Application of DMAIC to integrate Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

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Virginia Tech

The slow rate of corporate improvement is not due to lack of knowledge of six sigma or lean. Rather, the fault lies in making the transition from theory to implementation. Managers need a step-by-step, unambiguous roadmap of improvement that leads to predictable results. This roadmap provides the self-confidence, punch, and power necessary for action and is the principal subject of this research. Unique to this research is the way the integration of lean and six sigma is achieved; by way of an integration matrix formed by lean implementation protocols and six sigma project phases. This integration matrix is made more prescriptive by an integrated leanness assessment tool, which will guide the user given their existing level of implementation and integration. Further guidance in each of the cells formed by the integration matrix is provided by way of phase methodologies and statistical/non-statistical tools.

The output of this research is a software tool that could be used in facilities at any stage of lean implementation, including facilities with no existing lean implementation. The developed software tool has the capability to communicate among current and former project teams within any group, division, or facility in the organization. The developed software tool has also the capability to do data analysis (Example: Design of Experiments, Value Stream Mapping, Multi-Vari Analysis etc.). By way of the integration matrix, leanness assessment and the data analysis capability, the developed software tool will give managers a powerful tool that will help in their quest to achieve lean six sigma.

Lean Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement