Raytheon plant in Louisville gets Shingo Prize honor

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: lean manufacturing

Raytheon Missile Systems' Louisville facility has won this year's Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. The prestigious North American award, termed the "Nobel Prize of Manufacturing" by Business Week magazine, recognizes Raytheon's ongoing efforts to improve by using lean world-class manufacturing strategies to achieve world-class results.

"We are honored that our Louisville employees have received this important award that recognizes the advances they have made to provide reliable, high-quality products for our customers," said Louise L. Francesconi, Missile Systems president. "It also reinforces our company's commitment to continual improvement."

This is the fourth consecutive year that Raytheon has been awarded a Shingo Prize. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Air Defense Center, Andover, Mass., received a Shingo Prize for excellence in lean manufacturing in 2005 and 2006, and the Maritime Mission Center, Portsmouth, R.I., was awarded one in 2006.

Raytheon Missile Systems' Tucson, Ariz., facility received the Shingo Prize in 2004.

Raytheon-Louisville manufactures and overhauls the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, the SeaRAM weapon system and the Rolling Airframe Missile Guided Missile Launching System for a customer base that includes the U.S. Navy and 24 allied navies. Additionally, the Land-Based Phalanx Weapon System, used by the U.S. Army, is also produced at the facility.

At Louisville, success has been driven by a qualified, trained and empowered workforce of 350 aligned into integrated product teams. That success can be defined by a 135 percent increase in sales, 230 percent increase in bookings and 100 percent on-time delivery rate all during the last six to seven years. On top of that, operational efficiency improved more than 15 percent just over the last two years alone. In 2006, 20 site processes were selected as best practices by the Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence, chartered by the Office of Naval Research.

"This award is the result of everyone's involvement in refocusing the way we do business here in Louisville," said Gary Tragesser, production program manager at the Kentucky facility. "By concentrating on the lean principles, we have achieved world-class performance by emphasizing our core manufacturing and business processes. This is a team award, and one we are very proud to receive."

The Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing is named for Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo who distinguished himself as one of the world's leading experts in improving manufacturing processes. The prize was established in 1988 to promote awareness of lean manufacturing concepts and recognize companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that achieve world-class manufacturing status.

Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is an industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs more than 80,000 people worldwide.


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