Role of Six Sigma in Manufacturing Industry

Role of Six Sigma in Manufacturing Industry


Last updated September 11, 2017

The basics of Six Sigma are actually designed to improve the performance of manufacturing industry. It was originally developed as a kind of quality control especially for large scale manufacturing companies. The main purpose of this quality control system was to improve the manufacturing processes along with eliminating the number of defects found in them. Later on the methodology of Six Sigma was extended to various other types of industries irrespective of their size all over the world. In order to understand the role of Six Sigma in manufacturing industry you must be familiar with this concept. 

Introduction to Six Sigma

The concept of Six Sigma was developed in 1986 by Motorola as a set of tools and techniques to improve the processes. In 1995 this concept was used by Jack Welch as the main concept of the business strategy of General Electric which is used by a number of industrial sectors these days. 

Six Sigma identifies and removes the defect causing elements along with reducing the changeability of the business and manufacturing processes to improve the quality of outputs of a manufacturing process. In this methodology, a set of quality management methods is used to create within the organization for a special infrastructure of the people who can use these methods like experts. An organization follows a defined set of steps to quantify the targeted value of the project while using each project of Six Sigma. For instance the organization can reduce pollution, reduce time cycle of a process and reduce cost of production for increasing profits and satisfaction level of its customers.

Working of Six Sigma

The terminologies linked with manufacturing industry like the terms linked with statistical modeling of manufacturing processes originated the term Six Sigma. A sigma rating can describe the maturity of a manufacturing process by indicating its percentage of defect free products created or its yield. Almost 100% products manufactured through Six Sigma process are statistically expected to be defect free even of the level of their defect is equal to 4.5. A goal of Six Sigma was set by Motorola for all of its manufacturing processes and all of its engineering and management practices take this goal by-word for its achievement. 

In 1980s when the methodology of Six Sigma was originated by Motorola an association between decrease in cost of production and increase in quality of products was recognized by the company. Earlier it was believed by the management of various manufacturing industries that higher quality can increase the cost of production which in fact was not true. 

According to the basics of the doctrine of Six Sigma the success of a company vitally depends upon continuous efforts for achieving stable manufacturing processes. The factors of these processes are also important to be measured statistically so that they can be improved by analyzing them. In fact all the members of an organization, especially managers of top level, have to be committed for any kind of improvement in the organization as the methodology of Six Sigma is highly based on team efforts. 

Features of Six Sigma

The main features of Six Sigma for improvement in manufacturing industry include:
A clear focus on quantifying and measuring the financial returns of any project. The passionate commitment and support of the managers of an organization about their leadership Creation of infrastructure of professionals similar to the levels of martial arts. All these features allow clearly define the responsibilities and role of every individual within the team for improving the manufacturing process of the organization. 

Goals of Six Sigma

The prime goal of Six Sigma methodology is to make sure that the manufacturing process has minimum defects. The occurrence of 3.4 defects per million chances is the ultimate goal of this system. Though it seems to be an unachievable task but most of the manufacturing companies achieve this final goal by adopting this technique of producing quality products.

Consequential Results of Six Sigma

Motorola had reported some astonishing facts about the benefits Six Sigma has offered to its organization after registering it as the mark of their service. Company has disclosed to have saved over $17 billion by the end of 2006 with the help of quality improvement processes offered by this unique system. Almost half of the Fortune 500 companies have adopted this process for their organizations by the end of twentieth century. 

Availability of various levels of training and certification is another hallmark of the process of Six Sigma. As martial arts practitioners are labeled the managements adapting this system are also certified. The different levels of training and certification offered by Six Sigma are organized into different levels of belt’ like green belt, yellow belt, black belt and master black belt etc. The employees are enrolled in the training programs held by Six Sigma so that they can be certified employees after completing the necessary training and use the methodology for saving money of their organization. 

While practicing the goals of Six Sigma in an organization then it is almost impossible to find any defect in the production of their products and services. In fact it is designed for the improvement in the quality of production of the organizations by improving their manufacturing processes. 

In large organizations where clear communication channels and extensive management infrastructure is available most effective results are shown by this type of programs. Most of the companies which have adopted this quality control system for improving their products and services are among the most successful ventures of the world. The comments of these companies reveal the fact that by embracing Six Sigma they have saved lots of money than earlier. But before adopting this system for you manufacturing company it is recommended that you should spend some time for researching about Six Sigma as the success of this process is questioned by some of the experts of manufacturing industry. 

But still the comment and reviews of most of the successful companies reveal that Six Sigma plays an important role in the success of Manufacturing Industry and it will continue to do so in future as well.

About the Author

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies. Based in San Francisco, California, and Bangalore, India, Simplilearn has helped more than 500,000 students, professionals and companies across 200 countries get trained, upskilled, and acquire certifications.


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