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Quality Assurance during Green Production of Refractory Bricks

 


Quality is defined as what the customer wants in a product (here ‘Refractory’), not just meeting specifications but also ensures customer delight. Consistently achieving the specifications without failure is one of the most important requisites for Quality. Then, a question automatically arises that how can one be effectively consistent in any regular operation. The answer is: one has to plan and follow some Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs, a term more popular among Quality Circles. Standards promote good work habits among all levels of the organization. To standardize is to choose the best method and promote consistency which is essential for quality.
Operator running a Friction Screw Press (FSP) image
Fig.- Operator Running a Friction Screw Press (FSP)
There has to be SOPs for each and every operation starting from raw material testing, acceptance to brick dispatch in a refractory plant. But merely having SOPs will not help in any respect except for showing them to any customer, if such a situation arises! However, following these SOPs religiously will not only benefit in getting the quality in various refractory products but also, help in increasing the productivity and reducing the rejection percentage at every level thus, ultimately bringing down the cost of production.

An array of Friction Screw Presses in a Refractory Plant image
Fig.- An Array of Friction Screw Presses in a Refractory Plant

Nevertheless this article is not to discuss the advantages of SOPs or Standardization which will be discussed in a separate post. Here our point of discussion is how to ensure quality in a refractory brick during its green production. For this each and every brick must pass through a process of checking as a part of standard procedure in the process of production. Below is a list of such things (parameters) that have to be checked during green production of refractory bricks as a criterion for their acceptance or before sending them to drier.


GREEN BRICKS CHECKING LIST
1. Size and critical Dimensions as per actual & shrinkage given in the Production Programme (Refer Drawing if required).
2. Quality / Plate mark / Special instructions.
3. Right angle, Centre slope.
4. Warpage, Bulging.
5. Die Plate jam, cleaning.
6. Spongy, Texture.
7. Rags, Corner loose.
8. Lamination, Crack (Hammering).
9. De-airing & Pressing stroke (Set-up approval).
10. Green B.D, Refractory Composition.
11. Sieve analysis report of Powder (Mixture).
12. Free iron in the Powder/Mixrure.

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