NNS to Expand Industrial Vending Machine Usage
Published December 15, 2020
Newport News Shipbuilding launched Fastenal industrial vending machines late last year to dispense personal protective equipment (PPE). Now, the company is planning to expand the number of locations and the scope of items available.
“We’re looking at anything else that’s considered a consumable across the shipyard. That can be anything from a battery, a flashlight or a paint pen up to more complicated items such as grinding discs or welding tips,” said Amanda Wells, who manages the Fastenal machine project.
New items will be added to machines using a phased approach. Simpler items will likely roll out during the first or second quarter of 2021, with more complicated items following later in the year. Wells said her team is looking at items currently offered in the tool rooms, weld metal issue stations and X33 paint shacks, as well as orange shacks.
So far, the Fastenal machines have been a success, helping reduce travel time for craftsmen and craftswomen and providing point-of-use access for commonly used PPE and consumables.
Currently, there are over 350 Fastenal machines across the shipyard. As new items roll out, usage will be evaluated by area, offerings optimized and new machines will be added as necessary.
“We really want to optimize what we’re offering in the machines. We’re going to work to make sure we have the right products in the right locations,” Wells said.