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DFSS Sample Projects in Lean Six Sigma

written by: Jack Wilson • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 9/30/2010

Design for Six Sigma is an effective strategy to ensure a seamless and successful product launch. This article describes the successful implementation of a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) sample project in Lean Six Sigma.

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    Design For Six Sigma

    DFSS stands for Design for Six Sigma which is a system/strategy for managing the quality of products at the lowest possible cost through the design process before they are released to manufacturing. Some of the hallmarks of DFSS is the DMAIC approach. DMAIC stands for Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

    DFSS can be applied to any new product development project. One DFSS Sample Project in Lean Six Sigma in particular that empathizes the important points is spoken about below.

    Remote Controlled Car For one particular project, the goal was to design and simulate mass production of remote control cars (this was done using a automated production system with 2 mills and lathe). The cars would then be raced against each other and judged on the results, as well as the efficiency of production and other more subjective criteria. Design for Six Sigma allowed the manager of the project and the team to organize the large scope of the project so it could be worked on in a orderly manner. The first step of the project was to Define the customer requirements (Define step) and to create a very high level plan to meet them. In this case they were straightforward with not much research required. They were:

    • Performance (the race)
    • Cost (derived from simulated production)
    • Aesthetics

    Next the step was to come up with a basic design and evaluate the ability of this design to meet these requirements. A basic model was then developed. Along with this model was a basic production plan (mostly defining scope) and then each of the requirements were addressed in a preliminary report .

    After this step the design was analyzed in more detail. Characteristics such as necessary manufacturing specifications were developed (to meet customer requirements, measure step). Design for Manufacturability was addressed and a much more detailed production plan was created.

    The next step was creating a prototype and evaluating the data obtained from the prototype testing and creation (analyze step). Several tests were analyzed. First was the “race". From this the primary data used was the time taken to complete the track from point A to point B. Other observations were made such as whether the product was mechanically secure and could withstand crashes and such. Also simulated customers were polled about the aesthetics of the final product and what could be improved. And lastly time studies were conducted on production time that the product used. The ease of machining and assembly were noted and defects during production were also noted. Since the prototype stem was conducted without many problems only minor adjustments were made (Improve step). The next step final production was set in motion without many adjustments. Before final production a fixture was made to ensure consistency and eliminate variation in milling, and programs were written for the mill, lathe and conveyors to ensure consistent production (control step).

    Image Credit: Netalloy/Open Clip Art Library

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