LLNL Director Bill Goldstein presented the NIF Shot Rate Improvement Team with a 2015 Director’s Institutional Operational Excellence Award on Aug. 12. Established in 2007, the award recognizes extraordinary team efforts that have an institutional impact, demonstrate cost savings and improve Laboratory programs and operations.
The awards, presented to 13 LLNL teams (166 employees) recognize efforts that support institutional goals and that had a significant positive impact on the Laboratory’s mission work.
Increasing the shot rate has been the top priority for NIF’s engineering and operations teams. More shots increase the rate of learning for all of NIF’s users. A 120-day efficiency study requested by Congress resulted in a shot rate improvement plan that identified a set of more than 80 improvements to NIF equipment and procedures that could lead to reduced time and effort for fielding experiments.
The team has implemented more than 50 improvements, increasing the NIF shot rate by roughly 50 percent. Examples include equipment modifications to reduce the time needed to perform critical tasks; control system improvements to streamline the shot cycle and automate many time-consuming manual activities; process improvements to reduce time needed to perform target design and metrology tasks and align targets and diagnostics; and user interface improvements to make it easier for users to set up and execute experiments. Due to the team’s efforts, NIF was able to reach its Fiscal Year 2015 goal of 300 shots several weeks early.
Team members are Lun Auyang, Jay Ayers, Richard Beale, Essex Bond, Ilene Browning, Gordon Brunton, Miguel Castro, Matt Cohen, Alan Conder, Bruce Conrad, Jim Cox, Pascale Di Nicola, Sham Dixit, Robert Doyon, Bob Ehrlich, Chuck Ellerbee, Patrick Epperson, Gayatri Gururangan, Ben Haid, Ben Hatch, Dean Holunga, Ken Kasper, Vicky Miller Kamm, Korbie Killebrew, Tom Kohut, Gordon Lau, Adam Langro, Derrick Lassle, Dean Latray, Tanza Lewis, Dave Mathisen, Brian Olejniczak, Sam Paik, Tom Parham, Robert Reed, Paul Reisdorf, Scott Reisdorf, Allan Riddle, Jay Rouse, Shannon Sauers, Ken Skulina, Eric Stout, Rick Thacker, Pam Whitman, Mark Wilson, Rick Wilson, and Bruno Van Wonterghem.
“The intent of these awards is to recognize excellence in operations or business areas and this year’s award recipients represent a wide range of employee contributions,” Goldstein said. “On behalf of the Laboratory, I want to thank all of you for contributing to our collective success by improving processes, tackling tough problems and working together to get positive results.”