Project for missing Parts

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    Does anyone have a case study or experience in working through a six sigma project dealing with missing parts?

    The scope of this project is assuring all parts are packed out in the final product. The final product contains roughly 20 to 30 pieces and contain items like instruction sheets, hardware packs, and components.

    The process is about 3.7 sigma and we would like to move it about 1 sigma with 6 sigma as a stretch goal.

    Also, we are looking for ‘best-in-class’ companies to visit for benchmarking. Does anyone know who to talk to for best in class?

    Your help is appreciated in this Project.



    The above link will take you to the statistical handbook of the NIST, the former bureau of standards.

    Search for counts control charts (chapter

    This is a control chart which uses statistics to measure the probability you got an assembly correct.

    Establishing the status quo will give you the ability to determine if you are gaining or losing ground with changes in policy or procedures.



    Hi John,
    I would like to share with you what we had done with a similar problem that we faced when we were shipping out our product.
    We had about 50 odd parts which needed to be shipped out as accessories along with the machine. The first thing that we did was prepare a checklist of all the parts that needed to be packed. Then an inspector would come and inspect the box,and this process would take about an hour and half, as you can see we were utilising a man just for inspection. Inspite of this there were times when we would get Customer Complaints saying that some accessory was missing. This only goes to show how even 100% inspection is not the best answer.
    After brainstorming for a solution we came up with the idea of designing an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) a.k.a thermocole in such a manner that each parts could sit in only cavity. What we managed to do by this is Poka Yoke the entire process ,now the inspector didnt have to go through the trouble of counting all the parts , he just would have to do a visual inspetion , see which cavities are empty and accordingly take the Accept or Reject Decision.
    Needless to say this cut down the cycle time for inspection as well as eliminating the errors due to either inspection or during the packing stage

    Feel free to get in touch with me in case you need more clarifications , I’d be glad to help




    Thanks for the reply.

    Actually we already use a tray insert that we place parts into. Our problem is parts missing from the insert.

    I like the count idea as a method for tracking good and bad boxes. Also, we are looking at Poka Yoke as a tool to help us out.


    Gary Cone


    Go look at what the computer companies put in place >10 years ago. It requires a small investment in sensors and computers, but the process can be absolutely mistake proofed.



    Thanks for the reply Gary.

    Can you be a little more specific on how to “Go look at what the computer companies put in place >10 years ago”

    How can I get this info? Any advice on how to get started? Any literature on what the computer indrustry?

    I am new to the benchmarking seen so I guess my second question to the original post is “How does one go about benchmarking?

    Thanks for your help.

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