Six Sigma and LEAN manufacturing principals are used to improve processes and create efficiencies in the overall manufacturing industry. Although the two methodologies gear toward similar outcomes, they both possess contrasting qualities.
Six Sigma is a process dedicated to the focus on quality output of a finished product through a data given approach. While cost efficiencies are considerable factors in the Six Sigma process, the backbone factor includes consistency. To yield an improved level of standard deviation, identifying and reducing variation in the production process by strictly isolating a segment of the manufacturing process is heavily requisite.
With this knowledge in place, a company can set minimum performance standards using mean production values as a method of quality control–ultimately creating consistent definitions for the company’s overall success.
LEAN manufacturing is a systematic technique which focuses on the needs of the customer by preventing waste buildup in the system while maximizing output and profitability. Waste consists of non-value operations including unnecessary transportation, stagnant inventory, people movement, operation downtime, overproduction and product defects.
While LEAN manufacturing is not a suitable method for every business, it has been proven effective for large scale manufacturing-based companies. To successfully implement LEAN and reduce waste as a result, companies need to seamlessly integrate collaboration between daily operations.
As a company strives to reduce operation wastes through a strict value specification approach, benefits will follow. In addition to waste reduction, other benefits include improved customer service, organized workflow management and overall financial savings.
Using intensive statistical analysis, a company is capable of choosing the most effective approach toward their industry operations. While Six Sigma and LEAN could either be combined or used apart, implementing a custom manufacturing evaluation model and designing unique processes for feedback and improvement are essential in large industry practices.
As processes are established, intensive long-term analysis can then be executed for company success.