The Ways We Use Six Sigma Methods In Our Modular Fabrication
October 11, 2013
Within the manufacturing business world, a number of efficiency theories abound. These theories are designed to show companies how they can increase profits and quality while cutting costs and product defects. One of the most discussed and widely revered models is the Six Sigma approach to manufacturing. Since modular fabrication is one of the best established gold standards of production, it is no surprise that the premise and application guidelines of Six Sigma align nicely with the best practices of modular fabrication. This article will discuss how STI Group incorporates the principles of Six Sigma into our modular fabrication process, thereby allowing our customers to reap the benefits associated with this practice.
What Is the Six Sigma Model?
Six Sigma is a manufacturing methodology that attests business costs, inefficiencies, and quality control issues can be resolved by reducing variation. In order to reduce this variation Six Sigma espouses a five step approach that includes: Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling. Collectively these steps are often referred to as DMAIC. Let’s take a look at each step and how it relates to STI Group’s modular fabrication techniques.
The first stage in the Six Sigma model of manufacturing is ‘Defining.’ In this stage the foundation is set for the entire rest of the process as the customers and their needs and concerns are carefully defined and understood. Once the customer's priorities are determined, STI Group begins to evaluate which aspects of the modular fabrication process will best support these priorities.
In the second phase of Six Sigma the focus shifts to ‘Measuring.’ In this stage the key characteristics of the customer’s wants and needs are categorized and then measurement systems that can be used to gauge these priorities are verified and data is collected. The process of modular fabrication allows for convenient and thorough measuring of these needs and also allows the flexibility of making changes as necessary.
After the data has been measured, the next phase of Six Sigma involves carefully analyzing that data so that it can be converted into information that will provide an insight into the overall process as it relates to the particular customer's project. This stage allows STI Group to quickly identify any weak spots in the modular fabrication process which may cause time delays, production inefficiencies, cost increases or any situation which is in conflict with the customer's needs.
The fourth stage of Six Sigma involves combining all of the information gathered in the first three stages - customer needs, measured data, analyzed weak spots - and then using that information to develop solutions. The solutions that are enacted will then once again be measured and analyzed to verify whether or not the changes that were enacted ultimately proved beneficial to the overall process, or if another approach needs to be tried, and then process repeated. STI Group utilizes this sophisticated fine-tuning approach in all areas of our modular fabrication so that the system becomes as efficient and optimized as possible.
The final stage of Six Sigma is to set controls on the system once it is functioning at its peak performance level. Modular fabrication is ideal for this stage because by its very nature it yields extremely consistent, reliable results. If anything in the process does go wrong, or deviate, then it will be very quickly noticed, identified, and corrected. Ultimately, this results in a sustainable, efficient system that continually operates at optimal efficiency.
STI Group integrates the Six Sigma approach to manufacturing into its modular fabrication process because this emphasizes critical thinking, good planning, and careful monitoring and maintenance of the system. Everything is designed based on the dynamic, personalized requirements of each project. This allows us to deliver exceptional results that meet or exceed our customers' expectations, allowing them to reap the rewards of maximum efficiency, quality, economy, and production time.