We conducted a Six Sigma approach for a specialty chemical industry player to increase the chemical yield of one of its flagship products, thereby reducing material consumption.
“The statistical analyses allowed us to view the process differently and dispel false beliefs”
Our client, a specialty chemical industry player, has been experiencing a continuous erosion of profitability for one of its highly margin-contributing products. They aim to regain competitiveness for this product by enhancing the performance of the relevant manufacturing workshop to reduce associated variable costs. To achieve this challenge, which involves better process control, we decided to implement a Six Sigma approach.
Initially, the measurement of yield being used did not provide an understanding of process variability. We needed to convince all stakeholders of the necessity to monitor yield lot by lot rather than continuously. We then estimated the inherent variability of the measurement system and compared it to process variability. Next, we chose to significantly vary certain parameters through trials within industrial conditions. These tests, coupled with statistical analyses, verified the correlation between specific parameters and chemical yield. Optimal values were determined, and confirmation trials were conducted to validate the optimality. Control plans were implemented.
Through the implementation of a statistical process control approach, our client achieved a breakthrough in performance. This approach proved highly effective in a context where the expertise of “experts” was no longer sufficient to achieve the desired performance level.