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Applying Lean Concepts to Grenade Line Maintenance – UA03-PBA

This project researches and incorporates lean concepts in the current maintenance practices of a production line.


Pine Bluff Arsenal

Research Team:

C. Richard Cassady, Earnest W. Fant, Cristen Starks

Universities Involved:

University of Arkansas

Start Date:


End Date:



The goal of this study is to apply the concepts of lean thinking to the maintenance practices of the Southside grenade line at Pine Bluff Arsenal.

* provides an overview of lean concepts and an introduction of the problem that the organization is currently experiencing.
* discusses the current maintenance operations as well as the key maintenance procedures on the grenade line
* discusses the identified problem areas and the recommendations of improvements are suggested
The Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) has recently placed increased emphasis on concepts related to lean manufacturing. While the typical focus of lean manufacturing is to reduce work-in-process (WIP) inventory levels, the overall concept of lean thinking is to maximize production throughput while minimizing production resource consumption. When exploring opportunities for increased manufacturing productivity, equipment maintenance planning is often overlooked. As with most serial production lines, the grenade line and other production lines at PBA are maintained by a staff of maintenance technicians. In many situations, this staff is too small to keep up with all the required corrective maintenance actions (repairs) and desirable preventive maintenance (PM) actions. In addition, PBA management has expressed concern with the scientific basis of preventive maintenance plans. Furthermore, PBA has experienced problems with excessive transportation and waiting times due to the location of maintenance tools and/or spare parts as well as excess inventory.