As the name implies, a Lean Six Sigma methodology combines the principles of lean manufacturing ("Lean") with those of Six Sigma. But, why would anyone want to do this? What are the advantages and disadvantages of combining Lean and Six Sigma methodologies?
What Does Lean Contribute?
Lean is a process of continual improvement based and increasing value for the customer. The objective is to eliminate anything that does not contribute to what a customer is willing to pay for. This puts the focus on eliminating waste and streamlining the process of delivering the product or service.
Lean involves applying a number of principles and methods that include:
- Kaizen - the principle of continuous improvement based on employee suggestions.
- Kanban - customer demand “pulls” the product through the production process.
- TPM - Total Productive Maintenance is used to reduce equipment downtime.
- TQM - Total Quality Management continually improves product and service quality.
- 5S System - improving quality and efficiency through cleaning up and getting organized.
- SMED - the principles of Single Minute Exchange of Die reduce the time needed to change a machine or production line to produce a different product.
- Poka-yoke - used to eliminate the possibility of errors.
Lean is a tool used by businesses to streamline manufacturing and production processes. The main emphasis of Lean is on cutting out unnecessary and wasteful step so that only the steps that directly add value to the product remain.
Lean Six Sigma Methodology Visual Communication
Without clear, effective visual communication, implementing Lean Six Sigma methods will be next to impossible. Visual communication using signs and labels delivers needed information at the physical locations and times when it is most needed. Learn more about DuraLabel label and sign solutions from Graphic Products.