Application of the Concept of Six Sigma in the Manufacturing Department
To obtain Six Sigma, a process should not produce more than 3. 4 defects per million opportunities. The defects encountered in Six Sigma are elements that exist outside the customers’ specifications. Further, Albliwi et al. (2015) opine that the use of Six Sigma in manufacturing is vital because it results to improvements of the output of processes. In addition to this, it is held that attaining sustained quality improvement approaches needs the commitment from the whole firm, especially within the manufacturing department and the superior management (Cherrafi et al. The Six Sigma in manufacturing is distinguished from other quality improvement programs. This is because the Six Sigma embraces a precise focus on attaining measurable as well as quantifiable financial outcomes. It also offers a strong emphasis on passionate and efficient managerial support and leadership.
The Six Sigma is also distinct because it has a specific commitment to make decisions based on statistical and verifiable information, rather than mere guesswork, estimations, and inaccurate assumptions. The DMAIC methodology is applied in projects which aim at enhancing an existing business process. The DMAIC methodology is used by firms which focus on improving existing aspects of the manufacturing process. As explained by Kornegay (2015), the first phase in DMAIC is defining the system. This step voices the customers’ concerns and presents their requirements. The measuring phase measures the primary components of the current process and collects appropriate information. ” This involves designing objectives which show consistency with the clients’ demands and the organization’s overall strategic goal. The second step is to measure.
It measures the product capabilities and potential risks that might be encountered in the manufacturing process. The third step is “analyze. ” The analysis is undertaken to enhance development and designing of alternatives (Pyzdek & Keller, 2014). The channel for involving Six Sigma is described as the business process management. The initial phase of forming a business process management system is by clarifying and communicating the strategic business goals of a firm. According to Anbari (2018), when the goals have been specified, the management is required to identify the core processes of the frim about effectiveness and efficiency. This ensures that the highest returns from the manufacturing department are obtained with the least efforts and costs. The rationale for developing the Six Sigma is that is assists in focusing measures on the paying customers of a manufacturing firm.
It is during this phase where the teams in manufacturing formulate the project charter, process flowcharts, and stakeholder analysis documents. Narula and Grover (2015) postulate that as part of the Six Sigma, the DMAIC approach is relevant because it recognizes the aspect of measuring. It is relevant because without understanding the outcomes of the processes in the manufacturing department, it would be challenging to identify how the improvement is achieved. Hence, in the measuring phase, the current process is adequately documented. It also facilitates validation of current forms and obtaining baseline performance values. Application of Six Sigma to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality at Ford The use of DMAIC methodology by Ford has been effective in lowering costs and improving quality of its manufactured products.
In 2009, as proposed by Kumar and Sharma (2017), Ford realized that the consumption of basecoat for its two models in Germany was 3. 74 kilograms per unit in 2007. The current consumption was greater at 4. 18 kilograms per unit (Kumar & Sharma, 2017). The define phase in the case of Ford was also effective in that it resulted in improvement in client satisfaction. Besides, it was effective in reducing adverse environmental impacts in terms of reduction of volatile organic compounds used in Ford’s manufacturing department. As written by Zhou et al. (2016), the Six Sigma played a crucial role in Ford’s “measure” phase. This step measured the organization’s current processes which are associated with its inefficiencies and problems. This is because it implied that paint used in production that should have been used was leaking into the inappropriate recovery structure.
As illustrated in the case of Ford, appropriate structuring of the “improve” phase triggers efficiency in the DMAIC methodology. The stage aims at finding solutions for improving activities to eradicate the causes identified in the prior step (Yadav & Sukhwani, 2016). The manufacturing department team at Ford identified that they could replace the automated phase of painting the lift gates with manual applications to eradicate the problem of consumption. Yadav and Sukhwani (2016) illustrate that the team also found other potential resolutions which addressed their objectives. A. , Antony, J. , & Lim, S. A. H. , Mokhlis, A. , & Benhida, K. The integration of lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and sustainability: A literature review and future research directions for developing a specific model. Journal of Cleaner Production, 139, 828-846. Dale, B.
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