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Lean Six SigmaBrett Ellis, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.S.B.B.

IEEE SeminarWells Conference Center

University of Maine, Orono, MaineNovember 8, 2018

Brett D. Ellis, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.S.B.B. Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology, University of Maine

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering University of Houston M.S. in Mechanical Engineering N.C. State University Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology 21 years experience in Mechanical Engineering

Primarily in materials and product development 10 years experience at Southeastern Container, Inc.

Product Development Manager Commercialized numerous bottles, preforms, and finishes

Reduced commercialization time from 1.5 years to as little as 21 days Reduced mean bottle mass by ~7%

Redesigned water bottlesLighter finishes (-1.3 g) Redesigned preforms (-0.7 g)

Lean Six Sigma Lean Manufacturing (LM) a continuous improvement

methodology that seeks to understand value (i.e., what customers are willing to pay for) and eliminate wastes (i.e.,what customers are unwilling to pay for)

Six Sigma (6) a continuous improvement methodology to reduce defects to extremely low levels


Value/Non-Value Added (V/NVA)

Value Added Activity Any activity the customer would be willing to pay for if they knew the process occurred

Non-Value Added Activity Any activity that does not add value to the product or service

Most studies1 indicate that value is added < 5% of the time; >95% of the time is wasted.

1: http://leanmanufacturingtools.org/89/value-add-vs-non-value-adding-processes/

Defects Non-conforming productionOverproduction Producing too muchTransportation Forklifts, conveyors, trucksWaiting Idle operatorsInventory Parts, WIP, inventory, suppliesMotion Unnecessary motion, e.g., walkingProcessing Burr removal, reshaping, inspection


7 Types of Muda (i.e., Wastes)

Sustain Commit to previous 4 stepsStandardize Make cleaning & checking routineScrub Clean; method to keep everything cleanStraighten A place for everything, everything in its placeSort Eliminate all un-needed items; major cleaning1. S

2. S3. S4. S5. S


Source: QCI (2014). CSSBB Primer, p. IX-38.https://totalqualitymanagement.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/some-images-of-5s-houskeeping-in-factories-and-offices/

Chemical cabinet Before 5S Chemical cabinet After 5S


Continuous Flow: Efficient & Faster

Traditional BatchLayout

Continuous FlowLayout

Poke-Yoke: Mistake Proofing

Poke-Yoke A mistake-proofing device or procedure to prevent or detect an errorSource: http://www.leanblog.org/2011/03/simple-brilliant-error-proofing-at-the-world-famous-in-n-out-burger/

http://www.maderalabs.com/?p=1241http://www.ainsmag.co.uk/newsimages/ab237/4398ab1h.jpgQCI (2014). CSSBB Primer, p. VI-3.

In-N-Out Burger trays wont fit in

trash can

Diesel and gas nozzles

Collision between cars and trains


Lean Manufacturing: Example

Source: http://cmuscm.blogspot.com/2014/01/mcdonalds-secret-sauce-for-supply-chain_21.htmlhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KanbanQCI (2014). CSSBB Primer, p. VI-3.


Six Sigma, 6 Six Sigma is a methodology to reduce defects to very low


-7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7




Standard deviation,


+6( )21



x xN



1 Assuming 5 characters per word, 300 words per page, and 250 pages in a book.http://www.quora.com/How-many-characters-of-text-letters-are-in-an-average-book

A 6 process produces ~3.4 Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO) ~1.3 incorrect characters in a 250-page book1

~1 defective Christmas light for ~500 houses2

Christmas lights

Not 6

2 Assuming 2,000 lights per house. Typical light user uses 1 to 3 wreaths, garland, and ~10 strings of lights. http://www.christmaslightsetc.com/pages/how-much-power.htm

Why is Six Sigma Important Problem-solving approaches that employ only

theoretical equations have shortcomings: Rely upon highly-specialized skill sets to produce a solution Not guaranteed to produce a unique solution Focus on the mechanics of a problem. What about other

factors, e.g., operators, measurement system, atmospheric humidity, interactions?

