INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 1, 2007
John Walsh, 526-8646
INL's tank armor production project reaches significant safety milestone
Idaho National Laboratory's Specific Manufacturing Capability (SMC) project reached a significant milestone Jan. 10, 2007 -- 3 million man-hours worked without a lost-time injury or illness.
The SMC project manufactures armor for the U.S. Army's M1A2 Abrams main battle tank. The facility's 223 employees handle and process more than two million pounds of material each month during normal operations.
SMC has operated without a lost-time injury since October 2000. A lost-time accident is one that results in an employee having to be away from their work site one or more days.
SMC Associate Laboratory Director David Kudsin attributes the project's six-plus years of continued operational and safety success to the employees.
"INL has always made employee safety a primary commitment and goal. The three million man-hour milestone is an indicator of the employees' commitment to working safely and to their commitment to producing a world-class product. This is an example of INL's integrated safety management at work," Kudsin said.
The SMC project, at the Site's Test Area North, started with a memorandum of understanding between the Army and the U.S. Department of Energy in February 1983. Material production began in November 1986 with the first unit being delivered in October 1987. During 1988, SMC achieved full production and has been working at capacity ever since.
Not only is this a significant safety milestone, but it was accomplished while meeting a demanding production schedule -- on time, within budget, with 100 percent quality acceptance -- producing the world's best armor to protect our men and women on the battlefield.