Original Date: 09/15/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
United Defense, Limited Partnership (UDLP) can trace its history back to two companies the Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) and the Harrisburg Steel Company (Harsco). FMC began in 1884 when inventor John Bean developed a new type of spray pump to combat San Jose scale in California's orchards. Realizing there was a great demand for the spray pump, he formed the Bean Spray Pump Company which concentrated its manufacturing efforts on agricultural equipment. In the late 1920s, the company merged with makers of food processing equipment and cannery machinery for vegetables, and created a larger company with a new name FMC. By the mid-1930s, FMC was the world's largest manufacturer of machinery and equipment for handling fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, and meat products. As World War II began, FMC entered the defense business, manufacturing amphibious tractors and tanks for the U.S. Military.
Harsco began in 1742 and established itself as an internationally recognized leader in the production of America’s first seamless gas cylinder. Later, the company began producing a range of specialty steel products, and expanded into new products and markets as a diversified industrial organization. During World War II, Bowen McLaughlin York, a division of Harsco, began building tanks. For the next 50 years, FMC and Harsco achieved recognition for producing quality combat vehicles and Navy guns. One of the most noteworthy vehicles developed and produced was the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which was hailed as the “most magnificent fighting machine ever.” In 1974, FMC opened a 220,000 square foot factory and office facility in Aiken, South Carolina for commercial products. In 1982, the facility was rededicated as a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant for the manufacture of parts for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. With the downsizing of the U.S. Military, the facility was restructured and now manufactures components for multiple military tracked vehicles, the Navy’s MK45 Gun System, and the Vertical Launching System. In 1994, FMC and Harsco merged their defense units to form UDLP.
The Aiken facility is one of five UDLP Ground Systems Divisions (GSDs), and has the proud distinction of having the best safety record in its industry. Embedded into the facility’s walkway are concrete blocks that make visitors aware of the plant’s safety record, publicizing major milestones of the millions of hours its employees have worked without a lost-time accident. UDLP GSD Aiken’s safety record earned the facility the Palmetto Star Award, the highest award presented by the State of South Carolina, and the National Safety Council Award of Honor, the highest level of achievement attainable. UDLP GSD Aiken has also been noted in the U.S. Congressional Record for safety performance.
UDLP GSD Aiken is a leader in the research, design, and development of technologies necessary for the manufacture of advanced armored combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers, and precision munitions. The facility is the prime developer, system integrator, and producer of critical combat systems, and is equipped for advanced fabrication, welding, machining, laser cutting, and subassembly of aluminum, steel, titanium, copper alloy, and stainless steel components. In the face of an ever-changing defense environment, UDLP GSD Aiken reacted quickly and appropriately with the implementation of production planning to cut costs and deliver technologically advanced systems on time, on budget, and on specifications. The facility produces quality components to military specifications with an acceptance rate of 99.9% of total parts shipped.
UDLP GSD Aiken continues to be a leader of manufactured components for multiple military tracked vehicles and has established standards of excellence in manufacturing. The facility’s excellent safety record, the recognition and development of its employees, technical expertise, and the establishment of its Skip Lot Process, System Lean Manufacturing Practices, High Performance Work System, and Weld Code Procedure have provided the U.S. Military with combat vehicles and components that are second to none. The BMP survey team considers the following practices to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|ATC|| ||Aiken Technical College|
|CFT|| ||Cell Family Team|
|FMC|| ||Food Machinery Corporation|
|GSD|| ||Ground Systems Division|
|Harsco|| ||Harrisburg Steel Company|
|LTA|| ||Long Term Agreement|
|NC|| ||Numerical Control|
|QA|| ||Quality Assurance|
|QPC|| ||Quality Partnership Council|
|QRP|| ||Quality Recognition Program|
|TACOM|| ||Tank-Automotive and Armament|
|UDLP|| ||United Defense, Limited Partnership|
|VPP|| ||Voluntary Protection Program|
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