03 Jun Reducing Waste Solvent by 40%
A manufacturer of liquid chemicals needed to clean out its batch processes when switching products. Every clean out resulted in waste solvent contaminated with additional chemicals used in the manufacture of the end products. As part of its ISO 14001 efforts, and to reduce costs, it was desired to reduce the present volume of waste as well as the cost of cleaning.
Realize a 40% reduction in volume and cost of waste produced at the facility due to product changeovers. This would represent a 25% reduction in the plant’s total waste volume and cost.
Using the DMAIC methodology, a team facilitated by eMRI consultants was able to reduce waste volume and cost by 63%. Statistical analyses of products and their properties were integral to optimizing clean out procedures. Additionally, improvements in demand forecasting and scheduling processes allowed operations to reduce changeovers requiring solvent usage. In addition to achieving the environmentally-driven goal of waste reduction, the team also realized a significant cost reduction in both waste disposal and decreased clean out time, which yielded an increase in plant capacity.
$156,000 in waste reduction + $500,000 in increased capacity.