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Surviving and Thriving: A DMAIC Case Study in Process Improvement


Michael P. Jarosh, Process Engineer, Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products, Scranton, PA, USA


DMAIC, Process Improvement, MSA, Chi-Squared, Monte Carlo, Survival, Data Driven, Teamwork





Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products USA, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical has eight manufacturing sites in North America which process polymers for a wide variety of industries. The Scranton facility manufactures on over 30 production lines on a 24/7 basis using a variety of production techniques. A number of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Projects have been initiated focused on improving quality, yield and productivity. The Scranton facility, under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Uliana, is committed to using the DMAIC process to solve difficult and complex problems. Cross functional project teams support the Black Belts leading the projects.

One project was focused on producing UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) in sheet form. This mature process underwent a number of significant changes including new control system, new tooling and new raw material processing in the middle of a Black Belt project. Given these changes, the project was re-focused on understanding, predicting and controlling the process variation with respect to the impact of these changes. A variety of Six Sigma Tools including MSA on the gage and measurement systems, Chi-squared analysis and Monte Carlo simulation on the tooling, standardization of mold release formula and application, and also Process Variation analysis were all utilized in the project. The Chi-squared analysis along with the Monte Carlo simulation was used to verify the impact of tooling interference fits on final product dimensions and quality, and Set-Point analysis to verify Control system changes improved the overall process capability through automation. The team also verified the control system performed as required eliminating a possible source of process variation using the set-point analysis. Quadrant has embraced the Lean Six Sigma Process with the focus on driving the culture to utilize DMAIC’s data driven, team based, scientific problem-solving method. 

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  • Pentagon
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  • AIG
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  • The Boeing Company
  • Bose Corporation
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Campbell Soup Company
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  • Chevron
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  • Daimler Chrysler
  • Disney
  • Dow Chemical

  • Dr Pepper 
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  • Dupont
  • Eastman Kodak
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  • Fedex
  • Ford Motor
  • General Electric 
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  • Gillette
  • Goodyear Tire
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  • Lockheed Martin
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  • Mercedes
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  • Mitsubishi
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  • NASA
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