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Minimizing Startup Process Variation to Improve Yield

Summary: A polypropylene extrusion facility had 13 extrusion lines, each with varying output levels. The largest line accounted for almost 30% of the plant’s total production output. It was also the biggest contributor of scrap material, accounting for almost 740,000 pounds of scrap material—close to 30% of the total scrap material produced by the facility—in one year. A Six Sigma project team was assembled to implement a solution that would reduce the scrap ratio from an average of 1.19% to 0.60%. The team reduced the total scrap produced on the main extrusion line by 55%, resulting in an annual cost savings of over $300,000.

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