This paper is a continuation of research work in which a new, surface tolerant Fusion Bond Epoxy (FBE) pipe coating was developed. This coating tolerated a wide steel surface temperature window of 200 ? 240 °C. In this paper the development of a new range of FBE coatings based on this new technology for pipe, valve, and rebar will be described. Six Sigma tools were used extensively in the development program, first of all a multi generational plan (MGP) was set up to give structure to the development process, then various Six Sigma tools were used to develop the coatings; Kano analysis
of customer needs was used to identify properties that are critical to success (CTS), Design of Experiment (DOE) was used to optimise the formulations and Process Capability studies were conducted to compare formulations.
The program to develop this new range of FBE coatings involved the use of Six Sigma methodology, this involves a structured approach to product development where goals are clearly established using techniques such as voice of the customer, solutions are developed to meet those goals, these solutions are then tested and finally verified. Six Sigma includes a wide range of techniques, including multi generational planning, which is a stepwise approach where each development is based on lessons learned in the previous step. In this development program, the first step (Generation 1) was to identify the best raw materials to use in the new FBE (see Figure 1). Screening designed experiments were then run to identify these raw materials. In the next stage (Generation 2), the interactions between the raw materials and the effect of each raw material on performance were identified using a series of DOEs. A single layer pipe coating
was developed based on the understanding of these interactions. This was a key part of the program, once the effect of these interactions on performance was understood, the program moved to Generation 3 where a wide range of FBE products were produced. Voice of the customer data was gathered and then solutions that gave thethe desired performance characteristics were developed. Each product could be tailored to give the desired properties at the lowest cost since the effect of formulation on performance was understood.