SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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The Application of PDSA Cycle to Solve Production Challenges at the Electric-Arc Furnaces
Livhuwani Mercy Mufamadi

Last modified: 2013-06-25


The PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle was conducted at an electric steelmaking plant (ESM) in an attempt to reduce production delays that are currently experienced at the electric-arc furnaces (EAF).  These delays have a negative financial impact on ESM. An analysis of the current furnace operations was done. It was established during the Plan stage using Pareto analysis of EAF delays that the major contributor to downtime was when the furnace refractories are damaged and the furnace has to go offline for relining. Operators were requested to complete key performance indicator sheets (Do stage) and deviation reports to identify the root cause of the early failure of furnace refractories (be it temperature control or raw materials addition).

 The outcome of this investigation was a reduction in deviations while operating the furnaces by 84% (furnace three) a result of root cause analysis. In addition, an improvement in furnace refractory life of 78% resulted in improved furnace availability. This study resulted in the plant having a well-defined problem solving methodology for analyzing and resolving any other challenges.

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