Aiming for efficiency and safety
An ammunition producer installs two bucket conveyors to automate its production line and improve efficiency and worker safety.
On December 26,1940, US senator Harry S. Truman presided over a groundbreaking ceremony in Independence, Mo., for one of the country's first government-owned, contractor-operated small arms ammunition plants -- known today as the ATK Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Co. During World War II, the plant produced .30-caliber rifle cartridges, .50-caliber machine gun cartridges, and 20-millimeter cannon cartridges for the war effort. Since its construction, the plant has produced billions of small arms cartridges of various types for use by the US Armed Forces, US federal agencies, and foreign militaries. Surprisingly, from 1941 to 1998 the plant's workers manually loaded all of the .50-caliber cartridges into a production line that produced machine gun belts. This was an inefficient loading method that presented ergonomic and safety problems for the workers.