Continuous Extrusion Optimization System™; Measure Twice, Cut Once. Repeat.
Craig Werner, Werner Extrusion Solutions LLC, Lake Forest, USA
Richard Kelly, Werner Co., Greenville, USA
Track: MANAGEMENT ISSUES
ABSTRACT --- “The data will confess to EVERYTHING you need IF you torture it
long enough!”™ Optimization: incremental, evolutionary, transformational, and
revolutionary improvements require proper procedures, material or tooling selection,
and in some instances capital improvements. Using the Six Sigma DMAIC
methodology, greater predictable improvements occur through scientific systems study
and planned improvements, than through trial and error. 1) DEFINE the project scope;
2) MEASURE data collection and comprehensive operational modeling of the
extrusion system(s); 3) ANALYZE systematic What if approach to analyze the effects
of various system(s) changes (and resultant expected improvements); 4) IMPROVE
implementation of system(s) changes; 5) CONTROL measurement of actual
improvement results and ongoing tracking. Werner Company had the need and the
unique opportunity to construct a useful model (presented in the companion paper “A
Two Decade Case Study – How Modeling Drove Exceptional Results: Werner Co.’s
Franklin Park, IL Extrusion Operation”) to help drive continuous improvements in
results across multiple extrusion presses in various facilities. Real data and results
were verified over decades. Their systematic approach can be successfully
implemented at other aluminum extruders. Results of different improvement activities
are analyzed to empirically understand system constraints, and reliably yield beneficial
cost/benefit relationships. Improvements can be as simple as minor process changes,
focused on single extruded profiles (or types of profiles) affecting underlying die
technology or metallurgy, involving equipment capacities or scheduling methodologies.
The elegance of the approach is in taking a holistic approach to the extrusion
production system, calculating the exact results of improvements without wasting time,
money, or effort..
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