The House of High Quality Articles for Everyone in the World

Nov 25, 2010

Important of Six Sigma and CAPA

Productivity is everything in a business or organization, . The more productive you are in all areas of your company the more successful you'll be in the future. Fortunately, Six Sigma methods and CAPA - Corrective and Preventative Action - can help!

Using CAPA the right way requires correct methods and measurements that are clear and concise. While this process can sound simple, successfully implementing it can prove to be quite a challenge. Putting such a program in place requires you to adhere to some very basic principles. If you are using Six Sigma, you will need to gain a good understanding of the methods you will use.

A CAPA program should make sense. It should be easy to implement and manage. Many CAPA programs that have been put into place occur after problems have already occurred. In these cases, the issues were addressed and documented on a CAPA action form. A successful CAPA program, however, will go far beyond this and will be proactive so that problems may be corrected at all organizational levels before they occur. It should be easy to use so that progress may be tracked. The results should be clear and concise.

Six Sigma enables you to put together a CAPA program that is both systematic and measurable. You want predictability when you are talking about making significant organizational changes that will influence the future of your company and increase levels of productivity. You also need to be able to measure your progress in a way that will show you where changes need to be made and what those changes will entail.

When implementing any CAPA program, it should account for more than the reaction to problems that either do or could occur. It should have the potential to improve overall business efficiency so that productivity can be increased. This increase will need to continue over time so this will need to be factored into the mix when ever Six Sigma and CAPA methods are applied. If you can detect problems before they arise, you will be able to secure the future of your organization.

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Nov 11, 2010

An Outline on Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is an integrated and inclusive set of guidelines and procedures for improving and optimizing production processes. In simple terms it can be defined as a systematic approach to identify and eliminate waste in any operations that can further help in improving the basic operation more effectively. Derived in Japan, particularly from the War Manpower Commission which resulted in Toyota Production System, This term "Lean Manufacturing" also represents human effort in the firm and hours spend in creating any new product in less time.

It is important to note that the aim of this concept is successfully attained through human resources and by using the various machines as tools to meet the goal. Though it requires some extra effort on every person participating on the process, one major advantage for workers is that provides them the opportunity to play a major role in the company's decision making process. In order to perform better operations and avoid waste, employees or workers are dynamically involved in offering suggestions and taking action, and this degree of employee involvement further helps in improving employee performance.

At present most of the world's leading manufacturing companies are taking interest to turn their conventional manufacturing systems into lean manufacturing as many of them are stunned by the simplicity and the effectiveness of the lean techniques. It is totally opposite to traditional manufacturing approaches that are mostly characterized by excessive use of economic order quantities and high inventory. It imparts a better and effective control over everyday activities and also reduces the cycle time. Apart from this it also help in synergizing various departments. Rather than considering each subdivision as an individual firm, this technique is more likely to bind all the concerned subdivision in one binding unit thereby working positively on the overall organization's performance. No doubt, today "Lean", is the latest buzzing word in manufacturing world, and every big or small firm from varied segments of the industry are implementing lean manufacturing systems and installing lean manufacturing software that can further facilitate the process in an effective manner.

Now as lean manufacturing system aids you in achieving maximum return on investments within the minimum frame of time, it is important to understand that to attain total success one has to be very careful regarding different range of factors related to lean manufacturing software. This is where lean manufacturing consultants play a vital role and can help you in executing this new system in an effective manner. An effective consultancy from a lean manufacturing consultant can restructure your business by assisting you in minimizing the wastes at different stages of the manufacturing process. Moreover, a valuable lean manufacturing consultancy can transform the mode you do the manufacturing business. Here are some of the other advantages of availing the services of lean manufacturing consultants:

o Professional assistance on best practice for your specific business need.

o Training material for your employees.

o Professional assistance on the proper and effective usage of lean manufacturing software that can better suit to your business needs.

o Information on latest happenings and updates required to be done in the field.

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach and if it is executed appropriately, it will provide a new aspect to competing, like developing high quality products and delivering them with unmatched lead times. For the enterprise dedicated to maintain effectiveness in all business, lean manufacturing can prove to be a good management practice. A lean manufacturing is a new technique that can provide companies with the tools to survive in the market and meet the global demand for higher quality products with quicker production time at minimum cost.

