Visual Six Sigma: Making Data Analysis Lean

Chapter 9: Improving a Polymer Manufacturing Process


For more than two decades, mysterious crises plagued a plastic manufacturer’s polymer production. Then – just as inexplicably – the problems disappeared. All efforts to identify root causes failed until a team embarked on a project using JMP Visual Six Sigma methods to probe, understand and observe patterns in the data. The findings resulted in decisions to optimise important characteristics related to quality and yield.

Since the changes were implemented, the manufacturer’s customer – a molding plant – has not rejected a single batch of its white polymer since the publishing of this paper.

The results include:

  • More than £750,000 savings per year for the customer from the rejected batches alone.
  • £2.1 million overall savings per year for the customer.
  • Increased sales for the manufacturer.
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