Category Archives: Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma

As business and manufacturing has changed over the years, a greater focus has been made by companies to do a better job eliminating waste and redundant processes that are adding cost and slowing down production.  This business methodology is known as lean manufacturing, and it is a systematic method for eliminating waste within a manufacturing system.  At Tella Tool, as a leading custom job shop, with state-of-the-art capabilities, we have been taking steps to implement lean manufacturing as well as Six Sigma.

Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in the manufacturing process.   It works by identifying and removing the defects in the manufacturing process, as well as by minimizing the variables that exist in the process that can lead to process delays, and additional costs and expenses.  Developed by great thinkers like Bill Smith, Mikel Harry, Shingo and Taguchi, it has a history of success in creating profitable and efficient companies.  The steps that make up the framework of Six Sigma are as follows:

D – Define

M – Measure

A – Analyze

D – Design

V – Verify

These steps are applied to improving any existing processes to “entitlement”, or perfection

At Tella Tool we have been working to implement the Six Sigma methodology to streamline our processes and make our business more efficient.  We started by reviewing our historical data, and then created a plan to collect baseline data that will be used to gage the project’s success.  An overview of process mapping, data types, operational definitions and measurement system analysis was worked on to create a foundation to work with.  A process map was created which was verified by walking through the process on the manufacturing floor, also known as GEMBA.  By walking the floor and observing the processes in action, many ideas were conceived and additions were made to our lessons learned log.  We also have learned the importance of operational definitions and data collection plans, which have helped to uncover many unknowns that would have created trouble late in the collection phase, rather than now when it is easy to change in the planning stage.

While changes to implement lean manufacturing and Six Sigma are ongoing, the benefits to our long term business will be immense.  To learn more about our manufacturing process improvements, and about capabilities, contact us here.