China produced 38,837,000 metric tons of aluminum in 2021, over 6.5 times of the next largest producer.* We’ll look at the use of Lean and Six Sigma in aluminum-related industries from Portugal, Iraq, Nigeria, and Indonesia and finish with an animated video of how aluminum is made and its uses.



Using Six Sigma to Reduce Aluminum Die Casting Defects: Portugal


In a paper titled “Six Sigma DMAIC project to improve the performance of an aluminum die casting operation in Portugal” authors Pedro Alexandre de Albuquerque Marques and Robert Matthé discuss the use of Six Sigma DMAIC to reduce aluminum die casting defects.

The paper includes:

  • Project Charter
  • SIPOC of Manufacturing Process
  • Weeks 1 and 2 Categorization of Defects
  • Descriptions of CTQ Filling Errors
  • Pareto Diagram of Casting Defects
  • Chain of Causes and Effects Leading to Defects
  • Experimental Design and Analysis for Controllable Input Factors
  • Factory Plant Layout and Issues
  • Results of 5S Program
  • Estimation of Project Financial Benefits

Copy and paste the following link into your browser to read the paper.

[Citation: Pedro Alexandre de Albuquerque Marques Robert Matthé , (2017)," Six Sigma DMAIC project to improve the performance of an aluminum die casting operation in Portugal ", International Journal of

Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 34 Iss 2 pp. 307 – 330]


Using Six Sigma to Improve Process Capability for Aluminum Hot Extrusion Process: Iraq


In an article titled “Aluminum hot extrusion process capability improvement using Six Sigma” authors H. Ketan, and M. Nassir discuss the use of Six Sigma to reduce process variation in order to improve process capability.

The article includes:

  • Extrusion Process Worksheet
  • SIPOC Diagram
  • Pareto Chart of Defect Types
  • Process Capability of Internal Dimension
  • Cause and Effect Diagram for Dimensional Deflection
  • Causes and Suggested Solutions
  • Process Capability of Internal Dimension After Improvement

You can access the article here.


Six Sigma Applied to Aluminum Alloy Rolling Operation: Nigeria


In a paper titled “Excellence in an aluminum alloy rolling operation through Six Sigma application” author Ifeanyichukwu Nweke discusses the use of Six Sigma to reduce defects at rolling mills and cast-house.

The paper includes:

  • Weekly % Recovery Monitoring
  • Process Capability for Plain Coils Recovery
  • Relationship Between Rolling Ingots Weight and % Recovery
  • Cause and Effects Analysis of Rolling Mill Defects
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Improvement Projects
  • Improvement Project Monetary Gain chart

You can read the paper here.


Lean Six Sigma Applied to Reduce Scrap Produced in Aluminum Reduction Pot Process: Indonesia


In an article titled “The effect of material productivity on scrap reduction on aluminum reduction pot process” author L. N. Huda discusses the use of Lean Six Sigma to reduce the amount of scrap produced.

The article includes:

  • Percentage of Scrap over Two Year Interval
  • SIPOC Diagram of Liquid Aluminum Process
  • Manufacturing Lead Time Calculation
  • Improvement of Process Cycle Efficiency
  • Fishbone Diagram for Clumping Aluminum
  • Five Whys Diagram for Lumpy Aluminum
  • Comparison of Scrap Before and After
  • Comparison of Productivity Before and After

You can access the article here.

[Citation: L N Huda 2018 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 309 012117]


The Process of Making Aluminum: United Arab Emirates


Emirates Global Aluminum produced an animated video of the process of making aluminum.

You can watch their video here.




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