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Defining an opportunity

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Defining an opportunity

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  • #40014

    CM
    Participant

    If the same defect can occur at several places, should they all be counted as different opportunities for calculating “total # of opportunities / unit” for finding DPMO ?
    Example: Lets consider scratched glass as a defect. It could happen in on the production line or on the truck during shipping. Can they be accounted as 2 different opportunities?
    Thanks,
    CM

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    #123061

    Restagno
    Member

    From the customer perspective a scratch is a scratch no matter where it happened, so if I were you I would probably not differentiate this condition by the place it occurred to calculate PPM.
    Now, if you want to solve the scratch problem is a good idea to start collecting more data related to the defect. In your case you may need to find out what is causing the scratches and focus your efforts in eliminating the most significant offenders.

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    #123066

    Kris Brazeal
    Participant

    Good points Sergio.  The customer doesn’t care where the scratch occurred. 
    One option is to seperate the calculation between the production process and delivery process to determine seperate DPMO’s.  This way, if you have have better DPMO performance in the production then the delivery of the product, you know where to focus your improvement efforts.
    Kris Brazeal

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    #123069

    CM
    Participant

    Thank you all. I still have some doubts about opportunities. We have a production process where a product is built in a single piece flow concept. Parts add on at every work station and the final product comes out at the end of the line. There are 8 work stations in the line. Glass (2 pieces) is installed at station 6 by 2 different operators (1 each). Now there is a chance for scratching glass at stations 6,7 and 8. I am tempted to calculate the opportunities for scratching glass in the following way:
    a) 2 opportunities at station 6 (1 for each operator)
    b) 1 opportunity at station 7
    c) 1 opportunity at station 8Total # of opportunities for scratching glass = 4I am using this logic to calculate the total # of opportunities for error in the production line. In short, I am finding out the frequency of occurence of each type of error and summing them up to find the total # of opportunities for error in the line. I may be paraphrasing my original query. Further clarifications is appreciated.

    Thanks
    CM

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    #123074

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Dear CM,Great question and problem. I’ll give it a try with the others. In characterizing opportunities I assume you are collecting count data, such as number of observed defects in a shift or day, to compute the sigma value. In estimating sigma value using count data it is key you define the proper areas of opportunity where the defects will be made and the unit of work. The latter item refers to what specifically you plan to improve. In your case, you can choose to measure and improve the process or the product. In each unit of work the number of opportunities you use will most likely be different. OK, enough of the theory stuff–let’s see if we can make some practical use of it with your application.Let’s look at the product first… By your description, you have a product where a part is added at each of 8 work stations, but at station 6 two parts are added. It doesn’t matter how many operators are involved in the process. For each part there is an opportunity of producing any number of possible defects. So, we do the simple math–8 parts for all stations, plus 1 additional part for station 6, or 9 parts total. If I’m off on the part count when you look at the product, then feel free to make the desired adjustment. Given your description you have 9 opportunities during assembly, but you also package and labeling of the product. These two non-manufacturing steps also contribute to areas of opportunity to produce defects, so the estimated total opportunities for the product is 11. Now, if you are only interested in tracking glass defects, because you see that >80% of your customer complaints are from the glass, then you should use 2 opportunities supporting the 2 pieces of glass for each product.80% of your customer complaints are from the glass, then you should use 2 opportunities supporting the 2 pieces of glass for each product.80% of your customer complaints are from the glass, then you should use 2 opportunities supporting the 2 pieces of glass for each product.Now, let’s look at the process. If you wanted to quantify process sigma level then you count the total number of steps used to make the product, and again add the number of non-manufacturing steps. Given your description that would be 8 steps plus 2 non-manufacturing steps, or 10 total opportunities for the process. If you wanted only to focus on the process steps that can affect glass specific defects, then by your description you would have 4 opportunities as you suggested.Good luck in sorting this out.Ken

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    #123080

    Mikel
    Member

    Wrong

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    #123090

    Norbert
    Participant

    I concurr.
    Defects and defect opportunities have to be defined out of the customer perspective. If not, you would simply have to increase number of stations/tasks /work steps in order to bring down the DPMO. That would means that complicating the process is always an option to improve that process.
    Norbert

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    #123091

    Thai
    Participant

    CM,
    Why are you so worried about defining how many opportunities exist in a glass fab process to cause scratches.  Anytime something comes in contact with a piece of glass there is an opportunity for a scratch to occur.  I would concentrate on the proportion defective coming out of each step in the process.  Also try using a scatter plot to determine the general location, frequency and directionality of the scratches as well as if they typically occure on a consistant surface.
      Kirk

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    #123092

    Mikel
    Member

    Norbert,
    You and Kris are approaching this as a stand alone activity. Whatever you do here has to hang well with the ideas of Lean and Six Sigma. Lean say you have the process mapped and identified as value added or no value added. The Value Added activities are your opportunities. To have a process set up and make judgements about the customer at the opportunity counting level says you have not done what you need to before getting here.

