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Implementing the Lean Sigma Framework in an Indian SME: a case study

Antony, Jiju (2006) Implementing the Lean Sigma Framework in an Indian SME: a case study. Production Planning and Control, 17 (4). pp. 407-423.

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Abstract

Lean and Six Sigma are two widely acknowledged business process improvement strategies available to organisations today for achieving dramatic results in cost, quality and time by focusing on process performance. Lately, Lean and Six Sigma practitioners are integrating the two strategies into a more powerful and effective hybrid, addressing many of the weaknesses and retaining most of the strengths of each strategy. Lean Sigma combines the variability reduction tools and techniques from Six Sigma with the waste and non-value added elimination tools and techniques from Lean Manufacturing, to generate savings to the bottom-line of an organisation. This paper proposes a Lean Sigma framework to reduce the defect occurring in the final product (automobile accessories) manufactured by a die-casting process. The proposed framework integrates Lean tools (current state map, 5S System, and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)) within Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to enhance the bottom-line results and win customer loyalty. Implementation of the proposed framework shows dramatic improvement in the key metrics (defect per unit (DPU), process capability index, mean and standard deviation of casting density, yield, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)) and a substantial financial savings is generated by the organisation.