Application of the PDCA Problem-Solving Method in treatment of wastewater from poultry processing
Keywords: activated sludge, PDCA methodology, industrial poultry plant
AbstractAmongst the technologies developed for the treatment of industrial waste-water, activated sludge systems deserve special mention. The aim of the present work was to explore the use of PDCA management methods for identifying problems in a system for the biological treatment of effluent from a poultry processing plant and to evaluate the priority solutions adopted or proposed for solving them. To accomplish this objective the following steps are required: analysis of inputs and outputs of the effluent treatment process; identification of operational problems in the system based on the use of performance measures; and identification of fundamental causes leading to problems. Four steps in the PDCA cycle were followed: planning, execution, verification, and corrective action. At the planning stage, the problem was identified by analysis of the historic Sludge Volume Index (SVI) record, which gave values of about 500 mL/g in the first half of 2010. Analysis of the phenomenon was achieved by monitoring physical, chemical and biological parameters to give a picture of how the system for waste-water treatment actually worked. The survey of fundamental causes used procedures of brainstorming, Ishakawa diagrams, and prioritization. The results suggest that after partial implantation of the proposed action plan, the problem of sludge sedimentation shown by the SVI was much reduced, its value decreased from about 500 mL/g to about 250 mL/g in the second half of 2010. It is therefore concluded that the PDCA methodology is adequate for solving problems in effluent treatment plants.
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