What is Six Sigma in Quality Management? A Brief Detail

Six Sigma in Quality Management
Six Sigma also represented by '6σ' is a set of techniques and tools that are used for process improvement. First introduced by the American engineer Bill Smith while he was working at the Motorola Company in 1986, it is the process in which 99.999666% of all opportunities to produce some features of a part are statistically expected to be free of defects.

What Is Six Sigma All About?
According to a dissertation writing service, Six Sigma is a set of practices and techniques that are used in the improvement process. With the help of these techniques, manufacturers aim to improve the quality of final products by searching for and removing the causes of errors and eliminating inconsistency in the manufacturing process to ensure the best quality results.

‘Sigma’, refers to the rating a manufacturing process receives based on its defect-free production while, ‘Six’ is derived from its goal, i.e, to enable the facility to produce results that should not go beyond 3.4 defects per million. This concept has proved to be a great success in the field of production and manufacturing, and organizations that implemented reported huge benefits and savings with a short time. The best example of this would be Motorola where the concept was first introduced. Motorola ended up saving more than $17 billion when they implement Six Sigma in their production process.

Role Of Six Sigma In Quality Management:
It is essential to understand the role of Six Sigma in quality products to implement it the right way and reap its benefits. Six Sigma is crucial because it helps companies save on production or manufacturing costs. It is necessary to go into the detail of how it works and what role in plays as this is the only way to achieve the desired goal of excellence in production.

It can be explained in simple words with an easy example. If you are a toy manufacturer, you will need to buy plastic, melt it, and then feed it into the machine and pour it into the mold to give it the desired shape of a toy. It might seem easy enough, but here it is necessary to understand the technical aspects. What happens if there is variability in the time that the plastic is melted and poured into the mold? If the mold is opened too early or too late, the product may be deformed in different ways due to drastic changes in the temperature. In this case, timing as well as temperature matter a lot, and the manufacturing unit needs to operate on a tight schedule to ensure no products go to waste and, the customers are highly satisfied with the product they get.

Depending on the product as well as the complexity of the task, there are tens and hundreds of processes. Each process has its key points that need to be monitored carefully so that inconsistency and variability can be kept in check. It is essential to understand that increase in variability can lead to increase production costs and wastage that become a burden on the production unit. It is in these situations that Six Sigma plays a crucial role and why qualified inspection and process auditing have become such a critical part of the manufacturing process.

How Six Sigma Helps In Quality Management:
Six Sigma has come a long way since it was implemented initially; it is now commonly used in several industries to help them overcome production problems and reduce time and costs.

With Six Sigma, Companies Can Look Forward To:
  • Mapping or flowcharting their production and manufacturing processes as it helps to document a specific business process; with proper maps or flowcharts, workers' roles and decision points can be worked out, and things can be done in a better way.
  • Getting rid of variation and waste as variation and waste means things that are not being delivered to the customer and do not bring in any profits
  • Reducing defects as employees can identify problem areas and recurring issues that affect the overall quality of a service or product and might lost its importance for customers.
  • Improvement in all areas of production as these processes have the necessary tools and skills to detect the problems and deal with them most efficiently for the manufacturing of better quality products.

It has been discovered that in most of the cases, people working at manufacturing plants can often get stuck in a rut, not realizing where things are going wrong, blaming it on the machines or the overall environment. It is only when the right system is applied, and a third party sees these problems that issues can be dealt with most efficiently, and Six Sigma provides the best solutions for quality management.

Albert Barkley

Hello, my name is Albert Barkley. I am working as education consultant with a UK based firm after completion of my PhD. I like to write on different social, tech and education trends.

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