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July 2012

An event featuring live music, a dunk tank and a barbeque was held yesterday as part of the 2012 Feds Feed Families campaign. The DOE-wide goal for this year is to collect 230,000 pounds of non-perishable food items, which will be donated to local food banks for direct distribution to those in need in the D.C. area. NNSA will host a variety of activities in August to help achieve the goal.

Joel Ramos works with the lathe.

Big jobs are nothing new for the Projects Division at Pantex, and the award-winning installation of a new high explosives (HE) vertical turret lathe definitely qualifies as a big job, starting with the 10-ton weight of the machine itself.

Throw in the multi-ton blast wall that had to be craned out of the way, installation of all-new utilities and a greatly compressed timeline, and it becomes clear why completing the project on time and under budget earned a Project of the Year Award from the Amarillo chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

“There were things about this project that were tough, but it was a good project,” said Marvin Moreland, project manager. “Everybody knew it had to be done right and on time, so everybody pitched in to make it happen. It was a real team effort.”

Moreland and his 14-person-team joined with a crew of experts to bring in the $2.1 million project 50 days ahead of schedule and $145,000 under budget – a significant accomplishment given the critical need to install the project to meet increased production goals.

“They saved the day for us,” said Greg Lehnick, logistics section manager for HE Manufacturing. “There were a lot of obstacles to doing something like this, but they got it done, and that allowed us to meet the customer’s expectations.”

The massive lathe is nearly identical to several others in use at Pantex, but this particular piece of equipment had not been manufactured since the 1980s, when the other lathes were installed and the building was constructed around them. Getting a lathe into an existing bay required a 25-ton-crane, removal of a blast wall and a team of about a dozen lifting experts. Once the lathe was in the bay, all of the utilities and fire suppression systems had to be modernized.

The lathes are used to machine HE parts for use in weapon life extension programs at Pantex. The lathe’s massive size belies its sophistication, which allows it to machine parts to tolerances down to a thousandth of an inch. The entire process is so sensitive that the ambient temperature must be controlled to within a couple of degrees lest thermal expansion throw off the accuracy.

Moreland and his team members submitted their project to the newly-formed chapter of PMI in Amarillo, which chose it as Project of the Year. The real reward, however, comes in allowing Pantex to meet its production goals and accomplish its critical national security mission.

“Marvin and his team deserve congratulations for the hard work they put in to make this happen,” said Dennis Huddleston, manager of the Projects Division at Pantex. “Their success demonstrates the dedication all Pantexans have to getting the job done right.”

About the photos:

Joel Ramos, an engineering technician at Pantex, works with the lathe. The lathe is used to machine high explosives parts for use in weapon life extension programs at Pantex.

NNSA field office managers from across the enterprise gathered in Kansas City last week for a federal field leadership team meeting. During the trip, they toured the new Kansas City Plant, which is more than 80 percent complete. Beginning in January 2013, KCP will begin the move from the Bannister Federal Complex to the new National Security Campus.

About the photo:

From left to right: John Woolery, President and General Manager B&W Pantex; Geoffrey Beausoleil, Sandia Field Office Manager; Steven Erhart, Nuclear Security Production Office Manager; Stephen Mellington, Nevada Field Office Manager; Bill Jackson, meeting coordinator; Rick Lavelock, Kansas City Plant, Transformation Leader; Mark Holecek, Kansas City Field Office Manager; Michael Lemke, Associate Principal Deputy Administrator and Associate Administrator for Infrastructure and Operations; Douglas Dearolph, Savannah River Field Office Manager; Kimberly Davis, Livermore Field Office Manager; Kevin Smith, Los Alamos Field Office Manager; and Dana Hunter, NNSA’s Field Office Liaison.

NNSA field office managers meet at Kansas City Plant

Representatives from NNSA's Sandia Site Office recently hosted the NNSA summer interns from the Albuquerque Complex and the Sandia Site Office on a tour of Sandia National Laboratories. The interns toured Sandia's Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) facility and the Annular Core Research Reactor.

About the photos:

(Group photo) Anthony Torres, Michael Pitonzo, Nicholas Shaneyfelt, Matthew ‘David’ Conklin, Jennifer Slopek, Turner Adair, Dominique Rodriguez, Ashley Dyke, Richard Baca (NNSA Mentor for 2012 NNSA Intern Program), and Jordan Flynn.

NNSA Sandia Site Office Facility Representative Erwin Hoo hosts the NNSA Summer Interns on a tour of Sandia's Annular Core Research Reactor.

NNSA summer interns tour Sandia

Summer Interns on a tour of Sandia's Annular Core Research Reactor