According to Jim Fruge, a consultant for the ethanol industry and a Six Sigma black belt, most ethanol producers are now adopting the practices of Six Sigma in order to increase efficiency in product creation and ethanol production. The industry’s embrace of Six Sigma was highlighted in a recent article in Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Six Sigma practices have been adopted by roughly two-thirds of all Fortune 500 companies, the article noted, and Motorola — where the Six Sigma methodology originated — has reportedly saved $17 billion over the 27 years it has used it. Those are good enough results for Fruge and others to work to brink the practices into the ethanol industry in an even bigger way, with the belief that Six Sigma can maximize ethanol yields with existing equipment and improve the product to suit the customer’s needs.

DuPont, which is implementing Six Sigma principles company-wide, including use in its FermaSure ethanol product line. Currently, the company has more than 6,000 trained green belts, 1,300 black belts and 5,000 active projects. In fact, the article noted, the FermaSure product itself was developed using Six Sigma’s DMAIC principles: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Others in the ethanol industry that are singing the praises of Six Sigma are the management of the Winnebago, Minn. company Corn Plus, which turned to the methodology as a way to gain plant efficiency; and Pinal Energy, who has seen greater ethanol yields since its implementation and lower natural gas usage at its plant.

Thomas Pyzdek wrote the handbook for Six Sigma training that remains the standard reference worldwide. That knowledge is now available to you and taught in online courses by Thomas Pyzdek himself.

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