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Real Process Characteristic Capacity Weight in the Product 500 Grams in a Rice Mill


Abstract and Figures

In the present study we performed the measurement of the actual process capacity of the characteristic weight in the product 500 grams in a rice mill. The data were obtained by applying a sampling plan according to the production of the four packing machines. The ability of this process to meet specifications was determined by analyzing the actual capacity (AP), upper process capability (UPC), lower process capability (LPC), actual process capability and percentage (%) of nonconforming product (NCP). The study shows in economic terms the impact generated by the current scenario and finally shows statistical information of each machine to evidence trends that may be generating noise and variations in the packaging process.
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Optimization of the Paddy Rice Husking Process,
Increasing the Useful Life of the Rollers in FlorHuila
S.A. Plant Campoalegre Mills in 2017
Nelson Corredor Sanchez*, Ruthber Rodriguez Serrezuela*
and Andres Mauricio Navarrete Ramos*
* University Corporation of Huila, CORHUILA
Industrial Engineer
The objective of this research is to optimize the
peeling process, through the study, measurement
and analysis of the results obtained from the
behaviour of the rollers to increase their useful life,
in the company MOLINOS FLORHUILA S.A.
Campoalegre Plant, first a brief introduction and
a little history of rice cultivation in the different
countries of the world and then we will go on to
talk about the departments in Colombia that grow
this product. In this context, the stages of the rice
production process will be described in order to
clarify our problems, to study the variables that
affect the stages of the rice production process,
and then to present the tests that correspond to
the results obtained from the behaviour of the
rollers to increase their useful life to and thus give
solution to our problem.
Keywords: mills, peeling process, behaviour
of the rollers.
Because of globalization, Colombian entrepreneurs
and producers are forced to implement in their
company’s innovative strategies that win new cus-
tomers and increase their level of satisfaction, as
well as adopting new practices that increase their
productivity and profitability.
At the global level, rice is the second most impor-
tant crop, concentrated extensively and intensively
in the tropical climate. Highlighting its presence
in Asian countries such as: China, India, Indone-
sia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and
Burma; in Europe: Italy, Spain, Russia, Greece and
Portugal; in America: the United States, Brazil,
Colombia, Peru and Argentina; and on the African
continent: Egypt, Nigeria, Madagascar and Ivory
In Colombia the largest agricultural production
is concentrated in 4 departments: Meta, Casanare,
Tolima and Huila respectively; followed by Cesar,
the Atlantic Coast, Cordoba, the Santanderes, and
Valle del Cauca, generating a national production
of 450,000 Hectares per year.
According to the F.A.O. (Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations), rice is the
worlds largest cereal and is a very valuable source of
energy, rich in carbohydrates, calories and protein;
it also supplies glucose to the blood in a controlled
way which keeps blood sugar levels constant.
In a balanced diet, rice should be present several
times a week; can be eaten daily and will not cause
any harm to health. It contains no cholesterol, fat
or sodium, is a complex carbohydrate and easy to
digest. It is poor in minerals, especially iron, cal-
cium and zinc; therefore, it is advisable to consume
it in combination with vegetables, vegetables, meat
or fish.
The Colombian rice industry has a strong and
balanced competitiveness scheme that includes
technical processes with the latest technology and
skilled labor, where a vision of continuous improve-
ment predominates. It should be noted that the
profits obtained in the rice business are minimal, it
is only profitable if handled in considerable quanti-
ties. This is because the processes involved are too
The production process consists of three main
stages: drying, threshing and packaging. The de-
barking process of the grain (activity performed in
the threshing stage) is considered a critical point,
since it consists of elements and variables that sig-
nificantly influence production costs and product
Rice as a staple product in Colombian homes has
become an important part of the engine driving the
national economy.
For this and all the , this study seeks to opti-
mize the shelling process by increasing the life of
the rollers in MOLINO FLORHUILA S.A. Cam-
poalegre plant located in the department of Huila.
