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Industrial Engineering Methods (IEM)

Industrial Engineering Methods (IEM) is a blog for IE Systems, Provide Industrial Engineering Tools and Information.

Updated: 2018-03-06T13:20:39.164-08:00


DMAIC Concept - Improve Phase


Improve PhaseDMAIC Improve phase is to identify a solution to the problem that the project aims to address. This involves brainstorming potential solutions, selection solutions to test and evaluating the results of the implemented solutions. Often a pilot implementation is conducted prior to a full-scale roll out of improvements.Identifying Potential SolutionsFirst stage of Improve it is important to include the people who are involved in performing the process. Their input regarding potential improvements is critical, and this step should not be completed by the project team alone. In fact, it is wise to maintain communication with those who work on the process throughout any Six Sigma quality improvement project.A variety of techniques are used to brainstorm potential solutions to counter the root causes identified in Analyze. Encouraging participants to challenge rules and assumptions, ban excuses and think like small children can be very effective. For those who prefer a more structured brainstorming exercising, specific techniques are available, but often participants are more than able to produce a substantial list of ideas on their own. It is important during this stage that ideas not be judged nor eliminated. Even an outlandish idea that couldn't possibly be implemented as first suggested may lead to a related idea that is an ideal solution. Similar to other aspects of a Six Sigma project, assumptions about what can or can not be accomplished should not be accepted without confirmation.Selecting Solutions to ImplementIt is a good idea to involve the people who work on the process that is being improved, be included in the decisions regarding which potential improvements to implement. With their help, the project team establishes criteria for evaluating the proposed improvements in an objective manner. Criteria usually include time line for implementation, financial cost, the extent to which root causes are likely to be countered and the overall ease of implementation. Some teams consider other factors such is the amount of buy-in that already exists for each possible change. The team may want to assign weights to each criterion prior to evaluating the proposed solutions against each one. Tools to assist with the evaluation include a priority matrix and a Pugh matrix, both of which use basic calculations and ratings to compare the solutions against each other or against a standard. Occasionally a computer model or other simulation can be beneficial in the evaluation process.The goal of this step is to determine the appropriate solutions to implement using objective means, rather than making a decision based on assumptions or preferences. This is a common theme throughout the Six Sigma methodology.Implementing ImprovementsPlanning the implementation is largely a matter of basic project management. The team needs to plan the budget and time line of the implementation, determine roles and responsibilities, and assign and track tasks. Tools for planning include Gantt charts, planning grids and flowcharts. A deployment flowchart can be created for the implementation process itself, as well as for the new process that will be followed as a result of the improvements being implemented.A data collection plan should be created similar to the one used during Measure, and the same data should be collected. After the data is collected the team will compare the before and after data to determine if the key metrics show improvement.It is often beneficial to use Failure Modes and Effects Analysis on before implementing improvements to identify and address potential problems that may arise using the improved process. With this tool, the team lists risks and potential issues, and estimates the likelihood and severity of each one. Then the most critical are identified and the team establishes a plan for minimizing each risk.One aspect of implementing improvements that is often overlooked is the impact of change on the people that are in[...]

DMAIC Concept - Analyze Phase


If Measure Phase is considered the critical phase, then the Analyze phase is the heart of the project. The Analyze phase identifies and verifies the critical inputs that affect the key outputs to the process, project, or system being studied. In this phase data is systematically collected and analyzed to determine the significance of the inputs on the outputs.

The data that is collected is gathered systematically. the systematically synonyms: methodically, thoroughly, steadily, analytically, and scientifically. It is important to emphasize this point for it is the key to effective problem solving (Six Sigma Methodology). Most problem solving is done with passive collection of data. The data is usually historical or what is currently coming from the system under investigation. This approach may not represent the current state or an unknown anomaly occurring at that moment.

There must be a plan for collecting the data, under controlled conditions, to understand, analyze, and interpret the data correctly. While there are a variety of tools used at this phase, the most powerful, is Design of Experiments. By setting up the DOE, a systematic plan is created for turning on and off inputs while collecting data on the outputs. This allows you to not only see if the inputs themselves affect the outputs; but if there is an interaction between the inputs.

As the system is run, the inputs of volume and pressure are changed according to the matrix and the resulting weight is recorded. This data is statistically analyzed to determine if volume, pressure, or the interaction of volume and pressure have an effect on weight. It is this analysis that can pinpoint the areas for improvement.

This has been a very brief explanation of the Analyze phase and the one tool, DOE, which is basic to most Six Sigma projects. Understanding and using DOE takes training and experience to utilize it effectively. When used effectively, an organization can gain understanding into its processes or systems that it would not have thought possible. This can result in increased productivity and decreased costs

