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Six Sigma
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Welcome to Six Sigma

Six SigmaSix Sigma consists of a set of statistical methods for systemically analyzing processes to reduce process variation, which are sometimes used to support and guide organizational continual improvement activities. Six Sigma's toolbox of statistical process control and analytical techniques are being used by some companies to assess process quality and waste areas to which other lean methods can be applied as solutions. Six Sigma is also being used to further drive productivity and quality improvements in lean operations.

Six Sigma was developed by Motorola in the 1990s, drawing on well-established statistical quality control techniques and data analysis methods. The term sigma is a Greek alphabet letter (σ) used to describe variability. A sigma quality level serves as an indicator of how often defects are likely to occur in processes, parts, or products. A Six Sigma quality level equates to approximately 3.4 defects per million opportunities, representing high quality and minimal process variability.

It is important to note that not all companies using Six Sigma methods are implementing lean manufacturing systems or using other lean methods. Six Sigma has evolved among some companies to include methods for implementing and maintaining performance of process improvements. The statistical tools of Six Sigma system are designed to help an organization correctly diagnose the root causes of performance gaps and variability, and apply the most appropriate tools and solutions in addressing those gaps.

Method and Implementation Approach

A sequence of steps called the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) is typically used to guide implementation of Six Sigma statistical tools and to identify process wastes and weaknesses. Six Sigma DMAIC phases include:

  • Define. This phase focuses on defining the project improvement activity goals and identifying the issues that need to be addressed to achieve a higher sigma level.
  • Measure. In this phase, the aim is to gather information about the targeted process. Metrics are established and used to obtain baseline data on process performance and to help identify problem areas.
  • Analyze. This phase is concerned with identifying the root cause(s) of quality problems, and confirming those causes using appropriate statistical tools.
  • Improve. Here, implementation of creative solutions - ways to do things better, cheaper, and/or faster - that address the problems identified during the analysis phase takes place. Often, other lean methods such as cellular manufacturing, 5S, mistake-proofing, and total productive maintenance are identified as potential solutions. Statistical methods are again used to assess improvement.
  • Control. This phase involves institutionalization of the improved system by modifying policies, procedures, and other management systems. Process performance results are again periodically monitored to ensure productivity improvements are sustained.

Some organizations have opted to integrate their kaizen (or rapid continual improvement) processes with Six Sigma approaches. This typically results in the use of statistical tools to aid the identification and measurement of improvement opportunities during and following kaizen event implementation.

It should be noted that some lean experts believe that Six Sigma, as implemented in some organizations, can be contradictory to lean principles. In such cases, Six Sigma experts, often known as "black belts", lead improvement efforts without actively involving workers affected by the improvement effort. Lean experts typically contend that employee involvement and empowerment is critical to fostering the continual improvement, waste elimination culture that is a foundation of lean thinking.

It should be noted that Six Sigma techniques can be relatively sophisticated, and are most frequently utilized by larger organizations and organizations willing to devote resources and talent for developing Six Sigma statistical capabilities.

Several examples of Six Sigma statistical tools are described below.

  • Capability Analysis. This tool assists in the maintenance of suitable product specifications. Using this statistical model and analyzing a frequency histogram of an observed production data sample, the long run defects per million opportunities can be determined. Such analyses can consider both "short-term" variability that determines the absolute best a process can produce, and a "long-term" variability that assesses how well a process responds to customer needs.
  • Gauge Repeatability & Reproducibility Studies. These studies quantify measurement error by assessing whether measurement processes and equipment produced consistent and accurate measurement outcomes. Without such studies, satisfactory parts might be rejected and unsatisfactory parts accepted. Such errors can lead to lost sales and unnecessary waste.
  • Control Charts. Control charts are often used to ensure that essential product characteristics remain constant over time, and to help identify when problems exist. Periodic sample measurements are plotted against the mean and range to see if any noticeable process shifts or other unusual events had occurred. When characteristics cannot be measured, charts are based on the proportion of defective items in a lot. CuSum (Cumulative Sum of Measurements) Charts can also be used to monitor the cumulative sum of deviations against a target value.
  • Accelerated Life Tests. Statistical techniques such as a Weibull Distribution and Arrehnius Plot are used to estimate the failure time distribution of products, and to test products designed to last for long periods of time. Such tests are often essential when testing must be conducted under aggressive time constraints, and must engage "stress test environments" such as high temperature, thermal cycling, or high humidity, to evaluate product life.
  • Variance Components Analysis. Isolating product variability problems is particularly critical to quality assurance. With this technique, different sources of variability are isolated to help assess where variations in product quality are occurring. Such analyses also provide insight into the sources of variability for process improvement efforts.
  • Pareto Analysis. By weighting each type of defect according to severity, cost of repair, and other factors, Pareto charts are used to determine which types of defects occur most frequently. This information facilitates prioritization of response actions. Fundamental to the Pareto principle is the notion that most quality problems are created by a "vital few" processes, and that only a small portion of quality problems result from a "trivial many" processes.
 
Endorsed 6 Sigma Software:
ChartitNOW


SPC WorkBench v 4.0

SPC Work Bench is simple yet powerful software that enables you perform On-Line Statistical Process Control. The SPC Work Bench puts together Control Charts, Histograms and Capability Analysis, Pareto Diagrams, and all that is required to implement math-anxiety-free SPC. s

  • SPC for Variables using X-bar/R, X /MR and X-bar/s charts.
  • SPC for Attributes using p, Np, c and u charts.
  • Process Capability analysis over selected horizon.
  • Histogram, Normal Curve and Normal Probability plot display.
  • On-line computation of Cp, Cpk, Pp, Ppk parameters.
  • Estimation of PPM levels of the process over selected horizons.

Non-Normal Process Capability Evaluator

Analysis of Non-Normal Data was never easier!

Process capability evaluation done the traditional way, is based on an assumption that the data is Normally distributed. However, there are processes, which are inherently non-normal, and using assumptions of normality can lead to erroneous evaluation. This may lead to wrong decisions. In cases where the data is not normally distributed, the evaluation of Process Capability requires special techniques. Recognizing this, the recently updated SPC manual of AIAG (2nd Edition, July 2005) recommends the use of Non-normal process capability evaluation techniques to deal with such data.

The Non-Normal Process Capability Evaluator enables you evaluate non-normal process capability using one of the following methods:
  • Box-Cox power Transformation.
  • Johnson Transformation system.
  • Clements Method using Pearson Curves.

Quincunx SPC Simulator

Practitioners of Statistical Process Control (SPC) need to have a very clear understanding of what SPC is and how it works. For years a mechanical Quincunx model that drops balls over number of pins and simulates real-life processes has been used for this learning.

Here is the Quincunx SPC Simulator Software that has several additional features to the physical Quincunx.

The Quincunx SPC Simulator has been found very effective for Training in classroom environment as well as for self-learning. It is being successfully used by Quality Managers, Facilitators, Trainers, and Consultants.
  • in SPC awareness programs in organizations,
  • in Green Belt and Black Belt training, and also
  • in Universities.
Use this software to simulate and study:
  • Fundamentals of Normal Distribution
  • Control Charting and its physical significance
  • Detection of Out-Of-Control situations using Control Charts
  • Process Capability Vs Process Control
  • Process Capability Indices like Cp, Cpk
  • Process Variation and factors causing variation
  • Process Adjustment and Drift
  • Demonstration of the Central Limit Theorem
  • Effects of Subgroup Size on Control Chart Sensitivity

Six Sigma Tools

Six Sigma Templates is a method that provides organizations tools to improve the capability of their business processes by increasing performance and reducing process variation which leads to defect reduction and improvement in profits, employee morale and quality of products or services. ChartitNOW offers the following:
  • DMAIC Problem Solving Worksheet
  • Design For Six Sigma (DFSS)
  • 6 Sigma Cost Analysis

Measurement Systems Analysis V4

ProMSA is a Comprehensive Software for Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) compliant with AIAG MSA Manual - 4th Edition.

Find out how ProMSA greatly simplifies the tedious MSA activities in your organization, while delivering all the power of complex statistics needed to comply with the AIAG standards.