2.1 Type of study
The present work is based on a descriptive study
of causal type, because it is necessary to know the
situations and cases that predominate in the activ-
ities of the productive process to identify the re-
lationships that exist between the pressure, veloc-
ity and temperature variables; which present the
rollers of the machines; and whose priority is to
obtain evidence of the cause and effect relationship
of the variables to be analysed during the peeling
stage of the rice production process in MOLINOS
2.2 Methods
It is used under the quantitative and descriptive
statistical method. The useful life, peripheral ve-
locity and roll time in each shell are calculated to
define the regression equation and coefficient of re-
lationship between them, determine the samples to
be studied, tabulate the data and analyse the re-
sults obtained to maintain the process under the
parameters of statistical control. To use these two
methods, the following information will be taken
into account:
- Collection and review of information: Although
the database regarding the rice industry is not ex-
tensive, it was found that in a mill in the city of
Neiva they implemented a refrigeration system for
the rollers, whose main objective was also to in-
crease their life useful; the documents collated, the
people and the procedures performed in the com-
pany will
Be taken as references. - Visits to the study area:
is the main base for the study, analysis and im-
provement of the performance of the hullers. The
days for the visit, the duration of each visit and the
number of times necessary, will be agreed with the
head of the plant, if possible, scheduled in advance
for Saturdays.
- Samples and measurement of the different vari-
ables: For this study we will work the qualita-
tive methodology by observing the behaviour of the
rollers, and also the quantitative with the use of
formulas applied to the statistical control.
- Analysis of the results of the measurement of
variables and the different samples: The results ob-
tained in the application of the regression equation
and coefficient of relation between the peripheral
speed and time of use of the rollers will be tabu-
lated, plotted and analysed, and will serve as sup-
ports for the improvements to be implemented in
the machines after the development of the present
2.3 Sample design
Although sampling is a basic element within the
method-logy of inferential statistics, used as a tech-
nique to achieve sample selection within a popula-
tion; for this research work whose methodology is
descriptive statistics will analyse the variables di-
ameter, pressure and peripheral speed of the rollers
in each of the six machines.
Initially, time takers were installed in each shell
to measure the roll time as a starting point for pro-
cess optimization. After knowing this data one of
the six machines is chosen to measure with a foot
of king every four hours the diameter of the rollers.
With the above information and knowing that the
rollers one and two rotate at a speed of approx-
imately 800 and 1000 RPM respectively, the pe-
ripheral speed of each is calculated.
At the same time that the diameter is taken, the
manometer that each machine brings is taken into
account and this value is taken into account to cal-
culate the coefficient of relation between this and
the other variables.
2.4 Stages of the study
The studies and analysis of the variables witnessed
in the behaviour of the running rollers will be taken
as basis. For this purpose, this research has been
generalized in three stages:
- Phase of beginning: Phase of investigation and
Documentation of similar studies, related to the
subject to try to support, to clarify and to give
greater validity to the realized study. The study
begins with the compilation of general information
on rice, the milling industry in Colombia, the pro-
duction process of MOLINOS FLORHUILA S.A
and the study machine.
- Development stage: In this stage the activities
and tasks necessary for the study are carried out,
such as: sampling, tabulation of data, regression
graphs and relation coefficient, laboratory analy-
sis, application of equations for statistical control;
that allow to identify variables of analysis for the
improvement, optimization, effectiveness and pro-
ductivity of the machines.
- Completion stage: During this stage, the ideas
and results that emerge from the studies are con-
cretized and organized; the performance of the ma-
chines is analysed by operating cycles to perform a
diagnosis of the improvement actions and to imple-
ment them in a safe and reliable way according to
the productive process of the mill. The results of
the study are delivered and sustained to the inter-
ested parties and the work is concluded.
3.1 Crawler process with three
To demonstrate that the rotation system with three
rollers meets the proposed objectives, a hypothesis
test is carried out again, in addition to a compara-
tive table, where the cost of each kilogram threshed
for the second half of the year is projected and cal-
culated 2014 with the traditional method and the
new method of rotation with three rollers.
Table 1: Hours of the rollers
Machine 1 Machine 2 Machine 3 Machine 4 Machine 5
Duration of the Rollers (Hours).
114 112 113 113 115
113 117 113 118 116
117 114 116 116 118
115 118 118 114 119
117 115 117 114 113
118 115 116 118 114
Average 115,7 115,16 115,5 115,5 115,83
Standar deviation 1.97 2,14 2,07 2,17 2,32
Table 2: Hypothesis test for machines 1 and 2.
