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. In six sigma. product and service improvement. customer focus becomes the top priority and any improvements are defined by their impact on customer satisfaction and value (Pande and Holpp.INTRODUCTION • Six sigma can be considered both a business strategy and a science that has the aim of reducing manufacturing and service costs. and creating significant improvements in customer satisfaction and bottom-line savings through combining statistical and business process methodologies into an integrated model of process. 2002).

.Background to DOE techniques • The statistical approach to design of experiments and the analysis of variance technique was developed by Fisher (1935) back in the 1930s. This classical approach to the design of experiments was further developed in the late 1980s when Genichi Taguchi developed his own form of statistical design of experiments. The technique provides a very powerful and economical method to determining significant factors and factor interactions that affect variability within a product.

The requirement for a combined lean-six sigma methodology • There is much debate as to whether formal process and quality enhancement approaches can be effectively implemented and subsequently utilised by SMEs. Husband (1997). in studies with Australian SMEs. They go on to state that the uniqueness and complexity of SMEs manufacturing operations often hinder the implantation process. . Thomas and Webb (2003) in their work on analysing process improvement systems implementation in SMEs highlight the lack of intellectual and financial capacity within small companies as being the primary issues that lead to poor systems implementation.

Its aim will be to create a single purposeful framework to allow manufacturing-based SMEs to implement the process effectively and to experience the benefits that LSS .Developing an SME-based LSS model • It is clear from the above literature search that LSS has varied levels of success both in its ability to provide performance enhancements to companies and also in its ease of implementation into companies especially SMEs. this paper will propose a LSS implementation model. In order to assist SMEs in the development of LSS.

cost of rejects after LSS ¼ £36.000.000. . Cell OEE increased from 34 to 55 per cent. Cost of rejects before LSS ¼ £69. The following savings have been identified to date: • Reject rate reduction on the pilot line of 55 per cent indicating a potential saving over the year of £29.000.Cost savings realised through using the lean sigma process • The company is still in their initial stages of lean sigma implementation and a series of new initiatives are planned to capitalize on the savings already made within the foam plant.

Extending the application of the model • The model has provided an effective yet simple framework for a company to simultaneously improve its manufacturing operations as well as its product capabilities. The model concentrates upon DOE as a major analysis tool and as such is somewhat conceptually limiting to more advanced companies wishing to develop different or more specific statistical tools and techniques to develop its manufacturing operations. However. the paper provides an effective road map to any small manufacturing company which wishes to embark on the development .

It means that the many opportunities already known at Company A can be prioritised by a multidisciplinary team considering their individual targets. the company’s goals and the effects of the expected improvement.Managerial aspects of using the integrated model • There are many benefits of such an integrated method. in an almost continuous systematic approach. but the feedback-based nature is particularly important to Company A. This in turn means that the iterative nature of the model can be used to achieve optimisation and/or continuous improvement of a system. and hence help manage the entire business .

Pareto analysis of year to date quality related .

The results of the experimental study enabled a change to be made to the parameter settings that resulted in a 99 per cent quality level attainment for the product .Conclusion • An experimental study was undertaken in order to identify the optimum parameter settings and predicted settings for the arm rest problem. • The development of a LSS model developed a culture towards continuous improvement and the systematic implementation of the approach throughout the organisation. .