IW Best Plants Profile - 1993

The Pueblo Operations plant of Unisys Corporation's Government Systems Group, a manufacturer of printed circuit card assemblies, computers, and information-processing systems for the Department of Defense and other government agencies, opened in 1985 with an extremely young workforce.

The plant jelled in 1990 just before receiving a contract from the Air Force to build the Weasel Attack Signal Processor (WASP), the computer aboard the F-4 Wild Weasel aircraft that knocks out surface-to-air missile launchers. With the Persian Gulf War looming, the Air Force shaved the delivery time from 18 to 12 months.

By sending teams to vendors' facilities to help them shorten their lead times, forming special teams to cut assembly time in half, and setting up still other teams to trim test time, the plant delivered the WASPs in only nine months.

Between 1991 and 1993, the year it won its Best Plants award, productivity at the Pueblo Operations soared 55 percent.

From 1988 to 1993, Unisys invested $4 million in the plant, a unit of the Government Systems Group's Electronic Systems Division, for new equipment. The award-winning Material Management Center, next door to the manufacturing facility, is equipped with a robotic material-handling system that stores and retrieves some 320,000 different parts with 99 percent accuracy.

A network of 350 personal computers, provides online, real-time management and planning information.

A TQP program was launched in January of 1990. Expanding on Unisys' corporatewide Total Quality Management Process, the TQP effort included a focus on customers.

In March 1995, Unisys sold its defense operations, including the Pueblo plant, to Loral Corp. Four months later, the plant was closed.

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