Test t for two samples assuming equal variance
Machine 1 Machine 2
Mean 115,666667 115,666667
Variance 3,866666667 4,56666667
Observations 6 6
Grouped variance 4,21666667
Hypothetical difference of the means 0
Degrees of freedom 10
Statistics t 0,42174117
P(T<=t) one tail. 0,34106829
Critical value of t (One tail) 1,8124611
P(T<=t) two tail. 0,68213658
Critical value of t (One tail) 2,22813884
Machine 1 = Machine 2
3.2 Hypothesis testing
Then the result of the test of hypothesis applied to
the same machines but with the system of rotation
of three rollers.
With the data obtained and recorded in Table
1, the respective calculations are performed (see
Tables 2. 3. 4. 5) And the average roll duration in
hours is 115.53 with a standard deviation of 1.99.
Figure 1: Curve T-Student Distribution
Conclusion: With a significance level of 5% there
is sufficient evidence to not reject the null hypoth-
esis, is the average life of the rollers in machine 1
is equal to the average life of the rollers in machine
The production plant regularly works through-
out the year in two shifts of 8 hours each for 6 days
Figure 2: Tecnopack machine
a week. (Monday to Saturday) [25].
The quality of the rice is based on several charac-
teristics, one of them is the weight, represents the
actual content of the product. For the presentation
of 500 grams, the company has defined a specifica-
tion of 502 grams ±2 grams, which means that each
packaged unit must have a weight within this range,
otherwise it is considered nonconforming product.
In order to contextualize the present study and to
identify the potential sources of noise, which could
affect a possible non-compliance with the variable
weight, the packaging process was characterized,
clearly identifying its main components.
Figure 3: Characterization. Source: MOLINO DE ARROZ,
2017. Packing process
As Figure 3 shows, many factors are involved in
the packaging process that can generate variation
and permanently threaten the quality of the prod-
Suppliers are identified, who supply products and
services to be transformed. The main input element
is the rice that comes from the threshing process.
This must meet specific characteristics to ensure a
Figure 4: Ryan-Joiner Normal Test. Source: MOLINO
DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
good performance in terms of the variable weight.
There are also activities that generate value and
convert the entries into finished product. There is
very important technical support, a relevant factor
in the proper functioning of machines, equipment
and the reduction of variation caused by the dosing
system. Finally, the customers are the ones who
receive the production of the packaging process.
The characteristic weight in the pounds of rice,
is a continuous random variable, follows a nor-
mal type distribution. To accept this assumption,
three normal tests were performed on the sample
data. The Minitab 16 statistical program has the
Ryan-Joiner, Anderson-Darling, and Kolmogorov-
Smirnov tests.
The results of this evaluation are shown in Fig-
ures 4, 5 and 6.
With a confidence interval of 95%, the Ryan-
Joiner test shows that with a p value equal to 0.100
(p= 0.100), the null hypothesis is accepted. The
weights of the pounds in the packaging process are
normally distributed. This statement is validated
with the graph, it shows the behaviour of each data
with respect to the blue line, which represents the
normal distribution.
Like the previous test, that of Anderson-Darling
Figure 5: Anderson- Darling normality test. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
confirms that the data analysed are distributed in
a normal way, the graph of normality shows this
clearly. With a confidence interval of 95%, the p
value is equal to 0.201 (p= 0.201), which leads to
accept the null hypothesis.
With the third test of normality, that of
Kolmogorov-Smirnov, it can be seen that, in fact,
the 584 pesos fit into a normal distribution, the
graph and p value validate this assumption p value
is 0.150 (p= 0.150), with a confidence interval of
However for process capability studies it is not
a condition that the data follow a normal distribu-
tion. 6σ(six times the standard deviation) is the
actual variation, due to the properties of the nor-
mal distribution, where it is stated that between
µ±3σis 99.7% of the values of a variable with
normal distribution, even if there is no normality,
a large percentage of the distribution is found in
µ±3σbecause of Chebyshev’s inequality and the
empirical rule [25].
The rice mill defines the specifications for the
variables that represent the characteristics of the
product and the process, based on technical stan-
dards, the nature of the process and the customer’s
For the case of weight, it was established that
the specification for the presentation of pound out
of 502 ±2 grams.
Figure 6: Normal test Kolmogorov-Smirnov. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
The calculation of the indexes of the process ca-
pacity and the nonconforming product were done
with the help of the statistical software Minitab
16, the results are shown in Figure 7.
