Glass is produced through a manufacturing process. Lean and Six Sigma are used to improve glass-making. We’ll examine examples of several glass-making processes using Lean and Six Sigma from picture tubes to windshields. We’ll finish with a video of the float glass manufacturing process.

Glass Neck of Picture Tubes: India

In a paper titled “Implementation of six-sigma methodology for improvement of process yield by reduction of rejection (for %) in a manufacturing process,” Authors S. Chandra, B. Doloi, and B.K. Bhattacharya discusses the use of Six Sigma methodology in the production of the glass neck for picture tubes at KAIL Ltd in Kolkata.

The problem addressed is the low yield/higher level of rejection in the glass neck forming process.

As mentioned in the paper, the rejection of output is termed FOR (Fall of Rate) which is defined as the % of total rejection of the process output which cannot be salvaged in any form afterward.

At the start of the project, the %FOR was 6.34% and therefore the process yield was 93.66%.

After implementing Six Sigma methodology the %FOR was reduced to 1.5% and process yield improved therefore to 98.5%

You can access the project details in the paper here.


Fluorescent Glass Tubes: Egypt

In a paper titled “Integrating Advanced Quality Techniques to Improve the Quality of

Glass Tubes: A Case Study,” Authors Mahmoud M.El Araby, Lamia A. Shihata, and Nahid H. Afia discuss the application of TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean methodologies for the purpose of improving quality by reducing rejection rates, reducing cycle time, and reducing cost in a medium-sized manufacturing plant producing fluorescent glass tubes.

The authors discuss how the total quality management approach was implemented in the factory. Six Sigma methodology was implemented in the end forming process, and the Lean tool used was 5s.

Their paper which details the Six Sigma application, in the end, forming process can be found here.


Laminated Windshields: Finland

In this Bachelor’s thesis from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Finland titled “Lean Management from reactive leadership to proactive with standardized routines in glass  manufacturing,” Sami Rantanen details the use of Lean Six Sigma to the production of laminated windshields.

You can read Sami’s thesis at this link.


Video Example: Flat Glass Manufacturing: Malaysia

Finally, we add a video of the float glass manufacturing process from Armor Global a Malaysian-based company.

You can view the video here.