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Nov 7, 2010

Quality Management Systems Evaluation

Any successful companies have quality management systems (QMS) in place. It seems these have become very popular components of organizations. They are however, definitely more than just fads that come and go. Modern businesses seriously interested in overcoming competition need these.

There are great benefits that business owners can get from a QMS. At the most basic level this is what a company needs to make sure that processes are performed efficiently and with less waste. At a deeper level, it is because of this primary advantage that customer satisfaction and retention are ultimately achieved. With solid standards, you will attract more customers and interested parties. In a sense, although a quality management system is not mainly about making money, it does affect the bottom line.

Companies can base their processes on successful counterparts. For the most part though, companies are individually responsible for establishing QMS. The real question here is how an organization can make sure that what they've set up works. Knowing that it does is crucial; otherwise the entire exercise will be a great waste of time and will not help you achieve anything.

One way to make sure that everything is properly set up is to conduct an internal audit. The term itself is a giveaway to its definition. Internal auditors are employees of a company seeking to put up a total quality management system. An internal check makes sense considering that the people working inside a structure know it best. The real challenge here is to remain unbiased and to make sure that the focus remains on improvement and not finding fault.

Aside from its own people, a business can also ask its customers to perform an audit of its QMS. This is another sensible step because the purpose of any entrepreneurial venture is to provide people what they want. Hence, clients and customers know best what should be part of a process. Moreover, showcasing an already established procedure can make clients confident in a company's capacity.

Another good way to check that quality management systems do what they should is to ask a consultant to have a look. You may want to get expert help if you are attempting to implement change for the first time. Most reputable consulting firms operate under international standards so you can be certain that whatever inputs they share with you will help put you in the same level as internationally recognized competitors.

A final way to evaluate a QMS is to apply for ISO certification. A business will only be able to obtain this if its system passes international standards. Certification is not mandatory but getting it is like getting a trophy of achievement that you can display in front of customers and clients to get their attention. Of course, obtaining this is the ultimate proof of having good systems. It would be a good idea though to first set up internal and external audits as well as consultation sessions to ensure success at getting certified.

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Nov 4, 2010

What is Triz ?

TRIZ is a Russian technology for innovation and developing creative ideas for problem solving. This theory was introduced by Genrich S. Altshuller, who born in the former USSR in 1926. It is also recognized as theory of innovative problem solving. TRIZ methodology is first to formulate the problem, then analyzing the system, next is to carry out failure analysis and ultimately goes for solution. So, advantage of applying TRIZ is that it provides a systematic way of solution finding, instead of hit & trial method. So, ultimately it takes less time to solve the problems and results are in the form of more innovative product.

TRIZ methodology is to solve those problems, which have no solution. Commonly brainstorming technique and hit and trial methods are considered suitable for such kind of problems. But nobody knows that how many efforts will be needed to solve such problems. Sometimes, a number of trials are carried out and no solution is obtained, so people have to look for other alternatives. So, no need to concentrate on psychological thinking but need arises to focus on technology based decision making.

TRIZ invention was basically to focus on manufacturing related problems, but different experts are using it in formulating service related problems, production problems, to carry out failure analysis and for finding optimal results.

So, to solve problem using TRIZ methodology, a number of steps are needed. In first step, calculate and identify the problem in true sense. For example, if the cover of any bottle is too tight, then what is the actual problem? To formulate it according to TRIZ, the problem is that it should open on some specific applied force.

In second step, is to see, whether the primary problem is solved, will it not create another problem. If the problem of the bottle’s cap opening is solved, will it not affect the leakage of liquid or make cap too loose? So, target must be to solve the problem without any secondary effects.

Next step is to search for the already solved problems of the same nature. These can be obtained from trade journals, research papers and list of patents.

And the final step is to adopt Altshuller’s 40 inventive principles. Some of the titles of different principles are as follows:

1.Universality of functions
2.Segmentation of product pieces
3.Conversion of harm into benefits
4.Replacement as inexpensive product instead of use of expensive
5.Replacement of mechanical component and systems
TRIZ is very useful tool for use of innovative tools and techniques in problem solving. Different experts have made necessary amendments and improved it according to their needs. Its implementation is simple and also difficult, depending upon the situation and problem, and it also depends upon the competency level of TRIZ expert. This tool is not much difficult to learn; everybody can learn and use it accordingly. But most important thing is that every person should be committed to solve the problems, using this technique. This tool can provide organizations, more innovative and user friendly equipments to the organization, for which they were working from long time.

