People who manage manufacturing projects can confirm that they come with unique challenges. But all of them revolve around the same steps; planning, implementation, and control. However, there is a need to take the process a notch higher, especially when producing high volumes of the same product. One of the best methods used by manufacturing planners is the Six Sigma model.
What is Six Sigma?
Six Sigma is a group of highly efficient manufacturing processes that were developed by Motorola and General Electric. It is used in standardizing production to facilitate mass production. The focus is on ensuring that your manufacturing factors some deviations for mass production.
One of the primary advantages of Six Sigma is that you can intensify production and cut pre-production related costs. Besides, it also helps to enhance the quality of your products. Six Sigma can be achieved in a series of steps that are abbreviated as DMAIC (shortening for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control).
Step One: Define
All the steps used in Six Sigma rely on hard numerical analysis as opposed to simple observation. At this stage, planners define the problem, scope and success to look forward to. Therefore, whether you are in the manufacturing niche as demonstrated here, or other niches, the starting point should be a clear goal.
Step Two: Measure
At this step, you need to narrow down to specific measurements of your product and the system operations. You commence with output and then extend to the measurements that define how the output will be achieved.
Step Three: Analyze
The analysis step of Six Sigma is about creating a clear plan of moving the measured state into the targeted state. The step mainly involves root cause analysis to identify issues that might arise during production.
Step Four: Improvement Step
In this stage, the focus is on developing action plans for addressing the problems identified in the previous step. In the Analysis step, planners gain insight into the problems. In the improvement step, strategies for addressing them in the standardized production process are developed.
Step Five: Control
The primary goal of this step is making the process repeatable. Note that this stage is not a one-time fix. Rather, it involves policies evaluation and altering processes for consistent production of better products.
If you have a manufacturing line, every effort should be geared towards ensuring your system is operating optimally. Do not just get content with average production; go for high output with Six Sigma for better returns.