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Six Sigma Project for a Cleaning Process

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  • #33131

    Arthur
    Participant

    Hi all,
    Our company has just deployed Six Sigma this month.  I am an Industrial Engineer fresh out of school and have been chosen to be one of three Black Belts in the company.  My company is a food processing plant and my project has to do with decreasing the cleaning time in the plants.  Every two weeks the plant shuts down for 24 hours for cleaning and maintenance.  The scope of the 6S project is to reduce this time to 18 hours.  I have identified the piece of equipment that is the bottle neck in the cleaning process so am focusing on improving that first.  I am having trouble determining the “effectiveness” of the cleaning.  How do I know if by changing something and making the task shorter to complete, that the equipment is still being cleaned just as effectively?  Has anyone worked on a 6S project that has to do with cleaning?
    Any help or guidance would be appreciated.
    Julie

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    #89132

    mand
    Member

    Julie,
    First off Congratulations on being selected for Black Belt training, you are an IE and are almost there already. I am a recently minted IE with a Green Belt, within a company that does not practice six sigma.
    As to answering your cleaning question, you need to take the methodology of Six Sigma and tackle the problem. I am sure that you have completed a process diagram and understand the flow of the cleaning process? Have you identified how the cleaning process is varying. What is varying in it? Is it the method?
    Six Sigma focuses on looking at the Variation in the eyes of the end product. This is something that you might want to consider. How much variation is in the completion of the cleaning process? Etc…
    If you know what it is that you want to eliminate in the process, than you  might consider conducting a design of experiment and look at the things that you can change and than vary them at different levels to understand the inner relationships and dynamics.
    I wish you the best of luck, if you need further assistance contact me at cpiesam at nescape dot net
     
    Sam

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    #89135

    David Oakley
    Participant

    Julie
    I had a Six Sigma project that involved a cleaning system. Samples were taken after they had been cleaned. The samples were cleaned with a very strong solvent and the solvent was captured. The solvent was then evaperated and what was left was weighed. This was the material that hadn’t been removed by the cleaning process.
     
    Do you come under the FDA? If so, the Good Manufacturing Practices should cover the cleaning of anything that might contact the food. If you are talking about the area around the equipment, go back to your fundamentals. Who is the customer and what are their requirements?
     
    David

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    #89172

    Michael Schlueter
    Participant

    Hi Julie,
    Besides the visual aspects there certainly are also legal requirements, e.g. in terms of certain bacteria to be found or not found.
    Try to compile everything first, which makes your place not-clean – or appera to be not-clean. Next identify the most hazardous consequences of not-clean areas; there certainly are very sensitive places and less sensitive places. Try ranking them:

    not-clean-ness, killing somebody (at least potentially)
    not-clean-ness, making somebody feel sick
    and so on, until
    not-clean-ness, causing almost no harm at all.
    This ranking basically goes from very important (=severe harm) to very unimportant (= nothing to loose). Try coming up with a set of key-characteristics to control. Take an initial snapshot, improve, verify your improvement.
    You can crosscheck your final set of characteristics by asking this question:

    now that the food processing plant is clean according to the new standards,
    how can it still – or even better than before – seriously harm somebody (e.g. by infection)?
    This will lead you to yet unrecognized facts to consider.
    Best regards, Michael Schlueter

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    #89177

    tim dyson
    Member

    Concerning the cleaning project, one thing I see being left out of almost every 6 Sigma response is the effect on the human beings actually dong the work.  I hope the Voice of the Customer includes the internal customer as well as the external.
     
    Tim

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    #89178

    Kevin Waeghe
    Participant

    I have a Six Sigma and Lean background that had a Lean project for my first BB project.  My suggestion would be use some Lean tools.  SMED and cycle time mapping/takt time would help.  Every project can use both these tool sets.
    Good Luck!

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    #89193

    NATZIC
    Participant

    Obviously a bacterial analysis of the machinery when cleaned by the old method and then one when cleaned by the new method – you want to measure how well you are doing the job now that you have changed it.  I would assume thatyou have a maximum bacterial level you can reach and above that the process is no good – therefore this is quite simple.

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    #89195

    David Oakley
    Participant

    Tim
     
    To keep from writing a book, I left a lot of things out. The internal and external customers were involved at all stages of the project. There were certain laws, regulations, and agencies were also taken into consideration. There were problems with other departments within the company and they were also dealt with.
     
    David

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    #89196

    tim dyson
    Member

    I am new to the continuous improvement business and I am glad to hear that the human element in the cleaning process case was not left out. 
     
    Tim

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    #89207

    David Oakley
    Participant

    Tim
     
    I’m glad that you are thinking about it. It is very frequently ignored and usually the project suffers. You can however, go to far to the other extreme and get so bogged down in human factors that you never complete the project. You should get input from as many people as you can. But then you have to be able to find the useful stuff and get rid of the rest.
     
    Another problem is that frequently you don’t have access to the external customer. Marketing or Product Engineering or some other group will be between you and the customer. Sometimes they do a good job of speaking for the customer and sometimes they don’t. When possible, you should talk to the customer directly.
     
    David

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    #89290

    Jeremy Jay Lim
    Participant

    Before I worked in 6 Sigma, I also worked in the TPM or Total Productive Maintenance management where I was involved in educating the manufacturing processes how to reduce their cleaning, lubrication, maintenance and overall inspection times through continuous improvements in methods or in the machine.  I would rather suggest that you first establish standard times for maintenance of each machine part and gather the necessary data of cleaning times during the maintenance activities.  You should record the actual cleaning times per part and compare with the established standards.  From there you work on reducing the cleaning time reduction after going through the DMA phases.  Please write to me for related inquiries at [email protected].  Thanks

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    #95760

    ashok khatri
    Participant

    the one way could be that make a list of reasons which causes for dirtyness and in the existing process how we determine that our cleanliness is deteriorated  after 15 days .
    if the judgement criteria is based on some measurement then compare those indicators with existing data & after implementation of your new process of cleaning. 
    now it is depending upon the type of data that how to check effectiveness of new process.

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    #95798

    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi Julie,
    You’ve had plenty of good advice and although you didn’t mention what industry you’re working in, I thought I would give you a slightly different slant.
    One of the most important characteristics of surfaces is whether they are hydrophobic or hydrophilic; because hydrophobic surfaces tend to reject water and particulates, which explains why a waxed car stays cleaner longer than an unwaxed car. (I have no relationship with a wax manufacturer.)
    The approach we took in the development of a new ink jet system, was the same as the one they take in the semiconductor industry, and we tested the internal surface of the system by counting polymer beads ( 5 micron) into the system, and then flushing them out again while counting  beads. Obviously, the best print head and ink jet system will tend to release polymer beads easily.
    In low pressure CVD systems, a slightly different approach is taken, and the vacuum system … the process itself …is used to ‘vacuum out’ particles along with pulses of inert gas; but it does mean that the equipment needs a slightly bigger pump. Moto CVD engineers used this technique in the early 1980s to achieve a step yield performance equivalent to Six Sigma (Cpk= 2)
    Good luck!

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