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    #123093

    Restagno
    Member

    CM,
    In my opinion you are making a storm in a little glass of water. The fact that you are spending so much of your time figuring out how to define how many opportunities in order to calculate DPMO is by itself a non value added activity and from my experience a waste of time and money.
    Kirk gave you a very good, simple and effective advice that works most of the time. Good luck.

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    #123096

    “Ken”
    Participant

    All
    Before improving anything or solve a problem what is needed first? 

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    #123097

    “Ken”
    Participant

    An area of opportunity is a fundamental property of count.  The use of an opportunity allows you to standardize your quality measure across products or processes having different complexities in order for you to make meaningful comparisons.

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    #123098

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Explain…

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    #123100

    Mikel
    Member

    You don’t get credit (opportunity) for the number of ways you can damage the product.

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    #123101

    CM
    Participant

    Hello All:
    I appreciate the overwhelming response. Let me explain why I wanted to calculate DPMO in the first place. We set out a quality level goal (ratio of good to bad products) for the organization. This goal was based more on intuition. However, on seeing that none of the departments could reach the goal over a period of time, we thought it would make sense to first understand what our current capability is and thereby set an achievable goal. In this regard, we wanted to know at what sigma level our production lines at currently at. We will then translate the DPMO number in terms of our quality goal.
    For example, if a ratio of 100 good products to 1 bad product results in a 3 sigma level, what is the sigma level needed to reach a goal of say 300 good products to 1 bad product? Now, if this requires a 6 sigma level, then we do not currently have the capability to do it. Hence we need to set an achievable goal like say 150 good to 1 bad.
    I hope our approach is not incorrect.
    Awaiting your thoughts.
    rgds,CM
     
     

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    #123102

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Stan,Please provide an example.

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    #123103

    “Ken”
    Participant

    CM,Computing the ratio of good to bad products do not buy you very much in measuring quality performance. Setting goals using this ratio is also not the best way to characterize the process quality performance. A estimate of sigma value using this ratio is not useful. To set reasonable expectations of process performance using count data you might consider developing a process behavior chart called an np-chart of past process performance for perhaps 6-months. From this chart you can both estimate the average number of defects per batch, shift, or product however you scale your np-chart and the bounds for natural process variation. Next, consider customer/market needs again the process performance to determine the future process goals for defect level. If the goal exceeds the control limits on the chart, then some significant changes in process operation are needed to achieve them.Ken

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    #123104

    Mikel
    Member

    Wrong
     

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    #123105

    Mikel
    Member

    Kirk’s advice on fixing the problem is right, his advice on opportunities is absolutely wrong.

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    #123106

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Hey Stan,
    It sounds like you may have a reason for flagging my threads as “wrong”, but you provide nothing else for the members to understand your rationale. 
    Would you accept that Motorola may have a basic understanding of how to determine sigma level from process measures?

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    #123107

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Wrong. 
    The determination of opportunities do not come from value add activities.  If they did one would inflate the sigma value unduly, and observe that most processes would incorrectly be close to a six sigma level of performance.  There is nothing in the Lean approach from Toyota or Womack that speaks to the term “opportunity.” 
    For those who would like a correct reference for the definition of “count opportunity” consider looking at page 2-4 of Motorola’s reference called “Six Sigma Producibility Analysis and Process Characterization” by M. J. Harry and R. Lawson from Motorola University Press.  In that reference under section 2.3.2 The Influence of Opportunity Count, I quote, “We must also recognize, however, that within each unit of product there are 10 equal areas of opportunity for nonconformance to standard…” (the authors refer in this passage to a hypothetical unit of product with 10 areas to produce a nonconformance or defect, hence the loose use of the term “defect opportunity.”
    The proper determination of opportunity requires you first define what you will measure to assess quality from the customer’s perspective.  Opportunity is often considered a general measure of unit complexity for the purpose of comparing quality performance across many value streams, and areas of the business.  Another more detailed definition of Area of Opportunity can be found in Dr. D. J. Wheeler’s reference, “Making Sense of Data”, from SPCPress. 
    Finally, please note a third reference from F.W. Breyfogle III, “Implementing Six Sigma”, Wiley-Interscience in Chapter 9-Six Sigma Measurements, where he references opportunity a number of times as, “Opportunities for a defect.”
    Stan, please feel free to provide the forum your references for the definition you use for “opportunity.”
    Ken

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    #123108

    Thai
    Participant

    Hand slap across the back of the head felt and acknowledged. 