DMAIC Concept - Measure Phase


DMAIC Concept Measure Phase"Stage to validate the problems, measure/analyze problems of existing data and Collect relevant data"Measure Phase quantifies the current state of the process with respect to cost, speed and quality and provides an idea of the gaps to be filled. Value Stream Mapping This produces a more detailed representation of the process than the SIPOC diagram and includes such information as wait times, processing times, resource consumptions, process operator.Cause and Effect MatrixSee sample : . This tabulates causes against effects and calculates scores which are used to rank the causes. As a measure tool, this matrix is used to select which inputs to focus on because of their significant impact on the process outputs.FMEA (Failure mode and Effect Analysis) See on  Define ProcessFMEA tool has a similar function to the cause and effect matrix. All possible failures in the inputs are considered, and then weighted according to probability of occurrence, severity of impact on outputs and difficulty of detection. This assessment also helps to determine what inputs the project team should focus on.Pareto Chart (see on Pareto Analysis Methods)Measure Systems Analysis (MSA)A Measurement System Analysis is a specially designed experiment that seeks to identify the components of variation in the measurement.The process of obtaining measurements is subjected to standard analyses to ensure reliability, epeatability and reproducibility. Other attributes of the measurement system are stability, bias and discrimination.Control Charts (Control Charts Complete Explanation and Examples)A control chart is a run chart sequence of quantitative data with three horizontal lines showing a centred mean and upper and lower control limits. Control charts help to assess the nature of variation of the process. In-control processes are expected to yield data points randomly distributed around the mean but within the calculated control limits.Process Capability Assessment or MPCA This tool measures of process capability assess the ability of a process to meet functional requirements. Several measures of capability exist. All of them are compare the process standard deviation to the allowable range of variation as specified by the customer.[...]

DMAIC Concept and Deep Explanation - Define Phase


DMAIC ConceptsDefine PhaseAt this stage, executive team identify problems, define customer's specifications, and setting goals reduction of defect/cost and time targetsWhat tools and technique for this Concept?In the Define phase, you need to determine which opportunities will provide the biggest payoff for our efforts. Part of this task involves describing the current state of various metrics. Check sheets How to use it?+ Clearly identify what is being observed. The events being observed should be clearly labeled. Everyone has to be looking for the same thing.+ Keep the data collection process as easy as possible. Collecting data should not become a job in and of itself. Simple check marks are easiest.+ Group the data. Collected data should be grouped in a way that makes the data valuable and reliable.+ Similar problems must be in similar groups.for complete explanation about check sheet On Google doc Check Sheets Procedure :Decide what event or problem will be observed. Develop operational definitions.Decide when data will be collected and for how long.Design the form. Set it up so that data can be recorded simply by making check marks or Xs or similar symbols and so that data do not have to be recopied for analysis.Label all spaces on the form.Test the check sheet for a short trial period to be sure it collects the appropriate data and is easy to use.Each time the targeted event or problem occurs, record data on the check sheet. Flow chartsFlowchart is a common type of diagram, that represents an algorithm or process, showing the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting these with arrows. This diagrammatic representation can give a step-by-step solution to a given problem.  Data is represented in these boxes, and arrows connecting them represent flow / direction of flow of data. Flowcharts are used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a process or program in various fieldsSee Flow Chart ExamplesPareto Analysis Methods (Improvement Basic Tools)Pareto analysis is a good statistical technique in decision making that is used for selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto principle the idea that by doing 20% of work you can generate 80% of the advantage of doing the entire job. Or in terms of quality improvement, a large majority of problems (80%) are produced by a few key causes (20%).Complete Explanation, description and sample of Pareto Cause and Effect (Fishbone)A Cause-and-Effect Diagram is a tool that helps identify, sort, and display possible causes of a specific problem or quality characteristic. It graphically illustrates the relationship between a given outcome and all the factors that influence the outcome. This type of diagram is sometimes called an "Ishikawa diagram" because it was invented by Kaoru Ishikawa, or a fishbone diagram.Complete Explanation Cause-and-Effect (Fishbone) 7M (Seven tools Quality management) 7M tools are apply for qualitative data. The “M” stands for Management and the tools are focus on managing and planning quality improvement activities. In the recognition of the planning emphasis, these are often referred to as the “7MP” tools. The tools are Affinity Diagrams, Tree Diagram, Matrix Diagram, Interrelationship Diagrams, Prioritization Matrices and Activity Network Diagram Further information about 7M Quality ManagementFMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)What is FMEA?Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is methodology for analyzing potential reliability problems early in the development cycle where it is easier to take actions to overcome these issues, thereby enhancing reliability through design. FMEA is used to identify potential failure modes, determine their effect on the operation of the product, and identify actions to mitigate the failures. A crucial step is anticipating what might go wrong with a product.For More information about FMEA and complete case and examples FMEA diagram[...]

Six Sigma What it is? Complete Tools and Methods


Six Sigma is "a structured methodology to improve business processes that are focused on reducing process variation while reducing defects (products / services that are outside of specification) using the statistical and problem solving tools intensively."

Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods  and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are experts in these methods.

Six Sigma Methods
DMAIC --> Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control

At this stage, executive team identify problems, define customer's specifications, and setting goals reduction of defect/cost and time targets. 

Stage to validate the problems, measure/analyze problems of existing data and Collect relevant data

Determine the factors that most influence in process, that means looking for one or two factors which if it will be improved dramatically improve processes.

Optimize the current process based upon data analysis using techniques such as design of experiment, mistake proofing. discuss ideas to improve our system based on the results of previous analysis, perform an experiment to see results, if good and then made their raw procedure or Standard Operation Procedure (SOP)

At this stage we must make a plan and design the measurement so that the already good results of our team can continuously improve. Control systems are implemented such as statistical process control (SPC), production boards, visual workplaces and the process is continuously monitored