Global Tinplate Manufacturer Hones Commitment to Quality and Innovation with Goldfire
Tinplate, perhaps most widely recognized in the form of cans for
beverages, food, paints and aerosols, derives its name from the white layer of tin that is applied to sheet steel during an electrolytic process in which metals or compounds are refined at a high purity and low cost. Tinplate is made by rolling the steel, removing any scale or rust by pickling it in acid and then coating it with a thin layer of tin. The unique properties of tin provide a coating on the steel protecting the contents, while providing the steel with an attractive appearance, corrosion resistance and ease in bonding, welding and painting.
All tinplate originates in the steelmaking furnace, where the proper chemistry for steel is obtained to meet the specific needs of the end user and to meet the strictest quality controls and to meet the specific needs of the end user.
With a long-standing commitment to the highest quality standards, a global provider of tinplate regularly tuned its tinplate production process to address any specific temporary quality issues and to ensure outstanding product performance. Over a period of two decades, the tinplate manufacturer adjusted various parameters of the production process to improve and maintain maximum product quality.
Despite these tweaks to the manufacturing process, the company sought to further remedy and prevent any temporary quality issues. To help them zero-in on and innovatively resolve the root cause of these issues, the manufacturer turned to Goldfire, the optimal decision engine.
Goldfire uniquely addresses the challenge of identifying the root cause of a problem. The software guides users through a thorough identification of events and conditions affecting the underlying problem. Using Goldfire, the tinplate producer’s engineers were prompted to consider the full spectrum of resources, factors or parameters that may influence or cause
a particular event in the causal chain.
The outcome was a concise visual diagram that documented the company’s tinplate production process including component and event interactions. With this Root Cause diagram, the manufacturer was able to identify the minimum causes – the true roots - that needed to be solved in order to resolve the core issue. And, their findings were surprising.
Working with Invention Machine Goldfire, the tinplate manufacturer quickly discovered the problems they were trying to address were not problems with their existing production process, as they had previously assumed. In fact, the company learned that the many enhancements to and tweaking of their tinplate manufacturing process in an effort to eliminate the temporary quality issues they had experienced did little to remedy their quality issues with an overall impact of less than two percent.
Instead, using Goldfire, the manufacturer learned the problems they had experienced were due to five separate core problems – none of which had been previously known to the their engineers and all of which were based, not on the production process itself, but on physical and chemical relations and reactions within the production process.
Armed with this new knowledge, the company is leveraging Goldfire to better understand the five root problems and to identify innovation solutions to resolve these physical and chemical conflicts. The manufacturer estimates by addressing these physical and chemical reactions, they could see as much as a 10-15% improvement in a matter of months versus the two percent they had previously attained over the period of nearly two decades.
In addition, the tinplate producer has used Goldfire to help them generate novel new concepts for their product lines. One concept in particular, previously not under consideration by the company’s product teams, has generated strong enthusiasm from the manufacturer and is being further explored to fully understand its value, potential and impact.