Innovative ideas streamline radar power assembly process

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by Mrs. Jacqueline Boucher (CECOM)

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Employees here introduced several innovative ideas for streamlining assembly processes on the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar (LCMR) system’s power distribution unit (PDU) saving time and money.

Simplified cabling and alternate step-by-step procedures, proposed by subject matter experts in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Tactical Systems Cable Branch, shaved 6.5 hours off the assembly process. The projected savings based on scheduled workload is more than $81,000 over the next 14 months.

LCMRs backtrack incoming mortar, rocket and artillery rounds, enabling quick countermeasures

“This was accomplished through many internal efficiencies implemented throughout the shop,” said Eugene Golembeski, branch chief. “I can’t say enough good things about everyone who played a part in the success of this project. Our customer is very happy with what we’ve done so far.”

In October, the depot started fabricating PDUs for U.S. Army Product Manager for Radars, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The quick resolution to problems plaguing the assembly portion of the project resulted in a production increase, from four to eight units per month, by January. The number is expected to grow to 10 units before summer.


Bill Laury, an electronics worker at Tobyhanna Army Depot, finishes installing a battery combiner in a Power Distribution Unit. Battery combiners allow two or more battery banks to be automatically combined (connected) during charging, allowing a single charge source to charge multiple battery banks. (Photo Credit: Mr. Steve Grzezdzinski (CECOM))

“Depot personnel are very professional and their workmanship is excellent,” said Daniel Goeggel, electronics engineer, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Aberdeen. He commended the hard work of depot personnel via a customer service survey form.

“The technicians are very knowledgeable about the system they are constructing and understand all of our requirements. I highly recommend them for any high profile project that comes around.”

Improvement initiatives include reducing the length and gauge of 10 wires inside the box, setting up a centralized parts supply location, streamlining the insertion and alignment of a sub-assembly and developing a cross-training program for depot personnel.

“It didn’t take long for team members to realize what was and wasn’t working on this project,” said Bill Laury, electronics worker, noting that members of the Production Engineering staff were instrumental in the success of this project. “We streamlined the original work instructions to make it easier to meet the customer’s needs.”

Electronics Mechanic Kevin Fick, like his coworkers, is very proud of what the branch has been able to accomplish. “We found ways to improve the PDU box while saving the customer time and money,” he said.

Tobyhanna is scheduled to fabricate more than 100 power distribution units, which amounts to about two years-worth of work. Plus there is a repair program underway to take care of units that fail in the field.

“We have a great group of people working on this project,” Golembeski said, explaining that the PDU is fabricated and assembled here. “This project touches so many depot shops, namely equipage, sheet metal, welding, paint and sand blast.”

Shop personnel have also teamed up with Continuous Process Improvement Directorate personnel to further streamline the process.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for C4ISR systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters.

About 3,100 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.