six sigma project examples.
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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.
six sigma project
Using Six Sigma in Safety Metrics at
Article by Patricia
six sigma project rail car cycle time.
Define: Eliminate paying extra
demurrage charges on rail cars.
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
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
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.
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.
All shift operators were trained for new conditions and the operations
procedures were modified.
six sigma project retail
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.
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.
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 statistical techniques.
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.
Hourly operations trained, procedures modified, process to check
measurement instituted. Model for changes in inlet water conditions.
six sigma project power distribution
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
six sigma project redundant
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.
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.
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
Control: Modified capital
authorization request procedure. Control charts for each analysis to
determine when to calibrate.
six sigma project new capacity
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
Measure: Capacity of units in the
system more than the minimum rates. Collected failure rate data for each
unit and time to repair.
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.
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 time data.
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.
profiles for new hires and continue to monitor performance levels.
six sigma project parts failing after final
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.
Operating instructions changed to the conditions with the lowest defect
production consistent with capacity limits. Final product yield increased
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
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%.
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
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
Measure: Enter "six sigma" and
check ranking in search engines.
Analyze: URL name, title of pages, and other
factors are major ranking criteria. Reciprocal links and other routine
activities aid in search engine ranking.
Purchase URL with six sigma included, optimize each page, develop
reciprocal links, and perform other regular activities required to
maintain traffic and ranking.
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
in the top ten (10) listings. The titles and descriptions may vary , the
URL link is the performance measure.