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Identifying Critical Manufacturing Technologies Required for Transforming the Army Industrial Base

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Technical Report

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Defense Acquisition University Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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With reductions to the Department of Defense DoD budget, the Army needs to think strategically about which manufacturing issues have the greatest impact on the health of the industrial base. Typically, these decisions are made based on producing specific critical end items e.g., ammunition, tactical vehicles, and aircraft but not on the actual life-cycle costs used to produce these end items e.g., Implementing qualified manufacturing, and inspection processes, supply chain management, materials availability, etc..Due to this decision-making model, very little change has occurred in the industrial base over the last several decades, making it difficult to modernize facilities, produce new designs, and incorporate efficient manufacturing processes. The value and continued success of the Army Industrial Base depends on the cost-savings potential of transformation initiatives and how effectively they are implemented to support acquisition programs. The threefold intent of this paper is, first, to examine 10 critical manufacturing issues to determine which have the greatest impact on the health of the industrial base. Then this paper, in terms of transition initiatives, will present the Technology Transition Framework, developed by the Defense Systems Management College in 2009 for assessing the readiness of a technology to be adapted from a science and technology S and T initiative into an acquisition program. Finally, it is important to identify the most useful knowledge management techniques to retain the transition lessons learned. Interviews with Army program managers and DoD manufacturing technology engineers will provide perspectives about the current Army industrial base and manufacturing issues. Interviews with industrial base manufacturers will help shed light on successful transition practices.

Subject Categories:

  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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