Tullahoma leverages Eton to expand production of US Army uniform
09 Jul '08
2 min read
Eton Systems Inc announces that longstanding customer Tullahoma Industries LLC has shifted production of its U.S. Army's Generation III uniform trouser program from traditional sewing and assembly lines to the advanced Eton unit production system in its Brilliant, Alabama (USA) facility.
The move was warranted by production limitations related to handling of bundles (stacks) of the lightweight, waterproof materials used in the uniform. After utilizing a manual production process for more than six months, the move to Eton resulted in a 15 - 20% increase in productivity in less than 90-days. With operator productivity now running at 117% of established standards, the company plans to increase production of the Gen III pant from 500 units to 750 per day.
“Moving the GEN III product to Eton has been a huge improvement for us”, stated Russell Boren, former Brilliant plant manager turned corporate engineer. “The slick and lightweight materials were far too difficult to keep organized manually. The operators got very frustrated trying to stack, tie and untie, and position the fabrics for assembly and very few were even coming close to production goals.
With Eton, all of the parts for each pant are efficiently organized in a special product carrier. Most of the time, workers do not even have to remove the work from the carrier to do their job. This eliminated the need for two general materials handlers and dramatically reduced operator handling time across the board. Eton has enabled us to increase productivity by at least 15 – 20% and we can now keep production of the uniform pant running smoothly.”
Headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Tullahoma Industries LLC produces commercial thermal underwear, chemical protective garments, and coveralls, coats and trousers for the US military. The ISO- 9001:2000 certified company employs approximately 425 people across two locations in Tennessee and the Brilliant, Alabama plant which also produces the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).
The GENERATION III Extreme Cold/Wet Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) is designed for use in cold, wet conditions as a hard shell layer combined with other base and insulative layers. Constructed with two-layer GORE- TEX fabric, the Level VI ECWCS trousers provide a lightweight, completely waterproof, windproof and breathable level of protection against the elements with 50% less bulk than previous generation ECWCS GORE-TEX garments.