LEAN SIX SIGMA WORLD CONFERENCE
Machine Learning: A Primer and a Manufacturing Application
Presenter: Dr. Richard Titus Jr., Adjunct Faculty and Principal, Lehigh University and Titus Consulting, Bethlehem, PA, USA
Keywords: Machine Learning, Productivity
Crayola manufactures more than 3 billion crayons and 500 million markers per year at their Easton, PA facility. Crayola began the Lean Six Sigma journey in 2000 focusing on the application of Lean. In 2007, under the direction, guidance and participation of Mr. Peter Ruggiero, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt and acting CEO, Crayola launched their first wave of Green Belts. Since this first wave, more than 100 Green Belts and Black Belts have been trained and certified and over 150+ projects have been completed — delivering improved processes and business results. Crayola with the help of Minitab’s Salford Predictive Modeling (SPM) experts, is applying machine learning to improve productivity on equipment with hundreds of sensors and real-time feedback and monitoring. Raw process and sensor data were “dumped” into SPM software as a first cut at applying machine learning to this critical piece of equipment. The first model was “too good”, based on expert opinion, and required a deep data dive into the top predictors. Next, data had to be modified and translated into a more non-cumulative format and re-tested. Without intimate knowledge of the sensors, machine function and performance measures this would have been a very difficult undertaking. Following this data modification, the models provided meaningful output which was shared with subject matter experts for further testing and verification. The fundamentals of the machine learning regression methods, key steps, pitfalls and interpretation of output will be reviewed with the focus of providing a primer for organizations starting the machine learning journey.