Six Sigma & Design For Six Sigma
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies:
Six Sigma (DMAIC)
(Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control)
The Six Sigma DMAIC process is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement.
- Define: Define is the first step in the process. In this step, it is important to define specific goals in achieving outcomes that are consistent with both your customer’s demands and your own business’s strategy. In essence, you are laying down a road map for accomplishment.
- Measure: In order to determine whether or not defects have been reduced, you need a base measurement. In this step, accurate measurements must be made and relevant data must be collected so that future comparisons can be measured to determine whether or not defects have been reduced.
- Analyze: Analysis is extremely important to determine relationships and the factors of causality. If you are trying to understand how to fix a problem, cause and effect is extremely necessary and must be considered.
- Improve: Making improvements or optimizing your processes based on measurements and analysis can ensure that defects are lowered and processes are streamlined.
- Control: This is the last step in the DMAIC methodology. Control ensures that any variances stand out and are corrected before they can influence a process negatively causing defects. Controls can be in the form of pilot runs to determine if the processes are capable and then once data is collected, a process can transition into standard production. However, continued measurement and analysis must ensue to keep processes on track and free of defects below the Six Sigma limit.
Design For Six Sigma (DMADV)
(Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify)
The Design For Six Sigma DMADV process is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
- Define: In the first step, you must define the design goals that are both consistent with your customer’s demands and your own company’s goals.
- Measure: In this step, four things should be measured. They include, CTQs which stand for critical to qualities, production process capability, risk assessments and product capabilities.
- Analyze: It is important to use the process of analysis to develop and design better alternatives that can reduce defects. These designs must be evaluated for their inherent capabilities to determine whether the design is the best available or if an alternative can be created which may be better.
- Design: In this step a design must be optimized to function at its peak. In addition, in order to optimize a design, a design must usually be verified. While verification is the last process, during the design details step, a design plan should be readied for the next step.
- Verify: Once a design has been analyzed and tested, it should be verified. Verification usually occurs through pilot runs. As a design is verified through the pilot run, it can be readied for full production.
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