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Case Study
  • Manufacturing, Design and Construction
  • Open Access

Drawing From Six Sigma

Publication:
Six Sigma Forum Magazine
Date:
August 2011
Issue:
Volume 10 Issue 4
Pages:
pp. 18-28
Author(s):
Weeks, Bruce J.
Organization(s):
Quality Engineering Consultants LLC, Charlotte, MI

Abstract

Six Sigma’s define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) method played a crucial role in helping a small design and manufacturing firm improve its productivity by almost 50 percent. Two brainstorming sessions created an Ishikawa diagram of blocks to engineering design effectiveness in six areas: management, measurement, machine, man, method, and material and to develop potential solutions. The existing new product introduction process was mapped and data was collected on existing how much engineering time was being expended on each process step. Analysis found a significant amount of design multitasking and duplication of customers’ work. The design process was improved with the introduction of a new CAD system, the establishment of rules to reduce multitasking, and the movement of some activities from design engineering to manufacturing engineering. The improvements will be controlled by managers, who have a copy of the procedures developed by the process impro! vement team and engage in ongoing measurement.

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