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News > 2006 Franz Edelman award goes to WR-ALC
Ken Percell, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center senior civilian thanks the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for the Franz Edelman Award in ceremonies at Miami, Fla. (Courtesy photo)
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2006 Franz Edelman award goes to WR-ALC

Posted 5/4/2006   Updated 5/4/2006 Email story   Print story


by John Birdsong
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Public Affairs

5/4/2006 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.  -- The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS(R)) announced May 1 that Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC) has won the 2006 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research (O.R.) for its entry "Streamlining Aircraft Repair and Overhaul at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center." 

The culmination of a rigorous competition referred to as the "Super Bowl of O.R.," the Franz Edelman Award brings together the very best examples of innovation in the discipline from large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, corporate and governmental organizations around the world. Past winners in the 35-year history of the Franz Edelman competition have included GM, Motorola, Continental Airlines, the New Haven Health Department and the City of San Francisco Police Department. 

The 2006 Franz Edelman Award winning entry, "Streamlining Aircraft Repair and Overhaul at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC)," was presented by Ken Percell and Bill Best of WR-ALC, Prof. Mandyam Srinivasan of the University of Tennessee, College of Business Administration and Sridharan Chandrasekaran, Vice President of Strategic Services for software provider Realization Technologies, Inc. 

The winning entry discussed how WR-ALC used Operations Research in 2005 to arrive at a radically different approach to manage the repair and overhaul activity on its C-5 transport aircraft. WR-ALC used an O.R. technique called Critical Chain to reduce the number of C-5 aircraft undergoing repair and overhaul in the depot from thirteen to seven in just eight months. The time required to repair and overhaul the C-5 aircraft was reduced by 33 percent. The five additional aircraft now in operation have generated immediate additional revenue of at least $49.8 million per year. The replacement value for these aircraft is estimated at $2.37 billion. The additional workload the center is accommodating will bring in additional revenue of $119 million through 2008, with this number projected to increase to $248 million by 2009. 

In accepting the award, Ken Percell, the executive director and senior civilian at WR-ALC stated: "Warner Robins is extremely pleased to receive the Franz Edelman Award for our work on reducing flow days for the C-5 aircraft line. The results underscore the gains that a proper application of these tools can offer to the Air Force. This accomplishment should reinvigorate the use of Operations Research in the Air Force and across all branches of the military in general." 

"To be recognized by the business and academic communities for improvements we've made at this center, especially with aircraft maintenance operations, is quite an honor," said Bill Best, deputy director of the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Support Group. "This is what happens when the most capable people use the most innovative and advanced tools for this highly complex operation."

Critical Chain Project Management is a means of using resources in the most expeditious way possible. The adoption of CCPM has allowed major reductions in flow days. It makes use of the Concerto computer software, which gives a visual depiction of the aircraft, tasks, and status. The lists of tasks are color coded as to urgency, alerting us to the most important things to do. 

"On behalf of the entire C-5 enterprise, we are thrilled to win the 2006 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences," said Colonel David Holcomb, C-5 system program manager. "The use of critical chain project management to reduce the time required for depot maintenance is a key element of our plan to increase aircraft availability. The 402nd Maintenance Wing at Warner Robins has executed CCPM brilliantly, resulting in additional C-5 aircraft available to accomplish our Rapid Global Mobility mission. This initiative has provided our Mobility Air Forces with five additional aircraft to provide intertheater airlift support to our troops around the world. The team's outstanding contribution to our nation's security warrants this prestigious award." 

The other finalists were Animal Health Institute and Cox Associates; The US Commercial Aviation Partnership, comprising Airports Council International - North America, Air Transport Association, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, The Boeing Company, and the Transportation Security Administration; Omya Hustadmarmor and More Research/ Molde University College, and Travelocity and Sabre Holdings.

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, financial engineering, and telecommunications.

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