WQD2011 - INNOVATION - EMAL - SRSS Weigh Scale Optimisation


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Innovation case study submitted by Emirates Aluminium during 3rd Continual Improvement & Innovation Symposium organized by Dubai Quality Group's Continual Improvement Subgroup to celebrate World Quality Day 2011.

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WQD2011 - INNOVATION - EMAL - SRSS Weigh Scale Optimisation

  1. 1. Innovation Storyboard [Emirates Aluminum] [SRSS Weigh Scale Optimisation] [May 2011 - July 2011][Amit Parikh, Mohan Kumar M.V, Vilas Sangle, Kishore Bhatt, Boopathy Jayaraman, Shaji Kuruvilla]
  2. 2. 1. About the Organization• Brief introduction to the organization• Mission/Vision statements• Products/Services offered• Locations
  3. 3. • Problem: 2. The Idea – All the metal produced in the Casthouse has to be weighed accurately to ensure customer satisfaction & to have precise control of the process – Casthouse receives molten metal from Reduction department in crucibles. The weighing of Hot metal supplied to the Casthouse is carried out in the SRSS using weigh scales. The weight of the molten metal is the difference in weights between the Full crucible weight less the Empty crucible weight. – Internal customer complaints related to molten metal discrepancies. – This can lead to major process parameter discrepancies & impact process efficiency due to wrong weight calculation for molten metal.• The Top Management was really concerned and they put together a cross functional team to resolve the issue within a time frame of 1 week.• The cross-team jointly discussed & brainstormed the problem & researched various solutions to improve the process and then an idea for capturing automatically the weighing & calibration verification of the weigh scale on a daily basis was raised. A pilot study was carried out in one of the 8 Bays.
  4. 4. 3. People Involvement• Cross Function team from Cast House Maintenance, Sodium Reduction Station, Engineering – Automation was formed• In the morning & weekly meeting, The progress of the project was discussed and top management encouraged the team to come up with innovative ideas.• Vice President Operations, Senior Manager Cast House & Senior Manager Engineering sponsored the project and followed the progress regularly.• The budget and resources were identified and all the necessary financial support was provided by Top Management.
  5. 5. Root Causes• No control system or interlock available which can guide SRSS CTV operator to ensure correct positioning of empty crucible for weighing purpose.• Wrong positioning of empty crucible can lead to major discrepancies in metal accounting; CTV operator repeats the activity to reposition; unsafe with CTV to verify positioning, delays in production.• No system to capture weigh scales calibration data.
  6. 6. 4. Process• Our team brainstormed the problem and came up with the solution by installing photoelectric sensors at the exit weigh scales, to ensure accurate crucible positioning on weigh scale. Also, an automatic system to capture daily calibration data was implemented. The system is designed to generate alerts in case of out of calibration or discrepancies in weight.• Installed visual indicating lamps to guide the operator to place crucible in correct location• If the Light is OFF, the Empty crucible is not positioned correctly on the Weigh Scale and the system will not allow the operator to print the weight at the local HMI. The CTV operator has to reposition the empty crucible until the Warning Light is ON.• The feasibility & pilot study solution was discussed with Top Management and they gave the go ahead for testing.• The team put this new solution as a pilot study in one of the exit weigh scales for checking the results.• Necessary risk assessments were carried out to ensure there were no Health and Safety risks and to mitigate any other financial & operational risks.
  7. 7. 4. Process (contd.)• Full Scale Implementation for both exit Weigh Scales was carried out and successful results were achieved.• After each step in the implementation, The Casthouse and Reduction Management Teams were informed of the improvements and daily & weekly reports were sent to them with accurate numbers. It increased the confidence level for weigh scale results and correct weight data was achieved.• Management monitored the improvements closely with regular meetings, They advised and supported the team on every step.
  8. 8. The Innovative Solution !• The team proposed to show on a screen in each HMI of Bays 1 to 8 & Exit scales 1 & 2 the captured calibration test weight . The weight will only be captured if it is in the range of +/- 5 KG. Otherwise it will give wrong calibration & a red signal will be shown on the HMI.• All the data for in range and out of range calibration checks will be stored on the system & can be seen on the Cathouse SCADA.• 100 records of each bay can be seen at any one time on the SCADA which includes Time of capture, Actual weight , Deviation & standard weight.
  9. 9. Results!• The plan was implemented by the team and had an immediate effect. Now all the scale are calibrated twice a day & data is captured on the SCADA .• Operations can easily check the calibration & if any deviation from the Standard is found they call maintenance to calibrate the scale before continuing the weighing of crucibles.• After the implementation of the project there were no complaints from Reduction for metal weighing discrepancies.• This innovative solution has eliminated the problem of incorrect positioning of empty crucibles for metal accounting.• The unsafe CTV manoeuvring during positioning & verification has been avoided by the provision of the warning light.• CTV operator delays have been reduced. The CTV operator’s time is utilised more efficiently.
  10. 10. Results & Benefits !• Present cost of Aluminum according to LME is in the range of 2345 USD/tonne. Wrong metal accounting can lead to financial losses over time.• By implementing these solutions management has full control of the internal process which will help to obtain the desired process efficiency.• This solution was implemented by utilising in-house resources resulting in cost savings instead of contracting the project to an external service provider.• This innovative solution eliminates the following wastes:  Inventory  People  Motion  Over processing  Waiting  Transportation• Mistake proofing in the system ensures that out of range crucible weights will not occur.
  11. 11. 6. Learning• Good Communication and Team working among Cross-functional team members helped in eliminating the problem with an innovative idea.• Management Sponsorship & support encouraged the team to come up with an immediate solution & the team implemented it without any red tape or bottlenecks. Management Commitment is important for such improvements and this was a good example.• Single Point Lesson: Mistake proof the system & process with the help of technology !
  12. 12. 7. Way Forward• The team were recognized at Casthouse and EMAL level as well, it was recognised as the “Idea of the Month” and team was rewarded accordingly.• The same idea will be standardised and implemented at other weigh scales in the Casthouse to ensure weigh scale accuracy and mistake proofing.
  13. 13. Q&A
  14. 14. Thank You