MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE BARSTOW, Calif. --
Maintenance Center Barstow, a tenant command aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., set a new record recently by producing 105 Humvees in a one-month period. MCB has been able to mass produce the vehicles using new processes and teamwork to help Marines fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The former process used to turn Humvees out was called ‘the stall method,’ which consisted of a vehicle being worked on in one place until it was completed, without moving, said Roland Gonzales, Humvee program manager at MCB.
“Using the old stall method, we only produced about 18 Humvees a month, taking about 35 days to complete one Humvee, back in June 2008,” said Gonzales.
Since then the Humvee shop at Cost Work Center 717, along with other shops at MCB, work together and use a new assembly line method to get things done more efficiently. During the process, one Humvee will be moved to 27 different stages and workers before it is complete, making for a more efficient and faster build of a single Humvee, he added.
“Once the trend of producing Humvees started to improve during October 2008, the workers at MCB reassessed the steps and came up with new plans and goals, so that there is always improvement being made,” said Gonzales.
Implementing the assembly line method started with the workers, but was possible because MCB Commanding Officer Col. Dale Johnson empowered the workers on the Humvee line to make decisions to produce more vehicles and come up with a plan to improve overall efficiency, Gonzales said.
Gonzales mentioned the new and fast-paced assembly line method for producing vehicles greatly helps the efforts of Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. Working to give Marines functioning equipment for the battlefield and sending out vehicles quicker and at a lower cost gives troops overseas a great advantage.
According to Johnson, MCB wants to build the capacity to produce 200 vehicles each month, adding that the Maintenance Center is targeting June 2010 for creating that capability.
The MCB commander also mentioned that the actual number of Humvees the facility produces will ultimately depend on what Marine Operating Forces requirements are at that time.
While it may seem like a daunting task to produce so many Humvees in such a relatively short period of time, the workers at CWC-717 believe production can increase, as long as space and manpower is used correctly and efficiently, said Gonzales.
“All the effort to produce such a substantial amount of Humvees does not belong to one cost work center or shop alone. In order to produce so many Humvees, the entire Maintenance Center worked together. The credit for the amazing work being done does not belong to any group in particular; it was a team effort,” he concluded.