Lean Six Sigma

Don’t Let Excessive Motion Sabotage Your Operation

A simple, but effective tool to help you eliminate waste due to motion is the spaghetti diagram.  You start by getting a layout of the area or by drawing a simple sketch.  The idea is to observe an employee perform a task and document all the movement the employee makes in performing that task.  Figure 1 is a spaghetti of a change over process on a machine.  As you can see there is a lot of...

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A Successful CI Program Depends on Strong Project Management Fundamentals

I’ve seen it happen more than once where a company starts down the path of Lean, Six Sigma, or Problem Solving to only change course in mid-stream.  It happens for many reasons – lack of resources, underestimating the time required to complete projects, allowing scope creep, project champions and sponsors that don’t ask the right questions, not putting the correct controls in...

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How Good Are You As An Organization? How Good Do You Want To Be?

Over the years, much has been written about the pros and cons of lean and Six Sigma.  People often complain about the training costs, the infrastructure required, the teams of green and black belts, and so on, but in my 40+ years of experience nothing has proven to be more successful at getting things improved than a combination of lean and Six Sigma.  I’m not talking about ten, twenty,...

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Five Green Belt Projects Rock with a Combined Yearly Savings of $743,000!

Last fall I had the opportunity to conduct a Lean Six Sigma training class at Kent State University, Trumbull Branch.  The training concentrates on teaching the participants how to identify and eliminate waste using the various lean techniques and how to reduce process variation by concentrating on the 6M’s (Man, Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, and Mother Nature).  Participants...

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A Little Workplace Organization Can Make A Tremendous Difference!

Ever watch employees in your company perform their jobs?  It can be a real eye opener when you observe employees running around looking for tools and equipment to do their job.  With just a little effort and organization, large gains can be made in making a company more efficient and productive.  Here are just some of the benefits of becoming more organized: Less downtime Better...

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Process Improvement Isn’t Rocket Science!

A pet peeve of mine is how the consulting industry has made continuous improvement a skill for only a select few.  By that I mean it takes an engineer, math major, or someone with a master degree or PhD to understand what many are teaching in Lean Six Sigma courses.  Many consultants believe that Green Belts and Black Belts need to understand and be able to derive every formula.  Students eyes...

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