Only one company in North America makes persulfates, and that’s PeroxyChem of Tonawanda, NY. Clients that include personal care manufacturers, chemical companies, and energy and environmental businesses are constantly knocking on the doors for one variety in particular: sodium persulfate. PeroxyChem’s production began to lag behind demand, building up to a relative 20 percent decline in “efficiency.” That means turning away new orders, and potentially sacrificing long-time customers to another supplier. A process engineer at PeroxyChem and leadership knew that a scientific, diagnostic approach was the best way to thoroughly examine the facility’s most complicated production line and its patented chemical process. Converting raw material depends on unique technology that, while enabling high-performing rates, can be susceptible to periodic maintenance troubles. The process engineer used the data-driven methodology of Six Sigma to unpack the snowball effect of inefficiencies in machinery and operating protocols. Combined with implementing Lean manufacturing processes, it led to the company capitalizing on increased market demand by enhancing production capability.
The process engineer enrolled in TCIE’s Six Sigma Black Belt Certification program, where he learned to reduce process variation by: