Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving1.0 Introducti...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingsources from c...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingIt takes only ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving        Pictur...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving     Table-1: ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving             3...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingConsidering th...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingGraph-3 provid...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving              ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingFailure Patter...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingThe data gathe...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving              ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingThis was indee...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solving              ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingEnvironmental ...
Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process                         problem solvingNext step:A vi...
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Case study pot furnace firozabad

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Case study pot furnace firozabad

  1. 1. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving1.0 IntroductionEnergy Conservation efforts plays the central role in evaluating the efficacy and cost of climatechange policies. Ultimately, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the product of population,economic activity per capita, energy use per unit of economic activity, and the carbon intensity ofenergy used. Although greenhouse gas emissions can be limited by reducing economic activity, thisoption obviously has little appeal. Much attention has therefore been placed on the role oftechnological improvements of the existing /development of new technology. These two parameterscan play in a major role in reducing carbon emissions and in lowering the cost of those reductions.In addition, the influence of technological changes on the emission, concentration, and cost ofreducing GHGs will tend to overwhelm other factors, especially in the longer term. Understandingthe process of technological change is therefore of utmost importance. Nonetheless, the task ofmeasuring, modelling, and ultimately influencing the path of technological development is fraughtwith Complexity and uncertainty as are the technologies themselves.In one of the studies sponsored by the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) underministry of petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India, the cluster of glass manufacturing industriesin Firozabad was selected for developing and demonstrating some such technology solutions whichare very simple and do not need any high tech or cost intensive options.The aim was also to develop low cost technological solutions and best practices to be adopted at theworkstations of glass and bangle sector, which is highly energy intensive by nature.About Firozabad Glass cluster:Situated about 40 km eastwards from the Taj Mahal city of Agra, is a very unique and excitingworld altogether different from the international glamour of the Taj, but producing equally beautifulproducts. The glass industry in the town has a 300 years old history and accounts for about 70% ofall the glass tableware produced in India, in the unorganized sector and about 90% of the banglesmade in India. These industries were using coal as the main source of fuel, which polluted the airquality, especially in terms of particulate matter and sulphur oxides. Many studies also identifiedthat this had indeed caused damage to the white marble of Taj Mahal. Upon a government initiatedprocess, the honourable Supreme Court of India asked the industries to either switch over to the fuel Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  2. 2. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingsources from coal /Coke to natural gas which is considered as clean fuel, or get ready for permanentclosure. The industry was desperately looking for technical assistance to improve theirenvironmental and energy performance efforts at their premises. Most of the units have sinceswitched over to natural gas as a fuel. However, even the carbon foot print of the fuel isinsurmountable.Observations:While a large number of areas needing improvements were identified, it was decided to select a fewvery critical areas accounting for the major portion of carbon emission in the entire route ofmanufacturing glass bangles.A thorough process study was undertaken and critical analysis of the processes and methods wascarried out.The two major areas needing immediate attention emerged as;1: Frequent failure of pots (used for melting glass)And2: Inefficient and traditional design of furnaces (Talli bhatti and Sikai bhatti) used forintermediate stage processing of glass.1: Frequent failure of pots (used for melting glass)During the discussions with the owners, it came out that they were really concerned about thefrequency of failure of pots. Whenever a pot fails, it adds to about 2 and half hours addition in thebatch processing cycle times. The average cycle time is a typical 16 hours.A pot furnace is a cylindrical structure, which accommodates between 10 to 12 of such pots. Thepots are like tea cups without handles to hold. Each has a diameter of about 3 and half feet and aheight of 24” to 30”.While heating the raw material ( a basic mixture of siliceous sand and chemicals) in these pots,sometimes the pots fail and the whole raw material either flows out (if in liquid form) or is lost (ifstill under process), depending upon the stage of the batch. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  3. 3. