Implementation of Six Sigma Methodology in the Extrusion Die Shop
Craig Werner, Werner Extrusion Solutions LLC (WES), Lake Forest, IL, USA
Richard Kelly, Werner Co., Greenville, PA, USA
Track: MANAGEMENT ISSUES - Operations Management
ABSTRACT --- For many years the extrusion industry has tried to turn die
correction into a science with little success. Many die shops still shoot from the
hip and operate minute-to-minute. This is partly because of the lack of resources
available to the die shops, a lack of systematic problem solving and improvement
techniques, and the nature of the extrusion business (scheduling, down time,
operator error, etc.). Shooting from the hip does have its place and it works, but
using this exclusively limits the possible results. For the die shop to maximize
efficiency, production rates, and die reliability while minimizing tooling costs,
the die shop personnel need to use more robust, predictable decision processes.
Six Sigma is a proven methodology that has broad applicability across
technology, manufacturing, and other disciplines. Not all aspects of Six Sigma
can be utilized in the extrusion die shop, but where appropriately applied, the
results can be tremendous. This paper will review real-life examples of Six
Sigma projects and discuss some of the barriers, successes, and the savings from
using this methodology in extrusion die shops.
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