Variable Studies
  • Gage Repeatability & Reproducibility (GR&R) - Range & Average - Crossed ANOVA - Nested ANOVA for Destructive Tests
  • Bias Study
  • Linearity Study
  • Stability Study
Attribute Studies
  • Cross Tab Method
  • Signal Detection Method
  • Analytic Method with Gage Performance Curve

Failure Mode & Effects Analysis V4.0

FMEA Executive v 4.0 is a software solution that enables you perform Design and Process FMEA. FMEA Executive complies to the 3rd Edition of the AIAG FMEA manual. Explore the features of FMEA Executive that take your FMEA initiative beyond mere documentation towards one that delivers results.

Features:
  • FMEAs in an intuitive spreadsheet like format.
  • Examine the upstream linkages from PFMEA to Process Flow Charts, and downstream linkages from PFMEA to Control Plan.
  • All FMEA information is committed to a database. This accumulated knowledge base is available in form of popup libraries for subsequent FMEA creation.
  • Customizable Popup guidelines for Severity, Occurrence and Detection. Ensure uniform evaluation and assignment of Risk priority.
  • Specially designed statistical test to evaluate the coefficient of agreement on severity, occurrence and detection across all the cross-functional team members. Identify training needs for FMEA ratings understanding.
  • Attach files (document, pictures, spreadsheets...) to each row of FMEA to check in all relevant data with the FMEA row.
  • Relational Block Diagrams for relating Systems with Sub-systems and Components.
  • Soft attaching (Referencing) of rows from related FMEAs to maintain global update integrity among related component FMEAs.
  • Store Snapshots of FMEAs at important stages in their progress. Track improvements in each row across snapshots.
  • Reports on exceptions on outstanding actions and RPN priority.
  • Read in existing FMEAs from MS Excel format.
  • All reports exported to friendly MS Excel format for easy storage, printing and emailing.
  • User Management with privileges to each user. Restrict updating of FMEAs to authorized core team members only.
  • Network implementation. Common FMEA database across the organization for convenient sharing of accumulated knowledge.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing V3.0.

GD&T Wiz is a Computer-Based learning system for Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing from Symphony Technologies. GD&T Wiz is based on ASME Y14.5M - 1994. Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing is a standard for Engineering Drawing and related Documentation Practices. GD&T ensures that the intent of the designer is communicated across the board without ambiguity.

Features:
  • This learning system provides visually powerful, interactive and animated explanations that enable you to learn complex GD&T concepts with ease. Work through GD&T Wiz at a pace you find comfortable for learning.
  • GD&T Wiz will benefit people in Manufacturing, Design, Materials and Quality to clearly understand the concepts and to have a uniform interpretation of every aspect of GD&T.
  • Trainers can use GD&T Wiz as a powerful aid to explain complex concepts.

Six Sigma PowerPoint Training Presentation
This professionally-developed presentation is designed as a 40-60 minute overview of the topic. Many customers use the presentation as part of a group learning event, individual training at a computer, or as foundation slides for a more detailed or customized training presentation.

The presentation is delivered in native Microsoft PowerPoint format for easy customization. All slides may be changed to accommodate your desired use. The only restriction is that the presentation cannot be resold without permission of Superfactory.
  • Number of slides: 92
Table of Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Phases of Six Sigma
  • Define
  • Measure
  • Evaluate / Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control
  • Design for Six Sigma
  • Green Belts & Black Belts

Six Sigma Start-Up (Six Sigma Overview) Course Outline

Section 1 - Six Sigma Environment Philosophy · Improve Profitability · Be Customer Focused · Measure Outcomes · Focus on Prevention · Reduce Variation Key Concepts · Use Data · Track DPMOs · Understand COQ · Focus on CTQ Elements · Use Facilitation as Applied Training · Assure an Acceptable ROI is Achieved · Link Performance & Rewards

