Integrating reliability with Six Sigma and lean methods

Reliable Plant
Tags: lean manufacturing

Eastman Chemical Company is a Fortune 500 company with annual sales of more than $7 billion and approximately 11,000 employees. The company manufactures and markets more than 1,200 products that enhance the lives of people around the world everyday.

Noria Corporation’s Reliable Plant magazine offers a rare opportunity to learn best practices from this manufacturing giant at its “Lean Manufacturing 2007: Lean Tools for Maintenance & Reliability” conference, to be held October 1-3 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. In a keynote address on October 2 that is titled “Common-sense Value Creation: Integrating the Reliability Business Case with Six Sigma and Lean Methodologies,” Eastman Chemical reliability technology group leader Paul Casto will outline this dynamic manufacturer’s path to lean maintenance and reliability excellence.

As Casto explains, today’s business environment continues to drive manufacturers to lower cost to positively affect the bottom-line value created in their businesses. And yet, one area of value creation that has traditionally been ignored is the plant maintenance and reliability function. Maintenance is often seen as a “necessary evil”, not as an area which adds value on the income statement. Also, within many companies, Six Sigma and lean methods have become the preferred tools for improving bottom-line performance. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven process that incorporates the know-how, experience and synergy of knowledgeable teams to develop and implement innovative solution. Lean is a tool used to continuously drive waste out of the manufacturing process. Company management teams know and understand these improvement methods. As a result, the common-sense application of these methodologies to maintenance and reliability problems can result in increased management support for reliability and dramatic improvements in cost and availability. This keynote address at Lean Manufacturing 2007 will review the reliability business case and provide practical methods to create value in maintenance and reliability.

This is an exceedingly important topic for today’s plant leaders.

Casto (a CRE, CQE, CSSBB and CMRP) is a leader in the development and application of reliability techniques in manufacturing at Eastman. He has hands-on experience in maintenance, operations and reliability in the steel, aluminum, automotive, chemical, aerospace and consumer goods industries. His current areas of focus include: value creation through the application of reliability tools, the integration of Six Sigma techniques into reliability, the application of lean principles to maintenance, wrench time analysis and modeling, maintenance and reliability measures development, and asset performance and utilization improvement methods.


He holds a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University, a masters degree in engineering management from Marshall University Graduate College, an MBA from Clemson University, a masters in maintenance management and reliability engineering from the University of Tennessee/Monash program, and is pursuing his PhD at the University of Tennessee. He is a certified and practicing Six Sigma black belt, holds ASQ certification in reliability engineering and quality engineering and is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional through SMRP. He is the chair for the SMRP Academic Liaison Committee and serves on the University of Tennessee Maintenance and Reliability Center advisory board.

Do not miss this important case study.

Eastman Chemical is just one of the benchmark companies that will speak at the Lean Manufacturing 2007 conference in Cleveland. Other companies that will have top corporate, plant and departmental leaders present keynote addresses and case studies include Toyota, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Energizer Battery, AstenJohnson and Nordson. Dr. Jay Lee, whose Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems at the University of Cincinnati is on the forefront of predictive maintenance research, will also provide a special presentation during the event.

Registration is going strong for this event. Companies that will be sending leaders and/or teams include Boeing, Ford Motor Company, Kimberly-Clark, Kennametal, Americhem, Playtex, Parker Hannifin, Sara Lee and many others.

To learn more about the conference and to read a full biography on Eastman’s Paul Casto and other speakers, visit

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