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    #123111

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Ken,
    Let me help you out with an example since your reference material on Op counting is at best questionable.
    When I make a solder joint I get one opportunity to do it correctly. I don’t get an opportunity for every type of defect that I can produce (poor wetting, nonwetting, pinholes, pits, voids, cold solder, insufficent solder, excess solder, etc.)
    It has nothing to do with the number of ways you can creatively screw something up. It that you have one chance to do it perfectly – that is the most economical way of doing it.
    This isn’t complicated. What is the target? It is on all those obnoxious floor mats and posters – “Do it right the first time.” So when we talk to an operator, production person, etc we get to iterate that dogma. When we have to create opportunity counts that we are going to be measured against we forget that dogma? Doesn’t work for me. Everybody plays by the same rules.
    Just my opoinion.
    Good luck

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    #123116

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Hey Mike,
    Well, my reference material is “at best” questionable.  Interesting.  Could you provide me reference material supporting your definition of “opportunity”? 
    Does Stan work with you, or has Stan taken training from you?
    No opinions, just some good old theory and facts.
    Ken

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    #123120

    HF Chris
    Participant

    Just a suggestion for Ken and the original poster. Read the definition for opportunity in this sites dictionary…it is a concise definition. I would think that putting the two part glass in is one opportunity (two at the most). The question I have to ask working on an aircraft assembly line is why haven’t you put protective film on the glass to prevent future damage? Looks like another case of data paralysis…and I love looking at data.Chris

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    #123138

    Mikel
    Member

    If you are talking about Motorola in 2005 – they have not got a clue.

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    #123141

    CM
    Participant

    Chris:We assemble glass on patio door frames. If the protective film can offset our remake charge, that is a good possibility.Could you please brief me on the types of films available and their cost differences. Thanks
    CM

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    #123142

    CM
    Participant

    Chris:We assemble glass units on patio doors. Could you please brief me on different types of protective films available and their cost differences. If it can offset our remake charges, that is certainly a good option. Thanks
    CM

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    #123144

    HF Chris
    Participant

    We are currently testing a low adhesive film leading edge protection on aircraft. Contact a 3m dealer or check with a local windshield company to see how they protect their windows.
    Chris

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    #123147

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Having been away from iSixSigma for over 2 years I’m amazed at how such a small number of members can infuse so much misinformation and confusion across the board. It disappoints me to see the misinformation on this site has grown in time rather than achieving some level of self correction.It’s interesting to note the definition of opportunity has not, or should not have changed since the early days when the concept of Six Sigma was invented by Motorola. The construct of an area of opportunity, has existed long before many of us got into the Six Sigma improvement game. The loose term, “defect opportunity”, originally coined by Motorola refers to the number of areas in a thing or a particular interval of time one identifies for counting something. The clue to the reader is that opporunties are used with count data, and never used with continuous variable data. Neither Motorola, GE, Allied Signal, Texas Instruments or others refer to an “opportunity” as the number of ways one can screw something up, least of all myself. To Mike Carnell, I agree with your example listed earlier. If one focuses on a single step in a process stream, such as a wave solder step and the unit of work is a process, then the number of opportunities is equal to one. This is a trivial observation. Please feel free to look back in the thread at my detailed reponses, and you should observe they are compatible with your example. If one focuses on a product, say a circuit board with a 100 connections to be soldered, then the number of opportunities is easily 100. The selection of opportunities depends upon which aspect of value the business wants to improve upon. It does not have anything to do with philosophy, slogans, signs, or other. In one sense you could say that an opportunity is the number of things you can do right, i.e., number of correctly soldered connections, but we are simply playing a game of semantics. It is a typical ploy of consultants to play such a game in order establish uniqueness with their service offerings in order to separate themselves from their competitors. Unfortunately, most of the practitioners on this and other sites receiving the noisy semantics from consultants end up getting confused and frustrated with the simple concepts made unnecessarily complicated by a limited few. Concerning the definitions listed on this site. The listings are placed there by anyone who wants to take the time to do so, regardless of their training, background, or experience. Having said that, many of the definitions listed are reasonable, but should not form the sole basis for reference. All members of this forum should work hard to find additional sources for the definitions, concepts, and methods discussed on this forum to insure there is minimal bias and maximum accuracy. Some of you may ask who am I to say such things with such boldness. Well, I’m really nobody you need be concerned about. I’m just like many of you who has worked hard to understand these concepts one by one over the years, and have used them to help many companies to drive meaningful business improvement for more than 20 years of my professional life. I’ve taught and coached many Black, Green, Master Belts, and Champions in past work. Given some experience in the improvement game I thought it would be reasonable to provide some of my insight. You decide for yourself what my particular motivation is for responding this way, and whether I have any hidden agendas. Please feel free to do your own research on this topic, for example, to see if the specific comments I’ve made bare any weight. Or not, it’s certainly your choice.Ken

