Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Savannah River National Laboratory scientist recognized

  • Follow Metro

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones. Just ask Med Allen.

Med Allen (left) works with David Nowak with a mass-produced industrial glovebox at Savannah River National Laboratory. Allen came up with the idea to buy the mass-produced boxes, which saves about $220,000 per box.  Special
Special
Med Allen (left) works with David Nowak with a mass-produced industrial glovebox at Savannah River National Laboratory. Allen came up with the idea to buy the mass-produced boxes, which saves about $220,000 per box.

The Savannah River National Laboratory scientist noticed that mass-produced glovebox compartments have greatly improved in recent years – and are much cheaper than custom-built units typically purchased for the U.S. Energy Department facility.

The devices, used by workers to safely handle chemical and radiological materials, are replaced periodically, and Allen’s suggestion to use mass-produced models turned out to be a good one.

After verifying that the units meet all regulatory requirements, the lab agreed to use them – and will save $220,000 each time a glovebox is replaced.

His suggestion was among hundreds of employee-generated ideas channeled through Savannah River Nuclear Solutions’ SRS IDEAS program each year.

Brenda Kelly, the manager of the employee suggestion system, said the program has accrued about $51 million in “soft savings” since 2008, mainly though improvements in safety or efficiency.

“For example, an IDEA may improve the efficiency of a production process to the point where only two workers are needed on a day-to-day basis instead of five,” she said.

The program was named among the Top 10 suggestion programs in the country two years in a row by the Center for Suggestion System Development. It also earned a recent Performance Excellence Award from Ideas America, a nonprofit group dedicated to improvements through employee involvement.

Allen’s glovebox idea was one of the most significant in terms of savings. For his efforts, he received internal recognition at the site – and a $20 gift card.

Comments (1) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
trimmy
29
Points
trimmy 09/21/11 - 05:08 pm
0
0
I wonder what all these
Unpublished

I wonder what all these people do every day at the site. I've heard some eye opening stories of tremendous waste of taxpayers money from people who have worked there. Are they making any bomb related items now? Just thinking with words.

vickidu52
15
Points
vickidu52 09/22/11 - 09:46 am
0
0
A $20 gift certificate?? I

A $20 gift certificate?? I think this man deserves a seat in the congress! If more citizens would step forward with ideas like this, just think of the dollars this country could save. Should I say, if our political leaders would step forward. Gosh, realize that the Justice Dept pays $16 per muffin, $10 per cookie, and over $8 for a cup of coffee at taxpayers expense when they have their morning conferences, it's no wonder America is in debt. I say give the guy at least a 20% tip! He just saved the taxpayers a bundle!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs