The Green Benefits of Using Statistical Process Control - Part One

This summer, as temperatures soar, consumers will reach for plastic water bottles to quench their thirst. And in doing so, they will do their part in contributing to the 30 gallons of bottled water that is consumed annually by each person.  

 Americans account for 29 billion bottles of water, annually. And the amount of plastic that it takes to create such a large volume of bottles equates to 17 million barrels of crude oil—every year. Unfortunately, however, despite the best efforts of environmental enthusiasts and water bottle companies to encourage consumers to recycle, only about 13 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled.

One way that manufacturers can help us all go green this summer is by making water bottles thinner—a move that will reduce the amount of plastic in each bottle and prevent excess garbage from piling up in landfills. However, to implement this strategy, basic precautions must be taken into account to ensure that bottles meet proper specifications. For example, if the plastic is thinned out too much during production, then the bottles will be defective. Instead, manufacturers need a way to ensure that the plastic bottles fall under the exact specifications required to hold water, while being thin enough to still make difference.

The way that this is can be done is by collecting manufacturing intelligence. And manufacturing intelligence is collected using statistical process control software such as InfinityQS ProFicient. ProFicient software is installed on plant floors to monitor production by charting each water bottle on a graph. When a plastic water bottle, for instance, is too thin to contain water it is pulled from production and identified as a variation in product conformity. And when too many water bottles are found to be consistently irregular, production can be ceased to prevent excess waste from piling up—without the need for human intervention. In this way, waste is reduced in the factory as well as in the landfill.

This is just one example of how companies are using statistical process control software to clean up the environment, save money and satisfy consumers. For more information on how you can take such measures in your organization, please click here.

Stay tuned for part two of this series on how to green your manufacturing plant this summer.

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