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    #123150

    HF Chris
    Participant

    Ken,
    The original poster gave scratched class as an “opportunity” example and then everyone gave their understanding of the definition. In this particular example, regardless of semantics, the opportunity was lost when the process did not invole protecting the glass after it was installed. The key is to understand when not to count.
    Chris
     
     

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    #123162

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Chris,
    Thanks for your input.  A scratch in the glass is a defect, not an opportunity.  You don’t lose areas of opportunity.  They exist as a part of the system being measured.  You need to first measure the present performance of the process as prescribed in the Measure phase.  This is where a clear understand of the opportunity allocation is needed. 
    Let’s close this one down.  Most of us are moving full speed ahead not sure where we’re going.  It been fun!
    Ken
     

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    #123163

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Ken,
    Stan and I have been counting opportunities since Motorola in the 80’s so we are consistent with the way it has been done since the beginning.
    Stan does not work for me. We have done a fair amount of business together through the years.
    Theory is an oppinon.
    Just my opinion (theory).
    Good luck

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    #123168

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Ken,
    Actually if you were on this site 2 years ago you know that several of us were around then posting so we could try to contain the “misinformation.”
    Since the invented at Motorola lends such credibility to this – both Stan and I were with Motorola before SS began. Actually we began working together in 1983. Lets see that means we have been working on it for more than 20 years as well. There a re hundreds on here that have 20+ years of experience.
    Since Stan and I both worked Allied and GE as consultants I guess we have trained and mentored a couple GB’s, BB’s & MBB’s as well. The reality is there are hundreds of people on this site that have done that. If you were looking to differentiate yourself based on that it is still a big crowd.
    My definition of an opportunity hasn’t changed since Motorola so even though I am one of those consultants I guess I must be differentiating myself some other way. It sounds like you have only read about the Motorola experience?
    I am not sure what the point to that post was but it doesn’t seem to make you uniquely qualified to answer anything more than a couple hundred other people who post here frequently.
    Just my theory.
    Good luck

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    #123169

    stifflers mom
    Member

    Wow Mike – thanks for all the hot air.  You really like to reply to everything, don’t  you.

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    #123173

    BenR
    Participant

    Had a similar experience about what an opportunity is at a previous job. I had read somewhere that at Allied they decided on 3 times the count on the BOM (Mike C. – Is this right?). Anyway, I told them that Allied said 3 times the BOM and they accepted that, all arugments ended and we got on with trying to fix the processes.
    For what it is worth.
    Ben R.

