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Profit Finders

Six Sigma

Web-Based Data Analysis Saves Money for Welded Tube Mills

Profit Finders functions as an extension of its clients’ process engineering department

Published: Monday, December 13, 2010 - 15:48

(Profit Finders: Strongsville, OH) -- Profit Finders, a proprietary data collection and analysis company, has developed a web-based technology rooted in the concepts of lean manufacturing and continuous improvement. The technology is designed to capture and analyze detailed cost and process data. The company works in many industries and has a strong presence in welded tube manufacturing.

“We have designed a great program for the central coolant sumps found in welded tube mills,” explains Joe McHenry, vice president of business development for Profit Finders. “Typically a 330-gallon tote of coolant is stationed next to a coolant sump. Operators take periodic coolant concentration readings using a refractometer. When a coolant addition is required, operators open a valve on the tote—let coolant flow into the sump—and then take another concentration reading. This process in not well-controlled and typically consumes 20-percent to 40-percent more coolant per ton of production than required. For a factory spending $100,000 per year on coolant, this translates into $20,000 to $40,000 per year of waste.”

A Profit Finders system for a coolant sump involves an in-line refractometer to take continuous concentration readings and flow meters to capture details on coolant consumption and make-up water additions. Data are automatically collected and fed via internet to the Profit Finders’ data center.

“Our data center has powerful tools, including statistical analysis, that we use to convert the volumes of data collected into information,” says Tom Fabek, general manager of Profit Finders. “If all we did was provide data, our clients would be in the same boat—they don’t have time to pour over raw data files—so Profit Finders assigns an engineer/analyst to each client. We dig into the data and convert them to actionable information. We become an extension of our client’s process engineering department.

The process engineers in the plant are empowered by Profit Finders to implement continuous improvement initiatives based upon our data analysis. Profit Finders also has standard reports that keep score by tracking the daily cost savings generated. Our clients enjoy our services for free in that their savings generated more than offset program fees.”

“In a coolant sump improvement program, Profit Finders measures our success based on the hard dollars of coolant saved; however, our system delivers many other benefits,” notes Mark Sekerak, engineering manager for Profit Finders.

“These include improved product quality, increased mill-utilization rates, reduced scrap, and less labor time required to babysit the sump. In addition to coolant cost, we also help some of our tube-mill clients better manage their energy costs using gas and electricity flow meters. Actually, anything that can be measured by a meter or sensor is fair game to be part of a Profit Finders continuous improvement program—as long as we can capture data and feed it to our data center, we can do our thing.”

For more information, visit www.profitfinders.net/index.html.

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Profit Finders

Profit Finders utilizes proprietary data collection and analysis techniques to uncover minute process paradigms that are siphoning off bottom-line profits from your operation. Profit Finders then works with your team to plug these holes and create simple process reporting tools to ensure problems are not allowed to creep back into the process. If your factory qualifies, Profit Finders will pay for all capital costs. You pay a monthly service fee to minimize your risk. All changes are done with the plan-do-check-act (W. Edwards Deming cycle) continuous improvement philosophy as a guiding principle.