If I read the article correctly, they said that Lake City spent $400 million in renovations. I assume that those renovations = automation, which could explain the reduction in manpower.
If someone has some inside information, I would be interesting in seeing it.
Most of all, I feel bad for the 2600 employees that will be out of work.
At least they didn't move the whole plant out of the country.
Located on well over 3,000 acre facility in Independence Missouri.
Lake City supplies over 90% of Goverment requirements, with the remainder contracted with Commercial Companys.
Renovations and updating of processing began in 2004 with an estamitated completation date of 2012. guess it has finished. The upgrades WILL NOT increase production capiciaty. That would require MORE LINES which they say will not happen. Estamitated yearly production is 1.6 billion rds of .50, 7.62, and .223. Most of this is to NATO specs.
Also they have moved equipment that makes Ammo Belt Links and assembled it on site. This equipment is 1940s vintage.
Most all components have a U.S. source of supply:
All brass...Supplied by OLIN....brass cups to form cases and bullet clading.
Nitruscelluose - The basis for all munitions, small arms powders, and explosives...Supplied by the Radford Army depot in VA. Who also have updated their equipment but will not increase production amounts.
Lead ... Supplied by a company who recycles old batterys and provides the ingots.
Primers.....This is the kink in the chain. There are 11 different chemicals that go into primer production. Some of these chemicals are imported from countrys like, China, India, Mexico, and others. Although the primer itself if made on site. Teladyne Systems ( who also owns CCI ) and operates the plant, makes up shortfalls with over 40 sites capiable of producing primers. There is research ongoing to develop a primer that uses components availiable in the U.S.
Some sources of supply are Israil, Canada, and Australia for Ammo.