Int J Performability Eng ›› 2016, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (2): 173-182.doi: 10.23940/ijpe.16.2.p173.mag

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A New Approach of Controlling Medium Consumption with Applications in Coal Mining Industry


  1. 1Mining and Safety Engineering College, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qianwangang Road, Qing Dao, Shandong Province, CHINA
    2Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119, USA


In order to reduce the medium consumption of dense-medium coal separation, trace back the root causes and key factors of high medium consumption, and provide an efficient solution, the limitation of the existing research is examined and the application of Lean Six Sigma to the medium consumption reduction is studied. By defining the waste and defection in the control of medium consumption and analyzing the inapplicability of the existing model, a lean sigma based method with detailed implementation procedures is proposed. The proposed method was implemented to reduce medium consumption of dense-medium coal separation in a coal mining industry, and the medium consumption is reduced from 2.17kg/t to 0.59kg/t. The application of the proposed method demonstrates that the new method can facilitate identifying and analyzing the root causes and key factors of medium consumption. In addition, the proposed approach and the outcomes from the case study establish a theoretical foundation for generic coal preparation applications in which medium consumptions are of major concerns in terms of cost saving and efficiency improvement.