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingIt takes only about a maximum of 25 minutes for the highly skilled team to replace the failed potwith a new pot. However, the process of removing and replacing a new pot involves opening up ofone window of the pot furnace. Each window provides access to one pot. Picture-1 and Picture-2depict the exposure of high temperature zone to the environment. The inside temperature being ofthe order of about 14500C to 16000C, starts loosing heat at a very high rate to the atmosphere. Inthis process, the system looses enough heat, which requires about 2 hours and 30 minutes tostabilise again. This amount of lost heat is considerable, effecting the profitability of the unit.Picture-3 shows the positioning of a new pot as a replacement.Picture-1 (The door broken open) Picture-2: Gaping opening of the section. Picture-3A study of the earlier failed pots was carried out. Pictures 4 through 6 show different types offailure of pots. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  4. 4. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving Picture-4 Picture-5 Picture-6Data collection and analysis:Luckily enough, the unit had a system in place for recording the change of failed pots.The unit owners reported that the maximum pot life was about 75 days, however, not to takechances with any variations, it was decided to consider data for at least six months, double theperiod of reported maximum life. The data for 6 preceding months (4-5-2008 TO 13-10-2008: 165days) was analysed for one unit, M/s Durga Glass Works, was gathered (Table-1) for two pots furnacesthe company was ussing, and analysed as follows. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  5. 5. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving Table-1: Comparative TBF of pots in Furnace No. 1 (12 pots) and Furnace No. 2 (11 pots) Company Name: M/s Durga Glass Works Observation period: (4-5-2008 TO 13-10-2008: 165 days):The following table provides the life of the pot in terms of no. of days (column 1), No. of pots failedin Pot furnace 1 (column 2) and No. of pots failed in Pot furnace 2 (column 3). TBF (Time between No. of Failures failures) Days Pot Furnace No. 1 Pot Furnace No. 2 1 0 3 2 3 2 3 1 3 4 0 2 5 0 2 6 2 4 7 8 10 8 3 7 9 3 7 10 8 8 11 2 8 12 6 8 13 9 4 14 2 13 15 4 8 16 4 3 17 3 3 18 5 3 19 1 0 20 3 3 21 3 7 22 3 1 23 4 0 24 4 2 25 1 3 26 1 1 27 2 0 28 1 4 29 1 0 30 1 1 31 3 1 32 1 1 33 0 0 34 2 2 Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  6. 6. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving 35 1 1 36 0 0 37 0 0 38 1 0 39 1 0 40 0 0 41 0 1 42 2 0 43 1 1 44 0 0 45 0 0 46 0 0 47 0 0 48 0 1 49 0 0 50 0 1 51 1 0 52 0 1 53 1 0 54 0 0 55 0 0 56 0 0 57 0 0 58 1 0 59 0 0 60 0 0 61 0 0 62 0 0 63 1 0 64 1 0 65 0 0 66 0 0 67 0 0 68 0 0 69 0 0 70 0 0 71 0 0 72 0 0 73 0 0 74 0 0 75 1 0 Total failed pots 106 130 Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  7. 7. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingConsidering the number of pots in the furnace, the furnace no. 2 performed even worse, at about 40% higher rate of failure. The above data is graphically shown in Graphs 1 (Furnace 1) and Graph 2(Furnace 2). On the X axis is the position of pot in the furnace and on Y axis are the total no. offailures of pots in the observation period. Pot Furnace No. 1: Total pot failures (April to October 2008) 16 14 12 No. of failures 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pot No. Graph-1 Pot Furnace No. 2: Total pot failures (April to October 2008) 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total pot failures Graph – 2 Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  8. 8. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingGraph-3 provides a comparative picture of pot failures in both the furnaces. Comparative MTBF of Furnace 1 and Furnace 2 14 12 10 No. of Failures 8 6 4 2 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 MTBF (Days) Furnace 1 Furnace 2 Graph-3It may be observed that the maximum pot life in furnace 1 was 75 days whereas in furnace 2 it wasonly 52 days. This helped in concluding that apart from higher failure rate of pots, the pot life alsowas much shorter in furnace 2 as compared to furnace 1.A further analysis showed that most of the failure of pots were in a time frame of between 5 to 30days in furnace 1 and 5 to 20 days in furnace 2.Graph-4 and Graph-5 provide the distribution of pot lives in two furnaces. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  9. 9. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving No. of Failures v/s Days of life of pots 10 8 No. of failures 6 4 2 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 Life of pots in days Graph-4: Pot failure frequency for normal and general glasses (Furnace 1). 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 2 25 27 2 31 3 35 37 3 41 4 45 47 4 51 Graph-5: Pot failure frequency for Red Glass. (Furnace 2) Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  10. 10. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingFailure Pattern:The main observations:1: The frequency of failure of pots in Pot Furnace No. 1 have been much lower than those in Pot Furnace No. 2.2: In Pot Furnace No. 2, the life of any pot has not gone beyond 52 days, whereas in case of Pot Furnace No. 1 the pots have lived up to a maximum of 75 days.3: On enquiring about the probable reasons for this happening, it was brought to notice that Pot Furnace No. 2 is always used to produce Red Glass, which has Selenium as an additional ingredient. This is known to attack the pot material by eating it (dissolving) faster. This was corroborated by responses from other units also which are manufacturing Red Glass.The layout of the pots in the two furnaces is shown in Picture-7 1 12 1 11 2 2 11 10 10 3 3 9 9 4 4 8 8 5 5 7 6 7 6 Pot Furnace No. 1 Pot Furnace No. 2 Picture-7 Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  11. 11. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingThe data gathered was further grouped according to the position of the failed pots.It was observed that most of the failures were in the zone highlighted by the elliptical zones, as inPicture-8. 