B&W Pantex today announced the successful implementation of the National Nuclear Security Administration Integrated Production Planning and Execution System (IPRO) seven months ahead of schedule and approximately $8 million below projected cost.
As with most complex manufacturing processes, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool is utilized at Pantex to minimize required on-hand inventory while ensuring the right product with the right quality is delivered at the right time. B&W Pantex developed and deployed IPRO to modernize its ERP system and reduce cost while improving operational visibility and inventory accuracy. IPRO represents a major system (hardware/software) upgrade designed to integrate management of mission critical functions.
The program not only replaces software management systems dating back nearly 25 years, it provides a portable, customizable and flexible ERP solution to sustain the ever-evolving electronic workplace.
On November 1, the Pantex Plant successfully completed the first 100 days since implementation of IPRO, achieving a full production rate despite several challenges, including an NNSA-directed operations suspension in preparation for the government shutdown. The challenge of using the new system during the unprecedented shutdown proved a worthy test for IPRO.
“The dozens of men and women who worked diligently on implementing this program are an outstanding representation of the dedication of all Pantexans,” said B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery. “At every turn, they were willing to put in the extra hours and effort to implement this critical program under some very difficult circumstances.”
The business and mission critical activities supported by IPRO are:
- Forecasting, planning and scheduling resource requirements
- Creation and management of inventory items, bill of materials/structures and routings
- Receipt, storage, distribution and final disposition of components
- Financial management of inventory
- Collection and reporting of specific assembly and disassembly information
- Production work in process management, reporting and tracking
- The identification, tracking and disposition of non-conforming materials
- Integrated authorization and control of movement for nuclear materials and explosives
IPRO enabled the modernization of warehouse and inventory operations, including the use of a mobile, dockable electronic scanner that increases accuracy and tracking of inventory.
Success of this project is attributed to the use of a tailored approach execution strategy which allowed the project team and the oversight community to adapt quickly and remain flexible as the project progressed through different phases. Using an iterative approach to the development of IPRO, 23 man-years of effort were expended in an eleven-month period. These iterative development cycles allowed team members to deliver pieces of IPRO early in the development phase, allowing testing and adjustments to progress promptly.
IPRO utilizes an Oracle PeopleSoft-based software solution, which creates the potential for integration across the Nuclear Security Enterprise, where 90 percent of the Enterprise Resource Planning tools are based on PeopleSoft.
“The Pantex Plant has once again demonstrated innovative thinking and a willingness to look at the big picture with IPRO,” said NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. “This system not only increases the reliability, accuracy and quality of operations at Pantex, it has the potential to do the same for facilities throughout NNSA.”