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    #123193

    “Ken”
    Participant

    OK… 
    Do you think we’ve done enough chest beating, or is the testosterone still surging through your bloodstream enough to take another shot?  It sounds to me like you may have been at Motorola around the time when Gary Cone and Steve Zinkgraf were there.  It seems that Allied Signal got a lot of help from good old Moto back in the 90’s.  Gary Cone claims to have help straighten them out in addition to Dr. Zinkgraf being there from 1994-1997.  It’s good to hear from yet another Moto vetran who claims to have helped both Allied Signal and GE.  I believe Gary came out of the Automotive group at Motorola.  Which group did you and Stan come out of?  Did you guys work out of the main office in Schumburg, IL.?
    Look, I think this is very simple thing.  I could suggest we each take a deep breath, and you look a little closer at my responses.  I thought Stan was a bit ingenuine by just posting the word “Wrong” in response to my postings.  Even after I tried to engage him in an open discussion he refused to answer.  If you look closely at my responses you should see is that we are both saying the same thing.  In general, an Area of Opportunity can be defined as a value add area.  For a product it is the value added in the form of parts.  In the regulated industry, i.e., medical devices and pharm it also includes the value add activites in sterilization and packaging/labeling.  For a process it is each step in the process, with exception of the inspection steps.  I think the piece that may have gotten you guys in a bind is the claim that an Area of Opportunity is where one would observe and count defects, but I’m not sure.  Again, think about my answer.  The general aim of classical Six Sigma has been quality improvement.  So, how do folks measure quality?  Has the answer change that much from the early 90’s?  I think it’s still defects per opportunity.  How do you determine the Sigma Level of a process or product?  Well, the answer is in practically every reference on Six Sigma since the beginning–you determine it from dpmo(defects per million opportunity).  So Stan, where did I get this thing wrong?  I and others would really be interested in both the explanation, and again your references in addition to “Leaning into Six Sigma.”
    I can say in my past work, I also had problems with the general definition of an opportunity.  The problems came when I looked at complex pharmeceutical and semiconductor processes, or at complex electronic hardware and software systems.  In these situations the number of opportunities were quite high.  The high opportunities invariably inflated the sigma level estimate.  So, after some thought I decided to partition these complex systems into value generating functional groups.  The sigma levels computed from aggregation were more in-line with the customer observed failures, which lended some support to the calculation adjustment.  It appears I came to a conclusion about the relationship between an opportunity and value-add at roughly the same time as you, about 1995.  This approach was useful and others on my team in measuring improvement, and the good news is the measure was useful in driving significant measureable improvement. 
    You know now that I remember, I think about 3 or 4 years ago I had a similar discussion with Gary Cone about this subject.  I almost hired him to do work for me at that time.  But, it seemed to me he was a bit to inflexible to handle the change management piece in my operation.  Are most of the folks from Motorola like that–bit too inflexible, and thinking they have all the knowledge of the Six Sigma stuff?  So, other then the Six Sigma BLOG and iSixSigma sitting are you and Stan doing anything else with yourselves? 
    It’s been great chatting with you guys.  I wish each of you the best of luck.
    Ken

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    #123199

    Mikel
    Member

    Ken,
    What I said wrong to is your giving three options for opportunity count. Set simple rules and count, don’t say hey in this situation you get ten, it this one you get 4, and in this other one over here you get 11. You have further confused an already confusing situation.

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    #123220

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Hey Stan,
    Good to finally hear from you.  Thanks for your feedback.  I thought my post response was clear, but sometimes I tend to belabor the issue more than I should. 
    Assessing areas of opportunity depends upon what you select to improve.  What you select to improve depends on what is of value to the customer.  The rules are simple–1) if the focus of work is on the process, count the number of process steps less the inspection steps, or 2) if the focus of work is on the product, count the number of parts in the product plus any non-manufacturing steps such as packaging, labeling, and in medical devices and pharm products sterilization.  That’s it!  Is this simple enough for you?
    Ken

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    #123226

    Cone
    Participant

    Ken,
    How is Abbot? I can’t tell how surprised I was to hear you made a post about me this morning. I thought we had exchanged some information and decided I couldn’t help doing an implementation from the middle instead of the top.
    Anyway, just some clarification. i did not straighten AlliedSiganol out, but I certainly was one of the major players. If being rigid aout change management means I think I know ways this stuff works and does not work, I am guilty.
    How is the implementation going at Abbot? Drop me an email sometime, but at least give me a heads up if you are going to drop my name in ways I don’t think come from the exchange of information we had several years ago.

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    #123227

    Cone
    Participant

    I know I should use spell check and read stuff before I send. Let’s try a corrected version.
     
    Ken,
    How is Abbott? I can’t tell how surprised I was to hear you made a post about me this morning. I thought we had exchanged some information and decided I couldn’t help doing an implementation from the middle instead of the top.
    Anyway, just some clarification. I did not straighten AlliedSignal out, but I certainly was one of the major players. If being rigid aout change management means I think I know ways this stuff works and does not work, I am guilty.
    How is the implementation going at Abbott? Drop me an email sometime, or at least give me a heads up if you are going to drop my name in ways I don’t think come from the exchange of information we had several years ago.

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    #123228

    Darth
    Participant

    Gary Who Ever You Are,
    Stop getting defensive.  According to Carnell’s post, he taught you everything you know anyway so let him speak on your behalf.

