PICATINNY ARSENAL, NJ--Six Picatinny Arsenal engineers recently won an award for the redesign of 60 mm smoke and illumination mortar packaging that both saves the Army money and allows Soldiers quicker access to the rounds during battles.
 
The engineers were awarded the 2014 National Institute of Packaging, Handling, and Logistics Engineers (NIPHLE) Best in Show Award.
 
According to its website, the NIPHLE is a group of professionals whose interests in the practice of distribution and logistics is a common bond, with the objective of improving communication between practitioners in related areas of endeavor.
 
"This is an engineering solution that responded to a warfighter need, plain and simple. The Soldiers have the toughest job on earth, in harm's way, and what they need from the engineering community is full-bore support to every detail that makes their jobs easier," said John Hedderich, Director of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.
 
"The redesign also reduced costs, which means resources are available to support other needs they may have," he added.
 
The packaging redesign team members included Adrien Garceau, Lenny Freilich, Ed Yang, Joe Granuzzo, Jack Lam and Alvin Lew. All work for the research and engineering center.
 
By strengthening the metal container that holds the mortar rounds, the engineers were able to eliminate a second, external wooden wire-bound box packaging that provided additional packaging support. Now, with no wooden box to remove, Soldiers can get to the rounds more quickly.
 
Including lower labor and material costs, the packaging improvement saves the Army $2.48 per round, or more than $290,000 a year.
 
In addition, by eliminating the wood, less packaging materials are used and and therefore less disposal is required.
 
The program was sponsored by Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems, another organization at Picatinny.