Missile Defense Agency

From a Watervliet Arsenal press release:

Missile Defense Agency to experience Arsenal quality

WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. – The Arsenal announced today that it has shipped a machined 30-foot propulsion barrel to the Missile Defense Agency, which completes the first work of its kind the Arsenal has done for this Department of Defense agency.

While the $30,000 amount of this order ranks as one of the smallest contracts the Arsenal has received this past year, what is significant about this order is that this is the first time the Arsenal has supported this research and development agency, said Bill Dingmon, the Arsenal’s chief of manufacturing.

“A few years ago, we would not have given any thought about developing a quote for a project as small as this,” Dingmon said. “But in today’s era of declining defense manufacturing requirements, we cannot overlook any contract that may lead to more work in the future, and we believe this tube will do that for us.”

At the end of the day, adding the Missile Defense Agency to our portfolio speaks volumes about the quality of machining that we do, Dingmon said.

There was another critical consideration the Agency had when it was deciding whether or not to give Watervliet the contract ̶ could the Arsenal do it now?

According to Bruce Pienkoski, the Arsenal’s project manager for this order, beyond the consideration of cost, which did come in about 50 percent lower than other quotes, was that the Missile Defense Agency needed the barrel immediately.

“The value of being an Army-owned and operated manufacturing center is that we can shift production priorities overnight,” Pienkoski said. “In regards to the Missile Defense Agency, they requested a quote on January 13 and by January 26 we were machining the barrel.”

The barrel will be used in simulation studies of high-altitude extraction of a payload from an aircraft and took less than 15 days to machine, perform quality control inspections, and to prepare for shipment.

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