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    #123229

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Hey Gary,
    Hope all is going well with the business.  I was out at your site the other day while talking with some colleagues.  I like your site.  Simple and to the point.  Have not worked for Abbott yet, but there is another company that does similar business in the area that I worked with.  Let’s try to keep co names off the net.  If you want to comunicate off-line, glad to do so.  Let me know the best way to connect with you, and I’ll be glad to do so. 
    I was away from iSixSigma doing a large SS implementation in Europe.  Had a chance to live in Vienna, Austria for two years.  It was a wonderful opportunity, but also a lot of work.  Was indoctrinated in the GE way of doing business as I worked for a guy who was a SS zealot from GE.  It was a great learning experience.  Made lots of friends in many Euro countries.   Are you still living in my neck of the woods? 
    I’m actually working on my own doing work that transends Six Sigma and Lean.  I’m not online to advertise, so I’ll leave it a that.  Thanks for straightening me out on your relationship with Allied Signal. 
    Best of luck to you and Amy.
    Regard,
    Ken

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    #123231

    Cone
    Participant

    Shoot me an email and tell me what you are up to.
    [email protected]

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    #123232

    Cone
    Participant

    BTW the way, I knew it wasn’t Abbott, I drive by your old digs every now and then. Just trying to protect the guilty and start a rumour on here.

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    #123237

    “Ken”
    Participant

    I’ll send you a note in a day or so.  A little backed up on my end preparing some LSS training for a client.  Don’t want to start any rumours.  Take care.
    Ken

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    #123245

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    BenR,
    I have heard the 3X BOM. The portion of Allied that we deployed was Automotive and I did not use that. The most basic version is “parts plus connections.” This definition works well for electronics manufacturing but it ends up requiring a lot of interpretation if you just go to something as like machining.
    In assembly we would give a count for getting the correct part and one for assembling it correctly. If I am soldering in an axial leaded or chip resistor that is one for the part and 2 for each end for a total of 3. If we were doing the windscreen in the plane then we would give a count for all the parts and one for each connection (a rivet or a bolt).
    Where we got messy was in things like machining particularly on exotic metals that you would use in the hot section of an aircraft engine. They take multiple cuts particularly when they are getting close to a dimention in case they hang a chip they don’t want to scrap an expensive part. So they take multiple cuts and they get smaller as they get closer to a dimention. If you want to be tough on op counts you get one for the part and one for the dimension you are cutting not one for each time you take more off. This machining practice also does odd things to your capability analysis.
    From Stan’s earlier post. If you are adding value then it probably gives you an op count i.e. getting the correct part or making a connection.
    This is why test and inspection don’t pull op counts. They add no value to the product. The only test we have ever allowed an op count for was final test on Pacemakers because the assumption was that given the option of doing it and having to pay for it or not doing it because there was no value the customer would typically be willing to pay for it.
    Sorry for the long answer. I agree with you last point. Defects per unit is a sensitive measurement and will cover most situations and is a very understandable metric for almost everyone in the process.
    If you guys are working well on the 3X and your deployment is moving forward I believe you did the right thing. Nice job figuring out where the value was and getting them to do what was right.
    Just my opinion.
    Regards

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    #123246

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Ken,
    I have worked with Gary Cone on several occasions. I do believe Stan knows him better than I do. I was not at Corporate I was in the Northbrook office and in Seguin, Texas as well as Radar, Tactical and Communications in Phoenix.
    I answered a large part of your question when I responded to BenR’s question (which really wasn’t Ben’s question – sorry Ben).
    We ran into a similar issue on op counts when we did Steam Generators at GE. If we ran the typical counting methods we had inflated numbers. The group was great to watch. They did the numbers and found out that they were already at Six Sigma. They wer all standing around looking at at generator and one guy said “I don’t feel like I am at six sigma.” Pretty soon a couple agreed and then the entire group agreed Their solution was similar to yours.
    Actually the inflexibility is a personality trait as opposed to a Motorola thing. Check out http://www.BobWilsonConsulting.com. and his Personality Index (PI). Actually Gary Cone’s company GPS also has a couple guys in Brazil, Elmano Nigei and Sandro Infantini, who presented with Bob at the ISSSP conference in Scottsdale. They do a similar thing.
    I am not sure I understand the relationship with inflexibility and change management. There are thing that people can be flexible on and things that you can’t. We have seem repeated failures with Part Time BB’s and training without projects. I have never taken a piece of business that had either. It is just bad business. If I were hiring someone to consult, I would want them to be inflexible on an issue that put my deployment at risk versus one that didn’t matter. That is what they are paid for.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck.

