Shell scrap reduction of foam production and lamination process in automotive industry

Orbak A. Y.

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS EXCELLENCE, vol.23, pp.325-341, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14783363.2011.637813
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.325-341
  • Keywords: foam block production, Six Sigma methodology, automotive industry, quality, statistical tools, SIX-SIGMA


In today's world, competition throughout industry has reached its peak. In order to survive in such a viable environment companies should perform better practices and one of the way chosen is to improve the quality of the products by reworking on its process. Therefore, in recent years, in the enhancement of manufacturing processes, Six Sigma method and its related tools are commonly utilised. Using these tools, companies reach operational excellence and attain better profit, productivity and market share. Automotive industry, on the other hand, has been the rising star in the last decade. Most of the quality-related concerns arise during the production of today's automobiles. For example, construction of the seat and the cushioning material used draws extra attention as they provide the driver and the passengers a comfortable place to sit. Today different types of foams are used in the industry. In most of the foam production processes, the chemically obtained foam needs to be laminated in order to be used in different types of seats. The manufacturing process steps of foam contain several stages that produce different levels of scrap. In this paper, a detailed application of Six Sigma methodology for reducing the shell scrap of foam production and lamination process in automotive industry is given. Throughout the paper, phases of Six Sigma, selected tools and approaches for analysis and their results are indicated in detail. Furthermore, relevant process improvement steps are also pointed out to achieve financial benefits.