In 2015, American Rheinmetall Systems (ARS) turned to the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership (GBMP) for assistance in developing a lean manufacturing program within its facility. ARS needed to streamline its operation and efficiency in order to free up workers to take on additional defense contracts. Its parent company, Rheinmetall Defence, wanted ARS to transition from being a workshop to being an efficient stand-alone business.
The ARS facility after Lean training with GBMP is streamlined and efficient for assembly of defense-related electro-optic and fire control systems.ARS is a mechanical and electro-optical engineering company specializing in system integration, assembly, and R&D. Its core business hasn’t changed over the years; ARS continues to support Kongsberg’s CROWS remote weapon station program that it took on under its previous name of Vingtech. Assembly and testing are done at the ARS plant in Biddeford, ME, using components purchased from suppliers. Its assembly procedures involve a lot of hands-on work and, as a result, inefficiencies. No fabrication work is done. Within a little more than two years, all of ARS’s existing work centers had gone through Lean manufacturing events and all production employees had participated in at least one project.