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    #123247

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Darth,
    Have you now been dogmatized? I hope your other event went well.
    I did not teach him to spell (since you have already seem I am about 2 sigma capable on that process).
    I think Stan may have spent more time with him than I did.
    Regards
     

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    #123249

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Mike,
    I suspected that all of you guys were connected in some way.  I sense an underlying connection in your delivery that I’ve seen in the past.  It’s good to have a clearer perspective on this relationship.  Say listen, I understand you and your colleagues have some pretty extensive experience and history with the methodology.   As I compose this note, I wonder if you folks have considered there may be a few others out there who did not enjoy your rich experience, but non-the-less have experience and training of their own equally applicable to the rest of the forum.  In the change game the elite will never win in the long run. 
    Your experiences with current-state measurement aspects mirror many others of mine.  It’s good to know that despite my experiential shortcomings we see eye to eye on a few points. 
    If you and Stan would like–I’m good for clearing the air on past postings.  I always believe no matter where you’re at in life there’s alway room to learn.  I’ve made some room for you guys.  Can I expect the same from you?
    Ken

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    #123297

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Ken,
    There isn’t any air to clear. I have posted my share of emotional spikes on here. There is a saying “Conflict creates clarity.” (Vinny – almost an aliteration). I don’t step around conflict very often and I do prefer the clarity. I have room for learning every time I log on.
    My point wasn’t that Stan and I were equal to or better than in the experience catagory and yours or most others was insignificant (I can’t open that gate completely and I also haven’t checked to see if Stan concurs). Most of the people who post here bring something even if it isn’t experience – it may be just a different pespective. If you read most of what gets posted in a days time there is rarely a day will pass that you don’t learn something or spent a little time skating on the other side of the ice. Robert Butler has ben posting on here a few years and I have no idea how much experience he brings but he gives good advice and you have to respect the quality of his advice and the time he invests. We have even hit the point where Billybob gave up on the possums and drops a few pearls of wisdom on us from time to time.
    The herbal tea is starting to wear off. It is about time to check into a nice cool Tequila Sunrise (trying out the Herradura Darth – I’m still working the list you posted) and watch the reminants of Dennis.
    Check out the Blog site. There is some intersting stuff on there as well and they are looking for Blogers.
    Regards 

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    #123300

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Mike,
    Good enough!  Herradura Darth?  You got me on that one.  I prefer Herradura Anejo on a good day.
    Ken

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    #123312

    Mikel
    Member

    Ken,
    Two things –
    1) I agree with Mike.
    2) Herradura Darth is much, much older than any Añejo but not near as good. It is a special version only available in South Florida.

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    #123370

    Darth
    Participant

    Herradura Darth is also a little more bitter than the cheaper Herradura Suprema.  At times it also exhibits a taste of “foot in mouth” in addition to the more traditional agave flavor..

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    #123406

    Abul Faisal
    Participant

    Hello All,
    It was a good discussion and was very informative.I would like to know about a similar case in our  factory we too have 8 processes at each process there are chances of having 2 to 5 rejections.
    We calculate sigma level by No. of active types of rejects found at that paticular process.
    Say for example at process stage 2 there are chances of 5 type of rejects and frequently only 3 type of rejects data is being found then we take 3 as the active opportunity at that stage. We are doing so because there were actually 5 types of rejects at that stage and we did a Pareto Analysis and found that 2 of them contributed to about 65% of rejects then we carried out corrective actions to prevent the occurance of the same .
    The corrective actions were appropriate and the type of rejections reduced and after training the operators and making them aware it has completely vanished.
    Is this kind of sigma calculation write please correct me if  I am wrong
    Regards and thanks in advance,
    Faisal

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    #123409

    MamX
    Participant

    How about a new scenario?  We have a system where the same chemical passes through different stages within a system, at various temperatures.  At any given time, the tubes that this chemical travels through can rupture and it is always in a different location within the same system.  After a repair of this ruptured tube, it may take several months to several years for this same rupture to occur in the same or similar location, under the same temperature constraints.  Because of the infrequency of the ruptures happening in the same spot, it would take a decade to study the opportunities within the system.  In the past, experience has told us to shut down the system each year to search for possible ruptures and make repairs.  However, due to budget cuts and the evolution of six sigma, some new master black belts have decided to forgo the periodic shut-downs and just wait until things break, collecting data when the rupture occurs.  It could therefore take years (more than another decade) to develop meaningful data.  Meanwhile, we just wait and keep our fingers crossed, and hope that these ruptures don’t all occur in separate systems at the same time, causing multiple shutdowns.  I guess my point is, in this case, shouldn’t decades of experience count for something?  Or should we just abandon experience for the new six sigma way?

