the leading Indian quality management consulting firm that has pioneered quality
improvement training in India, hosted the annual QualTech Prize instituted by
its Qimpro College.
event recognises cross-functional teams that have achieved extraordinary results
in "improvement" and "innovation" projects, with results that
have made their respective organisations very proud.
QualTech Prize competition is open to a variety of methodologies, with an accent
on achieving extraordinary results, both tangible and intangible in manufacturing,
service, education, health care, and IT & ITeS categories.
competition looks at quality improvement through the implementation of any of
the structured methodologies like Six Sigma, Juran on Quality Improvement, Statistical
Problem Solving, Kobetsu Kaizen, etc.
innovation, the competition looks at achievements from the use of methodologies
such as Design for Six Sigma, Quality Function Deployment, TRIZ, deBono Thinking,
and Design of Experiments.
prize covered categories in the areas of improvement and innovation, in both manufacturing
total of 15 presentations were made to the panel of judged, interspersed with
question rounds after about four presentations, during which the presenters fielded
questions from the audience as well as the judges.
>The entries for
the QualTech Prizes were evaluated by a panel, well known in their industries
for their expertise and include:
A Kshirsagar, director, Tribune Corporate & Investment Advisory Services
Thirunavukkarasu, head, corporate HR, Sterlite Industries
Alka Mitra, general manager, training, QA and IE, Reliance Industries
Vijayan, vice president, HR, Mahindra Gesco Developers
Jalan, chairman, Intercargo
J Sridharan, head (CWCM Cell), Aditya Birla Management Corporation
P R Telang, advisor, TQM, Mahindra and Mahindra
G Subramaniam, chief executive officer, ASAP Management Consultants
Belwalkar, head, business processes, Reliance Life Insurance Company
of the categories for the Qualtech 2007 were as follows:
Industries Ltd, Renukoot: Reduction in energy consumption
In their presentations, Narendra Singh Jodha, section head,
carbon plant (technical)
Amit Bhardwaj, assistant manager, carbon plant (technical)
from Hindalco Industries said that during problem identification, the team identified
the area of electric energy consumption as one of the largest input costs to the
cost of production of aluminium.
team used benchmarking techniques to determine the gap for the cost associated
with power consumption. Using a fishbone diagram, the team identified the factor
with the highest impact on stub-to-carbon drop as the surface area of contact
between the stub and the carbon anode.
testing the theory, the team relied on implementation of the larger diameter stubs.
The diameter of stub was increased from 130mm to 180mm, which was the maximum
permissible stub size the carbon anode block could accommodate. Though this implementation
subsequently reduced the voltage drop at the stub to carbon joint, it resulted
in operational problems due to cracking of the butt.
cause and effect analysis, the team identified and reduced to permissible limits
the operational issues resulting from butt crack. Final implementation saw the
installation of stubs of 160mm diameters.
in one potline resulted in annualised benefits of Rs97 lakhs per annum.
in all 11 potlines will eventually yield a benefit of Rs12.14 crore per annum.
operational issues on account of stub burn off and ring necking.
life of the copper bars and stubs.
Improved manpower productivity.
Industries Ltd, Hazira - Reduction in finish consumption
Case Study snapshot:
Kumar Das and Arup Kumar Mukherjee, senior managers from RIL''s Hazira plant said
that in the process of manufacturing polyester staple fibre (PSF), the Finish
is applied at various stages to achieve productivity both at the plant and at
challenge was to reduce the Finish consumption, which had a direct impact on the
cost and the environment, without impacting customer satisfaction by providing
high level of Finish in the fibre.
the cause and effect matrix, and "why-why" analysis, the root cause
was identified. Post several brainstorming sessions with cross-functional teams,
the team implemented the optimal solution through the implementation of a recycling
system in Drawmachine4, using it for a weeklong trial to obtain market feedback.
The solution was then replicated across remaining machines.
load has reduced to less than 950 m3 per day, despite the addition of capacity.
Process ability related market complaints have reduced drastically.
annual benefits include Rs1.75 crore via this implementation.
process with less handling of finish.
Team culture enhancement.
in personnel safety.
House keeping improved
Spinning and General Millt Ltd, Ludhiana: Increase in productivity of yarn printing
Case Study snapshot:
According to Vandana Kapoor, assistant
manager (R&D) and Rajpreet Singh Johal, assistant executive (production),
the challenge for the team was to increase the productivity for Ludhiana-based
Vardhaman Spinning and General Mills, from 210 kg / day to 324 kg / day.
team mapped the "as-is" process using the SIPOC technique, followed
by a root cause drill down and cross functional brain storming session.
the availability of material required for implementing the remedies arrived at,
the team made a "master implementation plan", which included provision
to tackle resistance and cultural changes, sharing of technical merits with the
workforce, and imparting training to workmen regarding new work-practices and
sustain the gains from the project, a checklist for daily/fortnightly maintenance
of the machines was maintained and monitored, in conjunction with checkpoints
given to the machine operator to follow before starting the machine.
Increase in production per day of 114 kg.
of savings of a little over Rs20 lakh per annum.
in the production cost by Rs5.09 per kg, totalling a further saving of just below
Rs6 lakh per annum.
in rejects by 4.7 per cent.
benefits included an upgradation of the machine knowledge of the team, along with
their confidence to solve complex problems, and the adoption of a data-based approach
to problems, in addition to better interpersonal relationships.
Industries (India) Limited, Silvassa - Recovery of Nickel from Electrolyte Stream
area identified for the case was the continuous increase in nickel content of
electrolyte, and subsequent rise in power consumption, which was increasing the
cost of production said Sterlite''s Vikram Patni, head, production, Sterlite Industries
and Shivalo Verma, associate manager, production, in their presentation.
the electro refining process that covers impure copper anodes to pure copper cathodes,
impurities tend to build in the electrolyte over time. To keep these under check,
various purification methods are used, each having its own cost implications and
The ever-increasing contamination of nickel
content in the electrolyte was causing excessive power consumption, a major constituent
of the cost of production. This was proving to be a hurdle to the company''s vision
of being a best-in-class copper producer.
Benchmarking against global
practices showed that refineries across the world used generation of impure nickel
sulphate from the electrolyte using evaporators, the cost of which was almost
prohibitive, in addition to the added problem of generation of black acid that
was difficult to treat in a cost and environmentally friendly way.
solution designed by the team included a two-step process of purification of the
electrolyte, followed by precipitating the nickel to form nickel carbonate. For
implementation, the solution was first established on a lab scale, to facilitate
tweaking by the addition of filters, takes, etc., and within two months of arriving
at the solution, the same was implemented at the plant level.
content reduced, resulting in a reduction of power consumption by 12 units per
MT, translating into savings of Rs72 lakh per annum.
reduction in nickel levels will ensure savings climb to Rs2 crore per annum.
nickel carbonate precipitated by the process has generated revenues of almost
Rs5.4 crore per annum, subsidising the cost of production by almost 14 per cent.
cost of production dropped by Rs381 per MT, and annualised savings at one unit
reached Rs7.5 crore per annum. For all three units put together, the combines
savings total Rs21 crore per annum.
completion re-emphasised the policy of a zero discharge unit.