Six Sigma project description and details are very brief for two
reasons. First confidentiality agreements with all of our clients and second these are
intended only for concept not all of the details of a six sigma project. All
six sigma projects were major strategic business issues for the organizations involved.
Using Six Sigma in Safety Metrics at Motorola.
Article by Patricia O'Rourke
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template from Patricia O'Rourke
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six sigma project rail car cycle
Define: Eliminate paying extra demurrage
charges on rail cars.
Measure: Paying over four days demurrage on some rail cars.
Any demurrage charge over allowed is a defect.
Analyze: Rail car traffic, switch engine schedule, rail
company operating rules, operating company procedures, spotting procedures.
Improve: Changed sequences of handling empty and full cars.
Modified loading times by less than 2 hrs. Result is essentially no demurrage, over the
allowed, for the entire site.
Control: Rail company changed procedures and operating
company changed scheduling practices.
six sigma project chemical plant bottleneck.
Define: Distillation tower has internal
damage limiting production rates. Next outage is scheduled in one year. If outage taken
now to repair damage we will still have to take outage in one year because of parts
delivery for other essential projects.
Measure: At anything over 85% of capacity the distillation
tower will not perform. With six months of effort, Operations Engineers and Process
Engineering could find no solution other than to take an early outage. Anything less than
100% capacity is considered a defect.
Analyze: Identified key operating variables, established
allowable ranges for each, and conducted a Designed Experiment.
Improve: A single set of conditions allowed operations at
102% of capacity without problems. At that level another part of the plant became the
bottleneck. Increased capacity until scheduled outage worth $6million.
Control: All shift operators were trained for new conditions
and the operations procedures were modified.
six sigma project retail display.
Define: Marketing has designed a
"fancy" display unit that they think will outperform the "standard"
display unit and they want to put one in every store. "Fancy" display is 10X
cost of a "standard" display and all stores already have "standard"
units. Should the new displays be purchased.
Measures: Have data for each store on sales of this product
for every day.
Analyze: The stores identified at least three other factors
besides display type that could impact sales. Range for each factor was identified. Design
of Experiments was conducted.
Improve: "Fancy" display had no significant impact
on sales. The "fancy" displays were not ordered for any more stores, with
considerable cost savings.
Control: Future changes will be tested and evaluated using
six sigma project water treating.
Define: Water treating unit in 15 years had
never been able to handle the nameplate capacity. Treatment chemical costs were higher
than other types of treatment units.
Measure: Confirmed flow rate through the system vs.
Analyze: Measure system evaluation and found many
measurements that were off by over 100%. Hourly operations identified key variables in the
operation of the unit and the acceptable range of each. Conducted three different Designed
Improve: Corrected the measurement problems. Found set of
operating variables that produced 107% of nameplate capacity at higher quality with lower
chemical use. Chemical use reduced by $180K per year.
Control: Hourly operations trained, procedures modified,
process to check measurement instituted. Model for changes in inlet water conditions.
six sigma project power distribution reliability.
Define: Large chemical site had significant
losses due to power outages.
Measure: Dollar value determined for each failure and the
total. Each failure was assigned to a major component.
Analyze: Mapped the entire system by major component and
identified failure rates for each major component. Found areas with projects scheduled
that were very unlikely to fail and would add nothing to overall reliability. Other
components were being ignored and had a highly likelihood of causing an outage.
Improve: Developed plan for each component depending upon
failure mode and frequency for that component. Made a 10X reduction in the dollar losses
due to power failures on site.
Control: Track each major component and modify action plan
based on failure mode if needed. System shared with other locations.
six sigma project redundant analysis.
Define: Analysis is being conducted at two
and three locations for the same product with different results from each location.
Capital requests from multiple area for the same analysis for the same material.
Measure: For each analysis collected the corresponding
results from each location. Totaled the capital request for analysis where they were
already being done or duplicate requests for the same analysis.
Analyze: In some cases the methods were the same and the
brand of instrument the same, some had the same type of instrument but different brand and
different procedures, in others different types of instruments were being used. Found over
calibration of most instruments. Sources of variation for each type of analysis were
investigated using nested Design of Experiments.
