Using DMAIC for in-plant logistic activities improvement

an industrial case study in cement manufacturing


  • Sérgio de Andrade Bonetti Brasil Foods, Cuiabá, MT, Brazil.
  • Adauto Bueno Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), São Carlos, SP, Brazil / States University of Mato Grosso (UNEMAT), Cáceres, MT, Brazil.
  • Rodolfo Benedito Zattar da Silva Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Cuiabá, MT, Brazil.
  • Fernando José Gómez Paredes Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA), Blvr. Los Proceres, El Salvador.
  • Débora Bianco Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), São Carlos, SP, Brazil / University Center FEI, São Bernardo do Campo, SP, Brazil.



Cement industry, Statistical process control, Continuous improvement, DMAIC, Six Sigma Logistics


Goal: In-plant logistics activities are important for increasing the performance of the supply chains, so our research aims to study the application of Six Sigma tools for in-plant logistics activities in the cement industry. Our research contributes to the literature by developing a real case study that provides insights into the practical implementation of continuous improvement programs.

Design / Methodology / Approach: This study uses the Industrial Case Study in a large cement plant, a branch of a multinational business group, in Brazil’s Middle-west region. This research applies Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) guidelines with Statistical Process Control tools for solving a real problem for out-control processes. From this, we propose an improvement plan to correct flaws in the in-plant cement loading and unloading process (in-plant logistics).

Results: The results suggest that based on the control chart, the studied in-plant logistics activities were out of control. These processes exhibit a high variability, between 3σ and 5σ, presenting 26 problems with causes related to machine, measure, and human resources. An out-control action plan was proposed aiming for improvements to solve these problems.

Limitations of the investigation: On the out-control action plan, this study presents an improvement proposal. The action plan does not fully develop the control step for DMAIC.

Practical implications: Managers in the cement industry can use our case for insights and learning about improvement programs, especially for the in-plant logistics activities addressing processing-based manufacturing environments.

Originality / Value: Our research contributes a real case study that applies the DMAIC methodology, with a specific focus on in-plant logistics activities. By developing the application of improvement programs within the cement industry, our study offers practical insights into how processing industries can effectively implement such programs.


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How to Cite

Bonetti, S. de A., Bueno, A., Silva, R. B. Z. da, Paredes, F. J. G., & Bianco, D. (2023). Using DMAIC for in-plant logistic activities improvement: an industrial case study in cement manufacturing. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, 20(4), 1406 .



Case study