Six Sigma at Air Products and Chemicals is doing more than just blowing hot air. The 7.4 billion dollar chemical company is a worldwide supplier of industrial gases and equipment, specialty and intermediate chemicals, and environmental and energy systems. They piloted Six Sigma in the Polyurethane Chemicals division in 2000, and the initiative grew into a structured corporate deployment. Today the Six Sigma and Lean initiatives are shaping a culture of continuous improvement at the company.

“In addition, continuous improvement is becoming a way of life at Air Products. By the end of 2005, our goal is to have about two percent of our employees devoted full-time to lead these activities. We are using Six Sigma/Lean tools and already have more than 500 productivity initiatives under way. This is only the beginning. As we train and engage increasing numbers of our employees in these activities, we will deliver even more.”

2004 Annual Report

“Our Lean Enterprise efforts have generated significant productivity gains in packaged and specialty gases and impressive cycle time and cost reductions in equipment manufacturing. Our Polyurethane Chemicals group successfully piloted Six Sigma for new product development. We’ll apply both of these tools on an enterprise-wide basis, with customer-focused Six Sigma as the primary methodology for planning and prioritizing continuous improvement efforts.”

“Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process for developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. We are now applying Six Sigma to certain supply chain and manufacturing processes.”

2000 Annual Report

Articles and Links

Air Products Strips Out Inefficiencies, InformationWeek, September 19, 2005

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