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Which strategy to use when sampling anodes for coring and analysis? Start with how the data will be used.
In the design of systems for anode core sampling and testing, the most important and first question to be answered is: Why do we actually measure anode core properties? E.g. how do we intend to use the information to control and improve the process? This is particularly critical, not only because of the need to get value from the significant cost of sampling and testing, but because any misalignment between the core sampling strategies used and the intended use of the data can lead to incorrect decisions and actions regarding product or process issues.…  Read the entire article (PDF).

Critical Chain Project Management Accelerates Equipment Shutdown Management Improvement Process
Asset availability has been a longstanding objective in mining and mineral processing plants around the world. Enormous resources in both dollars and manpower are invested in improvement efforts to achieve higher asset availability. One dimension of asset availability is the time equipment is out of service for large scale planned maintenance activity: grinding mills, kilns, furnaces, mobile equipment, shovels and draglines are all regularly taken out of service for extended repairs and service. The speed, cost and quality of these planned outages provide an opportunity to increase asset availability.…  Read the entire article (PDF).

Improving Carbon Plant Operations Through the Better Use of Data.
In most Carbon Plants an enormous amount of data is collected and used for short and long term control, improvement of plant operations, reporting, and to monitor anode quality for the customer. In the experience of the Authors, however, the way that data are used can be improved considerably - full value is rarely extracted from the information and several “data traps” are common…  Read the entire article (PDF).

Going Beyond SPC - Why We Need Statistical Thinking in Operations such as Carbon Plants
Since the early 1980’s, statistical methods and tools such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) have been widely applied in the process industries. Many practitioners found a powerful rationale for the use of these methods in an interpretation of Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s contribution to the success of several Japanese companies. However, it was often overlooked that Deming’s message had objectives that went well beyond the application of statistical methods...  Read the entire article (PDF).

The Integration of Lean and Six Sigma - A powerful improvement strategy for Carbon Plants
Cost and quality pressures will continue to increase in the aluminum industry and as they do, Carbon Plants will be expected to make significant improvements in anode quality while reducing cost. Proven strategies like Lean Production and Six Sigma are directly applicable in Carbon Plant processes to improve quality and reduce cost...  Read the entire article (PDF).

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