Process Improvements for the Manufacture of Industrial Polymeric Filters

  • Sreeni Kurup

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMPhil


This thesis examines the work that was carried over a period of 24 months within aKnowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Bath and PallEurope, Ilfracombe. Materials technology expertise has enabled improvements inprocessing and enhanced quality control in a polymeric filter manufacturing plant.Manufacturing costs within the UK are increasing much faster than othermanufacturing locations worldwide. New manufacturing strategies and theintroduction of new technologies are required to make further step changes incompetitiveness. The partnership has underpinned the successful introduction of anew quality assessment and evaluation method using identiPol-QA for finalapproval of manufactured products. A benchmark has been created for each grade ofpolymer and a quality control procedure has been established on the premises ofthree suppliers who manufacture moulded components for Pall Ilfracombe. Theprogram of work constitutes a series of projects for better control of materialsprocessing, improvement in production performance and best use of materials fornew product developments. The thesis details the assessment that has been carriedout to understand the level of materials related problems that are occurring acrossthe whole Ilfracombe site. The thesis describes steps taken to investigate the rootcause of the materials related processing issues and proposes superior methods forstreamlining production within the factory. The work also details the success of theestablishment of an advanced materials characterisation facility within PallIlfracombe and the impact it has created in the manufacture and research anddevelopment of Pall products. In addition, this thesis details various aspects of theimportance of the Six Sigma methodology for process improvements inmanufacturing filters. Finally the thesis is concluded by detailing the opportunitiesfor future work arising from this study.
Date of Award2 Jul 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMartin Ansell (Supervisor)


  • polymer characterisation
  • six sigma
  • quality control

Cite this