Section 2 - Six Sigma Tools Statistical Tools · SPC · Process Capability · Measurement System Analysis · Statistical Analysis · Design of Experiments Process Mapping Tools · Flowcharts · Workflow Diagrams · Brown Paper Flows Data Display Tools · Pie Chart · Bar Graph · Histogram · Pareto Analysis · Scatter Diagram · Trend Chart · Concentration Diagram Problem-Solving Tools · Team Problem-Solving Process · Cause & Effect Diagram · Brainstorming · PERT Chart · Gantt Chart Root Cause Analysis Tools · 5-Whys · What Is-What Isn't Analysis · Timeline Analysis · Fault Tree Analysis Process Improvement Tools · Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) · Mistake-Proofing (Poka Yoke Techniques) · 5Ss: Workplace Organization · Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) · Set-up Reduction (SMED) Product-Process Interaction Tools · Quality Function Deployment QFD) · DFX (Design for Assembly/Manufacturability/Environment) · Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA) · Design of Experiments (DOE) Decision-Making Aides · Test of Significance · Musts & Wants · Nominal Group Technique and Voting & Ranking Lean Thinking Tools · Workflow Analysis · One-Piece Flow · Kanbans · TAKT Time · Set-up Reduction

Section 3 - Six Sigma Infrastructure Organization · Leadership Team · Mentors & Coaches · Black Belts · Teams & Projects · DMAIC vs. DMADV Models · Roll-Out Support System · Boundaries of Freedom · Best Practices Forum · Teamwork & Conflict Resolution · Visual Factory · Recognition Managing Projects · Sources of Project Identification · Project Selection · Project Reviews · Project Solutions Training Model · Basic, Intermediate, & Advanced Tools · Training Methods · Training Plan · Facilitation · Resources Metrics · DPMOs · Baseline & Trends · Balanced Scorecard · Benchmarks Performance and Rewards · Recognition vs. Rewards · Compensation & Performance Challenge – An assessment of the learner's progress

Six Sigma Start-Up (Six Sigma Overview) Course Outline -- 3 Units

Section 1 - Six Sigma Environment Philosophy · Improve Profitability · Be Customer Focused · Measure Outcomes · Focus on Prevention · Reduce Variation Key Concepts · Use Data · Track DPMOs · Understand COQ · Focus on CTQ Elements · Use Facilitation as Applied Training · Assure an Acceptable ROI is Achieved · Link Performance & Rewards

Section 2 - Six Sigma Tools Statistical Tools · SPC · Process Capability · Measurement System Analysis · Statistical Analysis · Design of Experiments Process Mapping Tools · Flowcharts · Workflow Diagrams · Brown Paper Flows Data Display Tools · Pie Chart · Bar Graph · Histogram · Pareto Analysis · Scatter Diagram · Trend Chart · Concentration Diagram Problem-Solving Tools · Team Problem-Solving Process · Cause & Effect Diagram · Brainstorming · PERT Chart · Gantt Chart Root Cause Analysis Tools · 5-Whys · What Is-What Isn't Analysis · Timeline Analysis · Fault Tree Analysis Process Improvement Tools · Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) · Mistake-Proofing (Poka Yoke Techniques) · 5Ss: Workplace Organization · Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) · Set-up Reduction (SMED) Product-Process Interaction Tools · Quality Function Deployment QFD) · DFX (Design for Assembly/Manufacturability/Environment) · Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA) · Design of Experiments (DOE) Decision-Making Aides · Test of Significance · Musts & Wants · Nominal Group Technique and Voting & Ranking Lean Thinking Tools · Workflow Analysis · One-Piece Flow · Kanbans · TAKT Time · Set-up Reduction

Section 3 - Six Sigma Infrastructure Organization · Leadership Team · Mentors & Coaches · Black Belts · Teams & Projects · DMAIC vs. DMADV Models · Roll-Out Support System · Boundaries of Freedom · Best Practices Forum · Teamwork & Conflict Resolution · Visual Factory · Recognition Managing Projects · Sources of Project Identification · Project Selection · Project Reviews · Project Solutions Training Model · Basic, Intermediate, & Advanced Tools · Training Methods · Training Plan · Facilitation · Resources Metrics · DPMOs · Baseline & Trends · Balanced Scorecard · Benchmarks Performance and Rewards · Recognition vs. Rewards · Compensation & Performance Challenge – An assessment of the learner's progress


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