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Nov 3, 2010

8 Lean tools

The lean enterprise is a concept of organizations that consider any activities other than those that create value to the end customer as wasteful and superfluous. Typically the lean organization will focus on the seven wastes as defined within the Toyota manufacturing system and attempt to reduce or eliminate these through the use of standard tools and techniques.

There are a variety of tools and techniques associated with lean production / lean manufacturing however the following 8 are perhaps the most commonly used and easy to implement.

1/ Pull Systems

Pull systems create an environment where material or work enters a process at the same rate that it exits – A typical pull systems used in lean manufacturing is Kanban.

2/ Continuous flow manufacturing

Continuous flow manufacturing involves movement of material during the manufacturing process moving from value add process to value add process without leadtime / transport time or storage in buffer.

3/ Setup reduction

Manufacturing processes typically includes some time for the setup of machines or tools it’s typically measures by the total time taken from the completion of the last good part to the first good part from the new setup. Reducing setup time increases capital availability and capacity and reduces lead-time and labor required.

4/ Error Proofing
Error proofing is an approach for identifying and rectifying errors before they reach the next stage in the process or the customer.

5/ Total Productive Maintenance

Maximizing operational effectiveness of manufacturing equipment can enhance capacity and ensure that parts are made to the correct quality at the rate required. This might typically include maintenance prevention programs i.e. designing or operating tools and equipment to reduce maintenance but increase performance/life.

6/ Standarized Processes

Generic standard processes across a manufacturing site ensure that a process is optimized with material, operators etc and is completed the same way each time – minimizing failures and the requirements for rework.

7/ Value stream mapping

The mapping for information and material flows within a manufacturing process – a tool for understanding bottlenecks and constraints.

8/ 5s

A process for cleaning and standardizing the workspace ensuring only what’s required is placed on the workspace and that tools equipment have a standard place and can be found when required.

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Nov 1, 2010

Six Sigma Green Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge

Education is a key component of your Six Sigma initiative. Below is a recommendation of what should be included in your training, whether conducted in-house or by a third-party consultant. If you feel that some relevant topic is missing from the curriculum or body of knowledge of any of the areas listed below, please send an email to iSixSigma. We appreciate your input.

Six Sigma Green Belt Curriculum and Body of Knowledge
•Overview of Six Sigma
•DMAIC Methodology Overview
•Financial Benefits of Six Sigma
•The Impact of Six Sigma to The Organization
•The Six Sigma Language

•Project Definition
•Project Charter
•Developing a Business Case
•Chartering a Team
•Defining Roles and Responsibilities
•Gathering Voice of the Customer, Support for Project
•Translating Customer Needs into Specific Requirements (CTQs)
•SIPOC Diagram
•Define Phase Review

•Process Mapping (As-Is Process)
•Data Attributes (Continuous Versus Discrete)
•Measurement System Analysis
•Data Collection Techniques
•Data Collection Plan
•Understanding Variation
•Measuring Process Capability
•Calculating Process Sigma Level
•Visually Displaying Baseline Performance
•Measurement Phase Review

•Visually Displaying Data (Histogram, Run Chart, Pareto Chart, Scatter Diagram)
•Detailed (Lower Level) Process Mapping of Critical Areas
•Value-Added Analysis
•Cause and Effect Analysis (a.k.a. Fishbone, Ishikawa)
•Affinity Diagram
•Data Segmentation and Stratification
•Verification of Root Causes
•Determining Opportunity (Defects and Financial) for Improvement
•Analyze Phase Review

•Quality Function Deployment (House of Quality)
•Selecting a Solution
•Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
•Poka Yoke (Mistake Proofing Your New Process)
•Piloting Your Solution
•Implementation Planning
•Improve Phase Review

•Assessing The Results of Process Improvement
•Statistical Process Control (SPC) Overview
•Developing a Process Control Plan
•Documenting the Process
•Control Phase Review

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