Defense Programs Awards of Excellence: Extrudable Pressing Team

July 26, 2016
​Pantex and Y-12 received numerous Defense Programs Awards of Excellence. The award program highlights those who have made a significant difference in improving any phase of the nuclear weapons life-cycle process. The Extrudable Pressing Team was one award winner.

Some jobs at CNS clearly define how they help protect global security. With organization names like High Explosives Manufacturing, High Explosives Facility Management, Projects, and Tooling & Tester Design, it’s pretty evident. Recently, this specialized team from Pantex solved issues surrounding the need to manufacture extrudable explosive components for ongoing Joint Test Assembly activities and future Life Extension Program deliverables and was recognized with a Defense Programs Award.

Team member Lennon Mings said, “The scope and the purpose of the project are in direct support of aiding the front line of global security, so that motivation initiated the project. In fact, the project plays a pivotal role in ensuring global security.”

Production of war reserve extrudable explosive components had not been performed at Pantex for decades. Much of the tooling was unreliable after many years of limited use, and the designated facility was not up to operational standards.

Mings said, “I think the greatest accomplishment of the team was the design and implementation of a piece of equipment that is instrumental in the success of Pantex and future work. The project required the synergy of multiple disciplines (project management, explosive engineers, tooling engineers, facility management and engineering technicians). As a result, based on demonstrated work, we have developed a process that is capable of producing products better than ever before.”

Project manager Tim Harris said, “Our team initiated action to upgrade the facility, install a new extruder, develop new tooling, modernize technical operating procedures and support documents, train technicians to perform operations, update process hazards analysis review and update and qualify the overall process through readiness activities.”

Mings said, “Tim ensured the team had the right members; he was the motor that moved the project along.”

“This project was a major highlight in my career at Pantex,” Harris said. “The team made the project a success.”