CCAD Leaps Ahead With Two Process Improvement Team Excellence Awards

by Brigitte Rox, CCAD Public Affairs

Under Secretary of the Army, Patrick J. Murphy, (far left) with CCAD representatives (left to right) Mark Wagner, Pamela Janek, Eric Andreas, and SGM Louis Felicioni at the Pentagon, Hall of Heroes, 2015 Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Ceremony. Photo by SPC Trevor Wiegel (RELEASED)

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (October 7, 2016) -- When it comes to reducing cost, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) delivers. The Depot won two of the ten 2015 Army Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Excellence Awards at a ceremony held at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Under Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy presided over the awards ceremony for the Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program (LEAP) and called to attention the significance of the top cost effective projects to the Army.

Murphy said that of the 1,374 projects submitted for consideration, the ten projects chosen as winners yielded some $1.1 billion in cost savings to the Army.

Today, he said, the operations tempo for the Army is still high, adding, "[But] we are going to have to do more with less," he told Lean and Six Sigma practitioners who attended the awards ceremony. "What you are doing to do more with less, and what you are doing to lead by example -- is just awesome."

No other organization in the industrial base has a workforce quite like CCAD’s. When they work as a team, some amazing things can happen.

The Depot took home two Process Improvement Project Team Excellence Awards (PIPTEA) at the Non-Enterprise Level. The two teams were recognized locally by Depot leaders during an award presentation, Sept. 22.

Improving the Internal Product Quality Deficiency Reporting Process

One team found their big win out of a need to minimize lost revenue in credited material that stemmed from inaccuracies in the internal product quality deficiency reporting (PQDR) process.

This Green Belt project brought together a team of specialists who dedicated 17 months to a solution.

They focused on the PQDR process standards to ensure the best methods and expectations were consistently applied across the board. They standardized the roles, responsibilities, and performance requirements within the entire process.

This improved the reporting accuracy and visibility of PQDRs to 98% and reduced associated revenue losses by 90%, generating more than $7 million in cost benefits over the next three years.

Saving Time and Money Repairing AH-64 Gun Turret Flanges

The Army’s current fiscal climate affects not only the amount of funding certain programs receive, it also pushes existing programs and capabilities to their limits. In situations where the organic industrial base is capped on its resources, it comes down to the ingenuity and collaboration of the total team to ensure Army readiness.

When one team received an AH-64 Apache with gun mount pad damage, it was faced with a lengthy and tedious standard repair process and the need for a laser alignment fixture limited for high-priority work.

They had to find another way.

That’s when the team met with Boeing and the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Engineering Directorate, to develop an alternate structural repair process through a locally developed maintenance engineering change.

The team endured 14 months of hard work to achieve an alternate AH-64 Apache repair process that is 545 days faster with a cost benefit of $9.2 million to-date.

Excellence as CCAD Standard

Though these two projects were recognized at the Pentagon, individuals and teams across CCAD continue to step up time and time again to demonstrate excellence in professionalism and process improvement. In FY15, 63 Lean Six Sigma projects achieved $41.4 million in financial benefits. Every day, the LSS Black Belts are approached by employees with suggestions for process improvements and a desire to learn more through LSS training. It is from the shop floor level that more projects will continue to be validated as more savings and efficiencies are discovered every day.

These efficiencies are more than a trend at CCAD. It is the reality of modern defense sustainment. The Depot has the talent and ingenuity from the patriots and professionals of our Nation.

One CCAD team won an Army’s Lean Six Sigma Project Team Award for its improvement project on the AH-64 Apache gun turret flange repair process, saving $6.9 million, reducing labor costs by 89 percent and decreasing process lead time by 78 percent. Photo by Ervey Martinez (RELEASED)

COL Allan H Lanceta makes his first speech as CCAD commander.

Another CCAD team won Army’s Lean Six Sigma Project Team Award for streamlining the product quality deficiency report process, saving $7 million over three years and reducing defects from 57 percent to 10 percent. Photo by Ervey Martinez (RELEASED)


Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.