Engineers Use Lean Six Sigma Principles To Help Them Think Scientifically

Posted by on Sep 13, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As an engineer myself, I often wished I could have started my career with the knowledge I had acquired by the end of my career.  I had the opportunity to learn something new every day, design new products and processes, work with great skilled tradespeople, solve problems, teach problem-solving and Lean Six Sigma around the world, and travel meeting new people.  It was a great career and I enjoyed every minute of it!

I learned I needed to be a good problem solver and use a disciplined approach.  As an electrical engineer for a small steel fabricator and latter at Delphi Packard, I honed this skill by keeping equipment up and running, determining whether it was an electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic problem.  After ten years as an electrical engineer, I became a process engineer where I learned to remove process waste and make processes more efficient.  Being both an electrical and a process engineer gave me the basic skills I needed when I became a quality engineer.

What I enjoyed most about quality engineering was working with other engineering disciplines to solve problems.  Whether it was a process problem, materials problem, or product problem we worked together to solve them.  I remember collecting data, trying to analyze it, and use it to make the correct decision.

Learning Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques allowed me to up my game and gave our organization the ability to analyze our data much more thoroughly.  We specifically learned:

  • How to analyze a measurement system to ensure good and reliable data.
  • How to take data so as to remove measurement bias.
  • How to sample data correctly.
  • How to torture data to obtain the most information possible.
  • How to summarize and explain the information so everyone was able to easily understand it.
  • The importance of data in understanding variation, its sources, and in decision making.
  • How to improve the capability of a process and make it more efficient.
  • How to reduce scrap and eliminate defects.
  • How to reduce waste in a process.
  • How to determine the variables that affect a process the most.
  • How to make products and processes more robust and reliable.
  • How to make small product and process changes and determine if the change we made was significant or due to chance.
  • The importance of standardized work.
  • How to determine if there is a relationship between two variables.
  • How to develop a product or process model.
  • How to determine and understand customer requirements.
  • The importance of using a standard, consistent approach (DMAIC or DMADV) for projects and problem-solving.
  • How to analyze non-normal data.
  • How to determine if a process is in control or out-of-control.
  • The importance of keeping things simple.
  • How to think scientifically!


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