A Six Sigma Engineer develops efficient and cost effective processes to improve the quality and reduce the number of defects per million parts in a Manufacturing/Production environment.
Six Sigma Engineers determine and fine tune manufacturing process. Once a process is improved, they go back and re-tune the process and reduce the defects. This cycle is continued till they reach 3.4 or less defects per million parts.
Six Sigma is all about knowledge sharing. If a company has more than one manufacturing unit/plant, its more than likely that one of the plants produces better quality than others. The Six Sigma team should visit this higher quality plant and learn why its performing better than others and implement the techniques learned across all other units.
Research/Design department within a company can use the above techniques to learn from another R&D departments in the same company or affiliate companies and implement those techniques.
Motorola developed a five phase approach to the Six Sigma process called DMAIC.
Six Sigma Statistics
Six Sigma uses a variety of statistics to determine the best practices for any given process.
Statisticians and Six Sigma consultants study the existing processes and determine the methods that produce the best overall results.
Combinations of these methods will be tested and upon determining that a given combination can improve the process, it will be implemented.
Six Sigma stands for “Six Standard deviations from the arithmetic mean”.
Six Sigma statistically ensures that 99.9997% of all products produced in a process are of acceptable quality.
Six Sigma allows only 3.4 defects per million opportunities.
If a given process fails to meet this criteria, it is re-analyzed, altered and tested to find out if there are any improvements.
If no improvement is found, the process is re-analyzed, altered and tested again.
This cycle is repeated until you see an improvement.
Once an improvement is found, its documented and the knowledge is spread across other units in the company so they can implement this new process and reduce their defects per million opportunities.
Advantages of Six Sigma
Save millions without capital investment (making what you have already work better for you)
Can be applied to almost business function (administration to production)
Leads to trust and higher employee morale within the corporation
Ensures customer the same results no matter the division of a large corporation
Makes company practices more standard.
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