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The improvement of a manufacturing stream using the DMAIC method

By Enzo Gentili, Francesco Aggogeri and Marco Mazzola


The need for globalization, the saturation and instability of markets, the life-cycle time reduction of products and the customer demands have been the main factors that have contributed to a radical change of management conceptions and strategies. In this context the application of improvement methodologies, which suggest techniques and methods to organize and manage the manufacturing and service of industrial processes, is essential to increase the business performance. The purpose of this paper is to show the main steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the manufacturing stream of a company that produces both professional and simple kitchen knives. This company is leader in its market and it focuses on safety, reliability, design and quality of its products. The improvement project analyses all potential sources of product defects and scraps, assessing the main manufacturing processes (shearing, hardening, rolling, sharpening and pressing), and suggests every possible solution to increase the performance level. In order to achieve these goals the Lean Six Sigma methodology was applied, following the DMAIC (define, measure, analyse, improve and control) problem solving approach. The DMAIC is a better way to manage an improvement project putting the customer first and using facts and data to achieve better solutions. The project also highlights an economic analysis in order to understand the benefits and the convenience of a rigorous and structured improvement pla

Topics: Continuous improvement, Control quality, Problem solving, Engineering (all)
Publisher: 'ASME International'
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1115/IMECE2006-14469
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