Constituent's Allegation Concerning the Production of Artillery Barrels at the Watervliet Arsenal, NY

PLRD-82-48: Published: Feb 25, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1982.

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GAO was asked to evaluate the Nation's capability to produce artillery barrels in time of need. The review was made to determine the following: (1) whether the present saws create a bottleneck in the production process which limits the rotary forge output, and (2) the Army's rationale for using conventional rather than the latest automated hot abrasive cut-off machine.

GAO found that the maximum capacity and standard processing times for each major component of the integrated line indicated that the saws do delay the production process in relation to the fastest component of the line, which is the rotary forge. However, the saws do not create a delay in relation to the slowest component of the production line, which is the heat treat process. GAO found that the processing time requirements of the saws is more than adequate to meet both the peacetime and mobilization requirements of gun tube forgings. In addition, there is an ongoing project at the manufacturing facility to increase the ability to heat treat gun tube forgings at a faster rate during mobilization without substantially increasing equipment acquisition and installation costs.

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