GDATP boosts capacity of Maine gun plant

March 18, 2008 at 4:23 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 18 (UPI) -- General Dynamics says it is boosting the production capacity of its gun manufacturing plant in Saco, Maine.

"General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is investing in production equipment and accelerating its enterprise-wide focus on Lean/Six Sigma-based process improvements at its Saco, Maine, gun manufacturing facility to increase the plant's capacity. The site serves as General Dynamics' core production site for single- and multi-barrel aircraft and crew-served weapon systems," the company said in a statement.

"Products manufactured in Saco include the MK19 and MK47 40 mm grenade weapon systems, high-speed multi-barrel Gatling guns and M2 50-cal. machine guns. General Dynamics' Gatling gun systems are on board every U.S. fighter aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the company has manufactured more than 30,000 MK19 gun systems. The M2 machine gun has been in production at Saco since 1979," General Dynamics said.

Mike O'Brien, vice president/general manager of gun systems for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, said, "As we anticipate the needs of our Department of Defense customers, we understand that our ability to remain responsive and flexible in a very dynamic marketplace is absolutely critical."

"The first phase of our initiative to prepare our Saco site for future growth involves capital investments of over $5 million in equipment. When coupled with our Lean/Six Sigma approach to our production process, this will allow us to net additional efficiencies," O'Brien said.

"In the first phase our focus will be on providing greater capacity to support our MK19 and M2 production lines. We have recently hired over 60 production employees and we intend to hire approximately 30 more, to ensure capacity for future technologies such as our Advanced Crew Served Weapon Systems," O'Brien said. "To complement this investment, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is also committed to advanced technical training for the newly hired and existing work force."

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