Rubber, both natural and synthetic, is used in rubber manufacturing around the world to produce many different products. Lean and Six Sigma aid in that production by improving quality and reducing waste. We’ll look at three applications from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United States. Then we’ll finish with two videos: one on how synthetic rubber is made and another on how natural rubber is made.


Applying DMAIC and Quality Tools in Rubber Manufacturing: Malaysia


In an article titled “A Framework for Six-Sigma Implementation in Rubber Manufacturing Industry – An Innovation between DMAIC Cycle and Quality Improvement Tools,” authors Zamri Darus and others discuss the application of DMAIC and quality improvement tools to the compression molding technique utilized for the production of Rubber Valve Sleeve Liner (RVSL).

The article includes:

  • Rubber Valve Sleeve Liner (RVSL) Process Map
  • Distances Between Flanges Per Day for 26 Days
  • Process Capability Report for Valve Sleeve Distance Between Flanges
  • Pareto Diagram for Defect Characteristics
  • Initial FMEA
  • Updated FMEA with Actions
  • X-bar and R Charts Before and After Countermeasures
  • Delivery on Time Monthly Monitoring
  • Revised FMEA

The application resulted in a 23.1% reduction in scrap rate, a 63.8% reduction in Delivery on time (DOT), and savings gained of almost RM 26,880/month.

You can read the article here.


Lean Manufacturing and Waste Assessment in Rubber Production: Indonesia


In a paper titled “Waste Assessment Using Lean Manufacturing in Rubber Production,” authors Elita Amrina and others discuss the use of Lean Manufacturing to assess wastes in the rubber production process.

There were four stages:

  • Waste Identification
  • Value Stream Analysis Tools
  • Fishbone Diagram
  • FMEA

The paper includes:

  • Crumb Rubber Production Flow
  • Waste Relationship Discussion and Final Matrix
  • Value Stream Analysis Results
  • Process Activity Results
  • Fishbone Diagrams for Over Production, Inventory, and Defects
  • Risk Priority Numbers

To access the paper: copy and paste the following URL into your browser:

[Required Citation: Elita Amrina et al 2019 IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 528 012051]


Value Stream Mapping Applied to Custom Molded Rubber Products: USA – New Hampshire


In a brief article titled “Value Stream Mapping at The Rubber Group Provides Customer Benefits,” author Rob Pruyn discusses the benefits of a value stream mapping project to reduce waste, remove production bottlenecks, and improve the overall effectiveness of the Rubber Group’s processes.

You can read the article here.


Making Synthetic Rubber


See a video from the Science Channel on how synthetic rubber is made.

You can watch the video here.




Making Natural Rubber


See a video from the Science Channel on how natural rubber is made.

You can watch the video here.




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