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    #123422

    Tierradentro
    Participant

    Hi Faisal / MamX,
     it does not matter how you get to your goal i.e. satisfying customers / eliminating defects – it is achieving the goal, as long as it is sustainable. Do not beat yourself up about ‘what is my sigma level now’ – the customer will not care, as long as you are satisfying them (and the business needs)
    MamX, you sound like you had a reasonably good TPM system in place, my advice is to kick your MBB in the pants & ask him to think about DFSS for your processes …
    My 2 cents.
    John
     

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    #123423

    MamX
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply.  Unfortunately, the lead MBB for this process is a VP who has a “my way or the highway” attitude.  And the other unfortunate thing is that the President and CEO appears to believe every excuse he gives as to why the process is not working.  So I guess we’ll have to wait until the whole thing blows up.  But thanks for the advise.

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    #123426

    Mikel
    Member

    Wrong.
    Opportunities have nothing to do with the types of rejects you have.  .

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    #123434

    Dino Palmieri
    Participant

    “A wise man learns from his mistakes a wiser man learns from others mistakes” This is certain ! As for the ruptures whithin the tubes I feel that the issue should be brought to the attention of the manufacturer of the tube . I also feel that there should be some experimenting with other tubes to see what the differences are. The point of diminishing return is crucial in this study due to the fact that the budget has obviously already been cut . If the manufacturer’s account is jepordized the sollution will surface.

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    #123447

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I am disappointed. I figured when you saw that “active” nonsense show up it would be a launching pad.

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    #123449

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Stan,So, which do you prefer Darth or Añejo?Ken

    0
    #123451

    Mikel
    Member

    Añejo for a good drink.
    Darth for interesting conversation.

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    #123452

    Mikel
    Member

    Waiting for a response – kind of like checking when you have a good hand in Texas hold um.

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    #123483

    Stevo
    Member

    They both give me a headache.
    Stevo

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    #123493

    Mikel
    Member

    Good point – I’m not going to drink any more.

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    #123512

    Babe of a Sister
    Participant

    Both of them get me really hot. Especially with all that talk about Darth’s bikini. But with Darth’s new friend naked George in the picture, well……..

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    #123519

    Abul Faisal
    Participant

    Hello MamX,
    What is the chemical flowing through the pipe.
    What is the API grade of pipe line.
     Is corrosion the reason for the repture. 
     What is the length and temperature of the service.
    Is there any protective coating in the inside surface.
    Does the line have so many elbows if yes is it LR or SR elbows
    Please reply with details.
    Regards,
    Faisal

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    #123520

    Abul Faisal
    Participant

    Hello Stan,
    If I have a product and there are chances of  having 5 types of rejects for the product at process stage A.
    It can get rejected because of any one or more than one of these types of rejections at that stage then what is wrong in taking that as the No. of opportunity at that process stage.
    Regards,
    Faisal

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    #123524

    Mikel
    Member

    Wrong

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    #123530

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Abul,
    It is the number of opportunities to do something correctly not the number of ways you can do it incorrectly. If I am making 1 solder joint I have the opportunity to do it correctly 1 time so the op count is 1. Just because there are 10+ ways to make a bad solder joint doesn’t mean I have an OP count of 10+. That is completely ludicrous.
    When you ship a product you have one opportunity for every product you deliver to deliver it correctly. If I deliver a product late or another late and defective the opportunity was to do it correctly is still one time. Imagine a conversation with a customer where the customer has asserted that the lot was 100% defective because you shipped it to the wrong facility – you take the position that it was only 50% defective because even though you shipped it to the wrong facility the product was all good so you believed you had an opportunity count of 2 per piece rather than their view of 1. Guess who wins? Not only would you look ridiculous in front of you customer you would also have assured them you have no customer focus and that impacts future business.
    You are getting into that active opportunity stuff. It is a theory that is exactly that, an esoteric theory. Once you begin to count opportunities you realize the count is inflated and that the minute you stop testing and inspecting you lose opportunities. Given that, how will you ever convince anyone to eliminate a test or inspection even after one of those infamous “stability” runs at zero defects. Even worse is with electronic testing such as bed of nails where you can test hundreds of points quickly with virtuaslly no probability of failure (passive devices) with automated assembly – a production manager can run the opportunity count through the roof and run virtually no chance of not being able to prove statistically they are operating at six sigma even when they are producing junk.
    Good luck

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    #123544

    Abul Faisal
    Participant

    Thanks Mike for that detailed explanation I will correct my calculations of sigma level.
    Regards,
    Faisal
     

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    #123556

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Abul,
    You are welcome. Let us know how it works out for you.
    Good luck.

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    #123572

    BBMole
    Participant

    Why not use reliability figures. If you have these for even one failure, then you can determine the best preventative maintenance schedule for you set up. I think that the MBB would find it hard to argue with these numbers, as they are based on your experience with failures.
    Look for Dr Robert Abernethy on the Web

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