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Industrial engineering and process improvement

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Industrial engineering and process improvement

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #28272

    Mares
    Participant

    Hi! I graduated from college with an industrial engineering degree, but I wonder/not sure how I can apply skills that I learned in college to implement process improvements in manufacturing area. I know this question may be too broad–but I will accpet any ideas. Thank in advance!

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    #70181

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Most manufacturing facilities are relatively easy to improve. If you stand around (in the process area) and watch it will become obvious. Hang out with the operators and talk to them and they will get you moving in the right direction. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. The more they trust you the more success you will have. At this point you just need a little experience.
    If you read a book called Lean Thinking you will find it corresponds heavily with a lot of what you learned. Pick something small and try some of it out.
    Don’t try starting a grass roots revolution yet. Doesn’t work well.
    Don’t be afraid to change jobs. If you are ina place that is happy where they are at you won’t be able to change much.

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    #70203

    Jaran S.
    Participant

    My comment :
    1. Try to integrate all you learned as much as possible.
    2. Identify what you not learned yet (what you learned may 10-20 year behind)
    3. Learn from experienced people (this website is a good place)
    4. Observe,Β think and try.
    5. Learn from mistakes
    That just few comment
    Jaran S.

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    #70211

    Martin Hedley
    Participant

    Adrian,The disciplines can be highly complementary. I implemented a process improvement program at American Airlines about 10 years ago. I took leading managers who were about to be promoted, and paired each with a newly minted or junior industrial engineer. These teams worked within their assigned organisational areas – the manager focusing on the teamwork, business case, management review of projects and sponsorship, the IE focused on the metrics and process flow charts.The results were very good in all cases. Both learned each others skills. The managers went on to run broader areas, eventually meeting the Black Belt standard, and the IE’s also became Black Belts. (We did not use the term Black Belt back then).Six-sigma techniques can be used by everyone – an industrial engineer clearly has an advantage though because of the close alignment of the disciplines.Best of luck.

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    #70220

    Ken K.
    Participant

    Very good advice Mike!
    In additon, to focus on the methodology:
    1. Understand your process very well. Stare at it (Mike’s comment). Ask operators about it. Map it.Β Look for deviations from the “normal” process. Map them.
    2. Find the key qualitative & quantitative characteristics of the process – the things you think impact the outgoing quality.
    3. Figure out ways to measure those characteristics (the inputs) and the quality of the process output. This is not always easy. Variables measures are MUCH preferred over attribute measures.
    4. Understand the measurement system you will use to measure the process characteristics. Use gage R&R to measure variability. Make sure gages are calibrated. Understand how temperature, humidity, and other factors affect the gage accuracy & precision. The rest of your work will be dramatically impacted by the quality of your measurements.
    5. Take data on your process. Is the process acceptable? Are there correlations between the characteristics you’ve measured and the defects? Use this data to help narrow down the list of characteristics that might be modified to improve the process.
    4. Consider running designed experiments to learn how changes in the charactericsts (inputs) affect the resulting quality (the outputs). Don’t put all your effort into one big experiment – plan for several experiments that incorporate things you’ve learned at you run through them. Focus on process optimization. Also do confirmation runs to make sure that the presumed optimum settings are truly optimal.
    5. Once you’ve identified ways to improve the process, make sure you put controls in place to maintain the new settings. Keep measureing the inputs and outputs for a time to get a better understanding of the relationships. Make sure you document your efforts as much as possible.

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    #70255

    isabelle
    Participant

    The real challenge is applying the skills in the Service Industry…All help is much appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.

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    #70257

    Saherngu
    Participant

    Isabelle,
    What do your customers want?, i.e. if it’s a call centre, they want a real person on the line soonest (within xx rings/seconds etc)Β  If you are selling advertising, they need a knowledgeable person who understands the market(s) they are selling space in.Β  If you are servicing equipment, they will want functioning, clean shiny calibrated kit back when it was promised, in the shortest possible timescale.
    Talk to your customers, they probably won’t bite too hard if they think you are trying to help them, and provide a better service.Β  To misquote someone famous “Ask not what your customers can do for you, but what you can do for them”
    Does this help at all???
    regards
    James

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    #70383

    Martin Haim
    Participant

    Hi Isabelle,
    Β 
    tell me what your issue is at work in your service industry and i will tell you how to apply continual process improvement to that process.
    Β 
    Remember everything we do is a process answering a telephone call, going to work, to brushing our teeth, all are processes and all have natural variation. Once you understand the variation in your inputs, you can measure them in your process and then know your output.
    Please e-mail me Isabelle if youΒ  require any further assistance.
    Β 
    Best Regards
    Β 
    Martin Haim

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    #70384

    isabelle
    Participant

    We supply a Telecom cie with Logistics services.Β  We are in fact a dedicated logistics service provider – We warehouse assigned goods – Goods already assigned to orders but not fit to be shipped because order is incomplete.Β  We also consolidate shipments and assign them to the right carrier to be shipped – according to customer specifications.Β  We are also responsible for preparing the approporiate custom docs.
    We do have inspection processes (incoming, in-process and final), most of the measurements we gather is to measure the effectiveness of the customer as we do not pack, they do… We share occupancy of their building.
    It is my first experience in the service industry, I come from the textile sector…We successfully achieved ISO 9002 certification in Oct of 2000.
    Thank you for your input.

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    #70394

    Martin Haim
    Participant

    Hi Isabelle,
    Β 
    my e-mail is [email protected], is there anything in particular you would like to start a project on that you would like to apply six sigma to. If so i would like to help, i too also used to work in manufacturing and i am now in a service sector, so to share experiences would be good for the both of us, look forward to hearing from you soon to help you with any service issues that you have.Best Regards
    Martin

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