The making of cement is a production process. It is natural then that Lean and Six Sigma can be used to improve that process and those associated with the making of concrete where cement is a key ingredient. We’ll look at case studies from Bangladesh, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia and a thesis on the benefits and barriers to the implementation of Lean in the cement industry. Finally we include a video on how cement is made.
Six Sigma within a Cement Factory: Bangladesh
In a paper titled “Implementation of Six-Sigma in a Cement Industry,” Authors Md. Zahid Hasan, Md. Abdur Rahim, and Md. Kutub Uddin discuss the implementation of Six Sigma in a Bangladesh cement factory.
The authors developed a questionnaire to address the cement manufacturing process and the nature of cement defects.
They then applied the DMAIC phases, the 5 Whys, 5s, and Kaizen to address the defects.
Their article includes a process map, cause and effect diagram, and pareto charts of cement defects.
You can access their article here.
Using Lean Six Sigma to Improve the Cement Grinding Process: Egypt
In an article titled “Lean Six Sigma Implementation in Cement Grinding Process – “ABC” Plant Case Study,” Authors Ahmed Samir Mahmoud, Ahmed Mahdi Hossian, Walid Kamal Ahmed, and Mohamed Aly Mohamed Khalil discuss a case study regarding the improvement of the grinding process for cement manufacture.
The authors briefly describe their use of Lean and Six Sigma tools to optimize the process. They include their experimental design and subsequent results.
Ultimately the process yield was increased from below 50% to 87%. The annual production was increased by 5000 tons with an average $750,000 profit.
Access the case study here.
Cement is a Key Ingredient in Concrete: Concrete Panel Production – Saudi Arabia
In a case study titled “Implementing Lean Six Sigma: A Case Study in Concrete Panel Production,” authors Celep Oguz, Yong-Woo Kim, John Hutchison, and Seungheon Han outline the results of Bechtel’s Six Sigma Black Belt team to solve the delay and quality problems associated with concrete panel production by using Lean and Six Sigma tools.
You can find the article here.
Benefits and Barriers to the Application of Lean in the Cement Industry
For an in-depth look at the benefits and barriers to the use of Lean within the cement industry take a look at Taher Tourki’s Doctoral Thesis for De Montfort University in the UK titled “Implementation of lean within the cement industry”
You can access his thesis here.
Interesting Video of Cement Making
See how cement is made at the Lafarge Exshaw Cement Plant in Alberta, Canada.
You can access the video here.