Tires are made through a production process. Lean and Six Sigma have been used in the tire industry to improve manufacturing processes. We’ll look at four case studies of their use: two from India and one each from Portugal and Spain. Then we’ll finish with two videos of how tires are made: one an animation of the process and another of the actual manufacture.


Six Sigma Applied to Variation Reduction in Bead Splice Process: India

In a paper titled “Six-sigma application in tire-manufacturing company: a case study” Authors Vikash Gupta, Rahul Jain, M. L. Meena and G. S. Dangayach discuss the use of Six Sigma to reduce the variation in the bead splice process that was leading to wastage.

Through the use of the DMAIC phases, the process standard deviation was reduced to 1.69 from 2.17 and the process performance capability index was increased to 2.66 from 0-.94.

You can access the case study here.


Using Lean Six Sigma to Reduce the Number of Defective Tires: India

In a case study titled “Monitoring quality goals through Lean Six-Sigma ensures competitiveness” Vipul Gupta, Padmanav Acharya and Manoj Patwardhan describe the use of Lean and Six Sigma tools to reduce the number of defective tires per month.

Included in the case study:

  • Flow Diagram for Radial Tire Manufacturer
  • Cause and Effect Diagram for Separation, Blisters, Bubbling, and Air Bridging

You can read the case study here.


Six Sigma Used to Reduce Defects in Bead Production: Portugal

 In an article titled “Solving quality problems in tyre production preparation process: a practical approach” authors B. Barbosaa, M. T. Pereiraa,b,, F. J. G. Silvaa,  and R. D. S. G. Campilhoa discuss the use of the Six Sigma DMAIC phases to achieve improvements in product quality rate and process control and stabilization.

Access the article at this link.


Six Sigma Applied to Improve the Extrusion Process in Tire Manufacture: Spain

Authors T. Costa, F.J.G.SilvaL and Pinto Ferreira cover the use of Six Sigma to improve the extrusion process in tire manufacture in their article titled, “Improve the extrusion process in tire production using Six Sigma methodology.”

Through the use of the DMAIC phases, the project upon completion generated an annual savings of 165 thousand euros.

You can find the article at this link.

[NOTE: Click on View PDF at top of page.]


Two Videos of How Tires are Made

An Animation from the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association

A video of actual processes at Continental Tire from Discovery UK