Operational Improvements of Continuous Process with Tools of Lean Production - A Case Study in a Brazilian Petrochemical

  • Francisco Uchoa Passos
  • Irlam Reis Aragão
Keywords: Lean Production, Operational Improvements, Efficiency, Continuous Proceedings


This study seeks to evaluate operational improvements in Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem, which has been using lean production management tools to monitor its processes. There was some improvement in plant efficiency, measured from the beginning of implementation of management tools Six Sigma and TPM. Thus, we investigated three efficiency indicators considered by the company of great importance for the competitiveness of the business: the physical loss of products, plant’s energy efficiency, and the utilization rate of assets. The differences observed in these indicators, before and after the use of the tools, were tested for its statistical significance, which revealed that the physical losses of ethylene and plant’s energy efficiency improved, almost reaching the performance considered as class world. As for the utilization rate of assets, although it has evolved positively, still is at a considerable distance from that performance standard. By registering operational improvements in a continuous process plant, with lean production tools, this study indicates that these instruments, even if they have no causal relation with the improvements, are suitable for continuous processes and could have a much broader use, oriented, first of all, by the general approach of process optimization and, somehow, regardless of the nature of productive activity.


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Author Biographies

Francisco Uchoa Passos

Professor da Faculdade Senai Cimatec (BA) e da Universidade Salvador (UNIFACS) – Salvador-BA, Brasil. Doutor em Administração pela Universidade de São Paulo (USP).

Irlam Reis Aragão

Mestre em Administração pela Universidade Salvador (UNIFACS) – Salvador-BA, Brasil. P&O and Communications, Braskem America & Europe.

How to Cite
Passos, F., & Aragão, I. (1). Operational Improvements of Continuous Process with Tools of Lean Production - A Case Study in a Brazilian Petrochemical. REGE Revista De Gestão, 20(2), 267-282. https://doi.org/10.5700/issn.2177-8736.rege.2013.98809
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