Improve: Real time telemetry of data eliminated some
redundancy. For other analysis correlation curves had to be developed to show the
equivalent values for different methods and agreement was reached to use one analysis and
share the results. Totally eliminated the significant capital request for analysis.
Control: Modified capital authorization request procedure.
Control charts for each analysis to determine when to calibrate.
six sigma project new capacity justified.
Define: Contract to deliver product at a
minimum rate on a daily basis. Severe penalties if rate missed by even a small amount.
Customer "good will" also an issue.
Measure: Capacity of units in the system more than the
minimum rates. Collected failure rate data for each unit and time to repair.
Analyze: Failure rate data combined with the time to repair
data indicated that there were significant periods of time when the minimum contract rates
could not be met and penalties would be paid.
Improve: Capital approved for an additional unit. Within the
first year the new unit was required at least four separate times for several weeks each
time to meet the contract minimums. Any one of the four times returned enough cash to pay
for all of the capital expended.
Control: System to tract and monitor failure data and repair
six sigma project people selection.
Define: Why is there such a difference is the
sales performance of people?
Measure: Top people have 10X volume of the bottom 25%.
Failure to meet sales quotas is a defect.
Analyze: Education, training, time in job, product line,
sales area, profiles.
Improve: Able to identify by profile 72% of the top sales
people. Use this tool to select new people into this function.
Control: Use profiles for new hires and continue to monitor
six sigma project parts failing after final machines.
Define: Inspection is rejecting a high number
of parts after final machines.
Measure: Product yield was determined and number of defects
in total to establish defect yield and sigma value.
Analyze: Machine operators, engineers and vendor identified
variables that could impact the production of defects. Range of acceptable levels
determined for each variable. Five different Designed Experiments were conducted.
Improve: Operating instructions changed to the conditions
with the lowest defect production consistent with capacity limits. Final product yield
Control: Control charts installed for each machine. Decision
tree corrective action plan provided for known defects and known corrective actions.
six sigma project out of spec product.
Define: Amount of product out of spec and
being automatically removed is high. No recycle or salvage value.
Measure: Quantified the amount of out of spec product for
each product grade.
Analyze: Operations and Engineers identified the variables
that impact the production of out of spec material. Several of these are preventive
actions performed by operations. Ranges for the levels and frequencies for the variables
were determined. Designed Experiments were run and acceptable levels and frequencies
Improve: Levels for the variables and frequencies for
operator preventive actions established. Out of spec material dropped by 50%.
Control: Operating procedures were modified, schedules for
operator corrective actions instituted, and control charts for the amount of out spec
material are being kept.
six sigma project engineering changes.
Define: Large number of changes from client
after approving engineering design. Schedule slipping.
Measure: Number of changes, time involved in changes,
compliance to critical path schedule.
Analyze: No clear authority on client team to establish
scope, any of client team could make changes, verbal communication of changes, conflicting
changes by client team members. Language issues between client and engineers.
Improve: Regular engineering/client meetings where topics
included: scope for each section and desired objective, known limitations defined, unclear
requirements were questioned and options discussed. Written plan signed by client
representative and engineering lead. Change requests in writing and signed by client
representative. Changes decrease by factor of 4.7 and schedule met.
Control: Change requests all in writing. Shared approach with
other disciplines on project.
six sigma project web design.
Define: Design a web site that ranks in the
top ten (10) on all major search engines and directories.
Measure: Enter "six sigma" and check ranking in
Analyze: URL name, title of pages, and other factors are
major ranking criteria. Reciprocal links and other routine activities aid in search engine
Improve: Purchase URL with six sigma included, optimize each
page, develop reciprocal links, and perform other regular activities required to maintain
traffic and ranking.
Control: Monitor ranking on search engines weekly. You
can check on the success of this project by entering "six sigma" in the search
field of your favorite search engine. Success is a link to http://www.adamssixsigma.com in the top ten
(10) listings. The titles and descriptions may vary , the URL link is the performance
Small Business Applications
Decorations and Gift Store
Six Sigma Deployment
by Adams, Gupta, Wilson.
other interesting pages
benefits of six sigma.
six sigma approach DMAIC.