The units analysed were 584 corresponding to the
total of the established sample. The result shows
that the amplitude of the process is greater with
respect to the amplitude of the specifications, the
red lines indicate the theoretical dispersion allowed
by the process, the filling system of the rice mill
presents little ability to comply with the established
parameters. Its potential capacity (0.310) reflects
the degree of dispersion of its data, it is far from
the 1.33 that is suggested for this type of indica-
tor. The average of the sample (502.72 grams) in-
dicates that the process is off-center to the right
side, since the theoretical average of the process is
502 grams. This fact is confirmed by the value of
higher and real capacity (0.20). The likely percent-
age of nonconforming product is out of specifica-
tion is 38.39%, 10.56% of the pounds would have
weight below 500 grams and 27.84% would have
content above 504 grams. Only 61.61% of produc-
tion meets the desired weight.
The results evidences large problems in compli-
ance with the characteristic weight, generating a
large quantity of product with higher and lower
Figure 7: Process capacity analysis. Source: MOLINO
DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
content of rice to the stipulated. The company
must immediately carry out improvement projects
if it wishes to achieve the objectives set. For this
it is necessary to know in more detail the possi-
ble sources of variation. The stratification of infor-
mation facilitates the interpretation of facts, gives
clear guidance on the real causes, and provides tools
for making sound decisions.
The individual behaviour of the machines is anal-
ysed, with this it is tried to identify the degree of
incidence of each of them in the lack of capacity to
fulfil specifications of the packing process with re-
spect to the characteristic weight. The results are
shown in Figure 5, 6, 7 and 8.
In figure 8 it is observed that the amplitude of
the process of the machine 5 is much superior to
the amplitude of the specifications. The red lines
that represent the specifications dimension the sit-
uation. The production of this machine has little
processing capacity. Its potential capacity index
(0.27) is much lower than expected, it is also lower
than that of the overall process. The mean of the
sample (502,557 grams) indicates that the weight
of the pounds that packs this machine have a bias
towards the right side of the distribution, this fact
Figure 8: Processing capacity of machine 5. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
ratifies the index of superior capacity with a 0.19
and also the quantity of product does not as it ex-
ceeds the weight of 504 grams (28.38%).
Machine 5 is generating more nonconforming
product than the overall process.
In Figure 9 shows the non-compliance of the
machine specification 6, the process amplitude is
higher than the tolerance. This causes the poten-
tial capacity index to be 0.40. The capacity study
of this machine also shows that the largest quan-
tity of nonconforming product is on the upper side
of the specifications, the probability of producing
product weighing above 504 grams is 21.67%.
Despite non-compliance with specifications, it is
noted that the production of nonconforming prod-
uct of this machine (26.88%) is lower than that of
the process (38.39%).
In Figure 10 clearly shows that the machine 7 is
also unable to meet the set weight. Their capacity
and nonconforming product indexes are lower than
the overall process. It presents major problems to-
wards the upper side of the specification.
It can be seen from Figure 8 that the production
of the machine 8 presents a large bias towards the
upper side of the specification. Similarly, a signif-
icant deviation of the central value from the theo-
Figure 9: Processing capacity of machine 6. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
Figure 10: Processing capacity of machine 7. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
Figure 11: Processing capacity of machine 8. Source:
MOLINO DE ARROZ, 2017. Weights of 584 pounds
retical average is observed, 34.44% of the pounds
packed in this machine have weights above 504
grams. The reflection of this situation is its supe-
rior capacity index, which is the lowest value among
the four machines studied.
Machine 8 is the one with the largest amount
of nonconforming product producing above 504
grams, with 34.44% compared to 28.13%, 21.67%
and 25.60% of machines 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
Another aspect that can be seen in these graphs is
that machines 5 and 7 are the one with the largest
product weighing less than 500 grams with 15.25%
and 15.78% compared to 5.20% and 5.21% of ma-
chines 6 and 8.
