Lean Six Sigma

March 30, 2012

I was told I was directed to a Lean Six Sigma posting……

Yes, and you were told correctly. We will begin the discussion of what Lean Six Sigma is after we discuss the history and facts of where Lean Six Sigma came from as a methodology. We will find out a little more about Six Sigma, as well as Lean.

What Is Six Sigma?

The objective of Six Sigma Quality is to reduce process output variation so that on a long-term basis, which is the customer’s aggregate experience with our process over time, this will result in no more than 3.4 defect Parts per Million (PPM) opportunities (or 3.4 defects per million opportunities – DPMO). For a process with only one specification limit (upper or lower), this results in six process standard deviations between the mean of the process and the customer’s specification limit (3).

Six Sigma focuses on continuous process improvement to reduce variation in existing processes. Engineers within a company have standards to follow when analyzing current process improvements. As standard, Six Sigma breaks down into five measurements which helps identify questions that need to be answered in order to improve overall production.

1. Define opportunity

2. Measure performance

3. Analyze opportunity

4. Improve performance

5. Control performance

History of Six Sigma, please………

The history of the term Six Sigma was phrased by an engineer named Bill Smith at Motorola. Motorola has a federally registered trademark for the term Six Sigma. However, a German mathematician and scientist named Carl Frederick Gauss started Six Sigma’s routes. Carl Frederick Gauss discovered a complicated equation that reveals eight degrees of separate from the Earth to planet Ceres. Gauss’s method involved determining a conic section in space, given one focus (the sun); the conic’s intersection with three given lines, and given the time it takes the planet to traverse the arcs determined by these lines. This problem leads to an equation of the eighth degree, of which one solution, the Earth’s orbit, is known. The solution sought is then separated from the remaining physical conditions (1). Even though Carl Frederick Gauss created the equation of separated degrees, he did not have mathematical formula to create a method of measuring those degrees in a user-friendly form.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, "value" is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for (4).

Essentially, Lean is centered on preserving value through less work. Lean manufacturing is a management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota, a well-known auto manufacturer (4). Toyota developed Lean by cutting seven different wastes from its overall production, which improved overall satisfaction to customers. The seven waste cut were:

1. Transportation

2. Inventory

3. Motion

4. Waiting

5. Over-processing

6. Over-production

7. Defects

Similar to Six Sigma, Lean focuses on continuous process improvement by eliminating waste in an existing process. As standard, Lean breaks down into five measurements which helps identify questions that need to be answered in order to improve overall production. Those measurements are:

1. Analyze opportunity

2. Plan improvement

3. Focus improvement

4. Deliver performance

5. Improve performance

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a synergized managerial concept of Lean and Six Sigma that results in the elimination of the seven kinds of wastes (classified as Defects, Overproduction, Transportation, Waiting, Inventory, Motion, and over Processing) and provision of goods and service at a rate of 3.4 defects per million opportunities (2).

With the combination of both Lean and Six Sigma, an overall concept is established to delete waste and defects. By combining Lean and Six Sigma, production engineers are able to take the positive aspects from each, and implement a faster more efficient solution. In sum, Lean Six Sigma does not only cut cost but it improves effectiveness to each process developed for an overall product or service. Lean Six Sigma

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss



4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing

Chase Wright


One Response to “Lean Six Sigma”

  1. Sean Maher said

    Chase, I really like the principle of this topic. If it’s repetitive, script it. If it’s not very valuable, change it. I really believe in what some call the economy of energy or value-driven.

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