Six Sigma








Philosophy

The concept of improvement in the workplace began in the United States during World War II. Since then, multiple philosophies of lean manufacturing have been established. One of the most notable is Six Sigma. The concept originated with Motorola, and it was based on previous ideals. Sigma is the unit for standard deviation on a bell curve. Six Sigma encompasses over 99% of all products. If a company produces with "six sigma quality," they have, at most, 3.4 defective parts per million. Six Sigma, like its predecessors, asserts that:

  • Continuous efforts to achieve stable and predictable process results (i.e., reduce process variation) are of vital importance to business success.
  • Manufacturing and business processes have characteristics that can be measured, analyzed, improved and controlled.
  • Achieving sustained quality improvement requires commitment from the entire organization, particularly from top-level management.

However, the concepts that set Six Sigma apart from other philosophies include:

  • A clear focus on achieving measurable and quantifiable financial returns from any Six Sigma project.
  • An increased emphasis on strong and passionate management leadership and support.
  • A special infrastructure of "Champions," "Master Black Belts," "Black Belts," "Green Belts", etc. to lead and implement the Six Sigma approach.
  • A clear commitment to making decisions on the basis of verifiable data, rather than assumptions and guesswork.

Application

The entire task that the robot must be able to accomplish centers around the idea of Six Sigma. There must be as few defective parts within the factory as possible to optimize the team's score, or, more generally, the company's production quality. A higher quality is the result of greater efficiency, and both lead to a more successful company.