Immediate correction would mean that at least
the weight recorded at the nominal content (500 g)
must be met. In this case, if this correction were
made and taking into account the current centring
and dispersion tendencies of the process (average
502.72g and standard deviation 2.17), it would have
to be overweight since the dosing system should be
adjusted, increasing approximately the total aver-
age to 507 grams and thus guarantee a minimum
of product below 500g (close to 0%). In this new
Table 3: Economic impact
Less than 500 g Probability Month/average Grams of more Dollars
0.06% 3.000
500g-504g 8.33% 416.500
504g-505g 9.50% 475.000 475.000 444
505g-506g 14.39% 719.500 1.439.000 1.343
506g-507g 17.70% 885.000 2.655.000 2.487
507g-508g 17.71% 885.500 3.542.000 3.305
508g-509g 14.39% 719.500 3.597.500 3.334
509g-510g 9.50% 475.000 2.850.000 2.660
510g-511g 5.10% 255.000 1.785.000 1.667
511g-512g 2.22% 111.000 888.000 1.496
512g-513g 0.79% 39.500 355.500 332
513g-514g 0.23% 11.500 115.000 108
514g-515g 0.05% 2.500 27.500 26
515g-516g 0.01% 500 6.000 6
Total 17.208
scenario, the lower limit would be fulfilled, but pro-
duction would be at levels of overweight as shown
in Table 3.
Only 8.33% of the production would comply with
the desired, the rest of the pounds would have
an excess of content, this would force the com-
pany to incur a surcharge of $ 2.8 per additional
gram packed, which according to projected produc-
tion (5 Gpounds/month) would be approximately
$ 17.208/month.
The above point estimate was made by applying
the properties of the normal distribution and based
on daily yields and rice prices to January 2017.
For the application of these classification methods,
we must take into account the parameters that gov-
ern food handling in the Republic of Colombia, in
order to enforce the laws at the time of making
the different rice packagings, evidences failures in
several machines some of overweight and others for
lack of weight which can be sanctioned by these en-
tities that govern the handling and packing of food.
Being Molinos Florhuila SA, one of the three largest
mills in the country, it has a highly-qualified pro-
duction plant and qualified personnel to carry out
each activity of the rice industry with the Highest
quality indices and development sustainable.
Emphasizing one of the integral objectives of the
mill, it was necessary to detail each part of the
process and to understand the stages to detect and
mitigate the failures that put at risk or alte the pro-
ductivity of the plant. For this study the thresh-
ing stage was deepened, in which a great part of
the costs of production are generated. The study
focuses on the shelling activity of dry paddy rice,
with the rollers being the main component of each
shelling machine and also the most representative
production cost of the whole process.
In compliance with the general objective of the
present project to optimize the hulling process, the
study, measurement and analysis of the results ob-
tained from the performance of the rollers was car-
ried out to increase its useful life. With the above it
was possible to conclude that although the axes of
the rollers work at two different speeds (1000 and
800 RPM), they must maintain a tangential speed
ratio that guarantees correct wear of the rollers and
be rotated in a technical way, costly study of the
variables involved in the activity and of the use
of measuring instruments, the regression equation
and statistical tools; Contrary to how it was done
in a very subjective way and without taking full
advantage of the rollers. On the other hand, with
the test of hypothesis made it was possible to con-
clude, with a confidence level of 99%, that in each
one of the machines the rollers had a duration in
the range of 43.5 to 52.3 hours; it can safely be
said that the useful life of the rollers of machine 1
is equal to that of machine 2, 3, 4 and 5. The regres-
sion equation between the time and wear variables
for axis 1 is calculated Y= 0.07464H+ 25.57 and
Y=0.0299H+ 25.36 for axis 2, which allowed
to infer that its level of correlation and causality
exceeds 90%.
Considering correlation levels, a regression model
was defined between study variables (time, attri-
tion); which helped to define a method of rota-
tion with three rollers that establishes the precise
hours to make the timely change between them and
to maintain the differences of minimum tangential
speeds that guarantee an increase in their useful life
and productivity. With this improved method for
the rotation with three rollers, and with the help
of the meters installed in each machine; it was de-
signed and implemented a format that guides the
operator to make the changes of rollers and their
location in their respective axes, in the ideal time
to optimize the process. In addition, with a con-
fidence interval of 99%, it was possible to increase
the useful life of the three rollers in a range between
114.59 to 116.47 hours of use.
To verify the success of the study and taking into
account the levels of correlation between the vari-
ables, a projection was made for the next seven
months of the year and the results are compared
with the data recorded in the previous year. The
projection results in a considerable reduction of the
roller units consumed in the same period, represent-
ing a savings of approximately 60 million pesos in
a year that are reflected in the costs of production
and therefore productivity and profitability of the
Finally, it was possible to conclude that in order
to optimize the peeling process and increase the life
of the rollers, a good statistical analysis and analy-
sis is necessary to keep the processes under control
and to guarantee the continuous improvement of
the processes make economic and financial invest-
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