Theoretical approaches are typically deterministic, whereas real-world systems respond stochastically

Even if a useful solution can be obtained, do other approaches produce a useful solution quicker or cheaper?

Six Sigma addresses these shortcoming via a systematic, empirical approach

Why is Six Sigma Important Motorola saved ~$16 billion in the first five years of


GE saved ~$12 billion in the first five years of implementation

Maine companies utilizing Lean Six Sigma Pratt & Whitney, GE, Jackson Lab, IDEXX, Nichols Portland,

LLC, Owens Corning, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense, MaineHealth, AdvancePierre Foods, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, New Balance, LL Bean, etc.

What is the Cost of Poor Quality?

Prevention (0 5%) Capability studies, training, pilot

projects, design reviews

Appraisal (10 50%) Audits, inspecting incoming raw

materials, inspecting final products

Failure (40 80%) Internal: Repairs, sorting, failure

reviews External: Recalls, warranty expenses,

litigation Levels of Product Costs



Failure(Internal & External)

Quality Council of Indiana (2001). CSSBB Primer. p. III-62.

Why Does Variability Matter? Money

-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4



, e.g., Minimum thickness of a steel beam Amount of cheese on a pizza

-4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4





Normalized Critical to Quality (CTQ) parameter


Project: Filling Bottles Background: Sole proprietorship manufactures, markets, & sells ~$70k/year of

niche hair care products Problem statement: Reduce the current ~19 sec/bottle filling time by 30% or ~5.7

sec/bottle Process improvements:

Reduced movement of operator (~6.9 sec/bottle) Eliminated funnel by adding filling valve (~3.7 sec/bottle)

Results: Reduced filling time by 56%, or ~10.6 sec/bottle Payback period of ~4 days on $120 capital investment


1. Queue empty bottles

2. Move pot

3. Place funnels and fill

4. Replace pot

5. Return to counter

6. Queue filled bottlesImprovedprocess

1. Place 1 bottle in sink

2. Fill bottle via valve

3. Return filled bottle



Project: Reduce Mold Change Times Background: Manufacturer performed ~12 mold changes

/ week, each requiring ~23.3 mins

Problem statement: Reduce the mold change time by 25% (or 5.8 mins) to 17.5 mins.

Process improvements: Improved flow of information Reduced searching (processing) by creating cart

parking lot Reduced movement by transporting all components

in single trip

Results: Mold changes reduced by ~27% to 16.8 mins Annual labor savings of ~350 hours

Thermoforming mold change

Project: Chemical Processing Background: Research into biomedical applications of seaweed-

extracted polysaccharides is limited by the rate and efficiency of current extraction methods

Problem statement: Reduce the 10-50% mass loss of ethanol within the polysaccharide water bath and centrifuge extraction process

Process improvements: Identified how mass loss occurred Introduced re-usable centrifugal tubes and water bath mounting

system Results:

Net savings of $4,300 / year primary in labor Water bath setup time reduced from ~6.5 mins to ~0.3 mins (95%

reduction) Successful processes increased from ~40% to 100%

Re-usable centrifugal tube

Original centrifugal tube

Water bath mounting system

Summary Lean Manufacturing seeks to decrease wastes & add value

Six Sigma seeks to reduce variation and defects to near zero levels.

Lean Six Sigma initiatives can improve profitability via: Waste reductions Faster delivery Improved quality Reduced variation in products Reduced overhead costs associated with product development

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.- Henry David Thoreau

Ref: Thoreau (1910). Walden. p. 117.

Brett Ellis: brett.ellis@maine.edu

Lean Six SigmaBrett D. Ellis, Ph.D., P.E., C.S.S.B.B.Lean Six SigmaLean manufacturingValue/Non-Value Added (V/NVA)7 Types of Muda (i.e., Wastes)5SContinuous Flow: Efficient & FasterPoke-Yoke: Mistake ProofingLean Manufacturing: ExampleSix SigmaSix Sigma, 6 Why is Six Sigma ImportantWhy is Six Sigma ImportantWhat is the Cost of Poor Quality?Why Does Variability Matter?Sample projectsProject: Filling BottlesProject: Reduce Mold Change TimesProject: Chemical ProcessingSummary


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