Aerojet Rocketdyne's Affordability and Efficiency Drive Achieves Major Milestones
Written by: Space Foundation Editorial Team
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2019) – Nearly four years into an aggressive five-year affordability drive, Aerojet Rocketdyne reports that it has already achieved its top major milestones — including relocation of manufacturing capabilities for three key missile defense program products across the country, and elimination of more than 1.1 million square feet of the company’s office and manufacturing space.
In March 2015, the company first launched its Competitive Improvement Program (CIP) aimed at reducing product costs and increasing operational efficiency among its 15 sites across the country.
A major component of the initiative was the transfer of production of three key defense-related propulsion programs from the Sacramento, California, site to the company’s sites in Camden, Arkansas, and Orange County, Virginia, that had similar manufacturing capabilities. Through a meticulous program management and risk reduction schedule, the company was able to build and replicate capabilities and execute the knowledge transfer needed to stand up and certify production at the receiving sites. In December 2017, one customer took first product deliveries of the two divert attitude propulsion programs that were transferred to Virginia, and in July 2018, another customer took first deliveries of a critical large solid rocket motor program that was transferred to Arkansas.
“When we launched CIP and announced our company-wide consolidation plans, we acknowledged it was a bold move but one that we felt was essential to sustaining our competitiveness in the increasingly dynamic aerospace and defense sector,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne Chief Operating Officer Mark Tucker, executive champion of the effort. “I’m proud to say we’ve done exactly what we promised we’d do. Not only were we able to successfully duplicate our complex production requirements at other sites, but we retained critical personnel and improved product flow along the way through agile, modernized facilities that are now right-sized for the products we transferred. Best of all, we accomplished the program transfers without impact to the quality of the products we deliver, and engaged our customers throughout the process to share in the production and test milestones.”
Another goal of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s CIP was reduction of the company’s 15-site footprint, starting with the largest site located on 12,000 acres outside of Sacramento, California, that contained 2.5 million square feet of facilities. Through a systematic consolidation of capabilities and facilities, as of January 2019, the site had decommissioned a total of 427 buildings, eliminating more than 1,155,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space.
“Through our CIP, Aerojet Rocketdyne has achieved an impressive reorganization — transferring our state-of-the-art capabilities and making the investment needed in equipment and people to stand up operations at new sites that are right-sized and modernized for the future,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “With the successful progress of the CIP, we are well on our way to achieving annual cost reductions of approximately $230 million by the year 2021. The culture of our company has undergone a paradigm shift — this is now how we do business. We are laser-focused on consolidating to create efficiencies where we can, and investing in the technologies needed to sustain our profitable growth and innovation in this industry.”
Building on the successful execution of the first phase of its CIP, in April 2017, the company announced an expansion of the affordability drive that further consolidated capabilities and facilities while increasing Aerojet Rocketdyne’s existing presence and manufacturing capabilities in Huntsville, Alabama; Camden, Arkansas; and Orange County, Virginia. At the beginning of July 2018, the company moved into its new office building in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville which housed more than 350 employees at the end of the year. In October 2017, construction began on the company’s new Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Huntsville — a state-of-the-art factory that will focus on composites and additive manufacturing and is on track to be production-ready by the end of 2019.
About Aerojet Rocketdyne: Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com. Follow Aerojet Rocketdyne and CEO Eileen Drake on Twitter at @AerojetRdyne and @DrakeEileen.
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