1 12 1 11 2 2 11 10 10 3 3 9 9 4 4 8 8 5 7 5 7 6 6 Pot Furnace No. 1 Pot Furnace No. 2 Picture-8Understanding the pot making:With a view to understand the process of making the pots, a visit was made to one of the suppliersof the pots. Picture -9. The pot manufacturer was not in a position to provide any details about thecomposition of the raw material used for the pots, except that he was bringing the raw material froma place named Katni in Madhya Pradesh, known for it’s Lime industry. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  12. 12. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving Picture-09Chemical composition of raw material of the pots:Having understood the reasons for higher failure rates of pots as chemical composition of the rawmaterial, it was decided to go deepr in to the chemistry of the raw material, with a hope that perhapsthe chemical composition of the raw material of the pot could throw some light.A sample of the material was sent to a laboratory. The following results were reported by thelaboratory (Table 2). Table-2: Results of raw Material analysis S.No. Parameters Test Results (%) 1 LOI 7.52 2 SiO2 67.28 3 IR NIL 4 Al2O3 19.88 5 Fe203 1.00 6 CaO 0.68 7 SO3 0.14 8 MgO 0.60From the chemical analysis report, it was observed that the major component of the raw materialwas Silica (SiO2), standing at 67.28%. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  13. 13. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingThis was indeed an eye opener and a shock. It was realised that Silica is also the raw material formaking glass, and that the pot itself contained a major portion of Silica. It was natural for the boraxpower to eat in to the pot material. Added to this, Selenium also was reported to have a high affinityto silica. The picture was emerging much clearer now.Having realised the fact that the raw material of the pot itself was the culprit, a search for analternate material was taken up. A series of discussions with the ceramics experts were held, andsome suggested materials were put forth. However, the initial prohibitively high cost of suchmaterials became a constraint and a road block for immediate futher work.However, our earlier works in iron and steel foundries helped at this stage. The foundries normallyuse graphite crucibles for handling molten cast iron and steel. These are also exposed to similartemperatures of 15000C to 16000C. A set of 2 such small size crucibles were brought from thenearby town of Agra. Picture-10. Picture-10A request was made to the management of M/s Durga Glass Works to help in making a trial furnaceto accommodate the smaller crucibles, so that sample glass can be made and the usability of thecrucibles can be tested. The management, very readily agreed to help and a prototype furnace wasconstructed as shown stage wise in Pictures 11 through 15. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  14. 14. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solving Picture-11 Picture-12 Picture-13 Picture-14 Picture-15Findings:A total of 10 samples of 5 Kgs. lots were produced in the graphite cruicible. The quality controldepartment of the company certified each lots. After this experiment, the people on the shop floor ofthe company, who had 20 to 30 years of experience in glass making, expressed their ultimatesatisfaction and said that the cruicible material has proved itself and the crucibles will last a verylong time, thereby solving the problem of frequent failures of pots. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  15. 15. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingEnvironmental Impact of the pot failures:Not only that it adds to the cost of manufacturing, the frequent failures of these pots has iit’s ownshare of impact on the environment and carbon foot print.Concerns of the short life of pots:1: With every failure of a pot, the company looses 500 kgs. of molten glass.2: Additional cycle time of 2 and half hours due to the temperature drop of about 2500C3: The corresponding loss of gas is of the order of 185 SCM (Standard Cubic Meters) of natural gas. (2,200 SCM for 12 pots)3: The total loss of natural gas per pot failure was estimated at about 320 Standard Cubic Metres (SCM).Considering that the weighted average pot life as 20 days, and that the town has a total of about1100 pots in operation every day of the year, the daily pots consumed in Firozabad were estimatedto be about 1100/20 OR say about 55 pots per day. If we consider the low life of Red Glass pots,the figures may as well be about 65 pots per day.At an average consumption of 60 pots per day. This was corroborated by the suppliers of the pots.This means a whopping figure of about 19,200 (320 SCM/pot * 60 pots/day) * 365 or 7,008,000SCM of gas per annum.Considering the density of Natural gas as 0.7 Kg. per cubic meter (Methane), this amounts to about4,900 Metric Tonnes per annum.Again, considering that 16 Kgs. of CH4 gives 44 Kgs. of CO2, this results in to about (44/16)*4,900OR = 13,490 Metric Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. At about Rs. 30,000 per tone, the waste of naturalgas itself is about Rs. 14,70,00,000 per annum. All this can add to the economy of the town, if onlythe solution is implemented.And that is a great Carbon Foot Print.Future course:Having realised that the experimental runs with an alternate material is in deed feasible, the futurepots need to be developed with the material of the graphite crucibles. Or even a better glass resistantceramic material need to be identified or developed. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306
  16. 16. Entrepreneurship: Innovation through Root cause analysis for process problem solvingNext step:A visit to the manufacturers of graphite cruicibles in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh wasundertaken and discussions with the manufacturers were held. Some of the owners of the units inFirozabad have expressed their interest in using the same. Prof. K. R. Chari: Birla Institute of Management Technology: Greater Noida: UP- 2011306

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