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Drawing From Six Sigma

Summary: 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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  • Topics: Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints
  • Keywords: Case study, Computer-aided design (CAD), Design, Define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC), Fishbone diagram (Ishikawa diagram), Manufacturing, Process improvement, Six Sigma, Small business
  • Author: Weeks, Bruce J.
  • Journal: Six Sigma Forum Magazine