Avoid Defective Batches How to Avoid Defective Batches in the Chemical Industry

Editor: Marion Henig

Particularly in the chemical industry faulty batches can become an expensive issue. An ineffective production process usually entails costly waste disposal or rework of material. Read a success story, how OPC as a management consulting firm specialized in the chemical industry has helped a client to eliminate these problems.

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Omar N. Farhat, Managing Director of OPC: „Positive effects of this type of defective batch avoidance are numerous.“ (Picture: OPC)
Omar N. Farhat, Managing Director of OPC: „Positive effects of this type of defective batch avoidance are numerous.“ (Picture: OPC)

Defective batches can dramatically be reduced, or even completely avoided by means of technical and operational measures, leading to an overall process optimization. Omar N. Farhat, Managing Director of OPC, explains: “Positive effects of this type of defective batch avoidance are numerous. They range from the development of stable processes to improved delivery reliability, free up capacities and allow for reduced cycle times.” Farhat provides examples from an international manufacturer of effect pigments. After the acquisition of a new manufacturing site, problems associated with defective batches started to accumulate during the integration process. The experts of OPC were assigned with the task of identifying reasons for this problem, and subsequently develop appropriate measures in order to sustainably reduce quality costs.

Capture the Key Process Deficiencies

By means of intensive chronological studies, the consultants first developed a detailed overview of the equipment and labor driven structures with regard to the manufacturing process. It was imperative to transparently capture the key process deficiencies and to prioritize these accordingly. Triggered by the findings from prior analysis, focusing on the deployed raw materials, first the specification bandwidth was reduced. In order to obtain the required quality of input materials, receiving inspection was additionally introduced for the most critical raw materials. “We discovered that the presence of ambiguous procedural and manufacturing regulations lead to individual interpretations regarding the implementation, or rather the control of processes”, explains consulting specialist Farhat. “Workers interpret the available tolerance latitude around the process parameters very differently.” Together with the responsible employees, the manufacturing regulations were revised and the responsible workers received individual training. The training programs entailed clear process procedures and instructions. With this approach a better understanding for the chemical processes, as well as the implication of process quality for the final product was conveyed.