I have already written about FMEA (failure Modes Effects Analysis) here, but the general nature of this blog gives me the ability to revisit topics as questions are asked. Today I want to shine a general focus on the different types of FMEA; generally there are four types of FMEA that your 6Sigma professionals look at. Here we go!
Systems FMEA– This type is applied to products/services at the early concept or design level as each step forms a process which in turn forms a system. System FMEA usually focuses on potential design failures. One good example are the multiple iterations of a product development process, the System FMEA would focus on design failures in the product development process.
Design (DFMEA)-This type works at the pre-production level and it is used to analyze failures prior to production. The goal is to detect how failures affect the system and minimize them. Once caveat regarding this type of FMEA is that the information gained from this type of FMEA must be used in the Process FMEA.
Process (PFMEA)-This type works generally in the early stages of production, where quality planning begins. The failures mode and potential defect sources are given a weighted value and racked and stacked according to your organizational goals. Now as more industries adopt 6Sigma, the thought naturally becomes ‘how does this apply to me’? Whenever a process moves from creation to implementation, you can apply 6Sigma tools. The tools will have to be altered to your specific organizational goals but truthfully and good consultant will adapt the tools according to knowledge and goals anyway.
Equipment FMEA-This type is used to spot the failures in the equipment used in the process or in manufacturing a part of the product. The trick is in knowing your equipment on a level that will allow you to notice errors and failures.
Remember the goal of FMEA is to improve quality and reliability while reducing time and cost. Before you start I would advise that you think about and identify what you are trying to do and why you are looking at that area. In the meantime if you want to get started right away, give SPC a call and we will get you started.
We talk a lot about tools and techniques in this blog, but one I want to highlight is the Fishbone Diagram. This tool is effective because you don’t have to be a 6Sigma expert to understand its usefulness.
What is it?
A Fishbone Diagram is just what it says, a diagram that is used to develop ideas for cause and effect on within a given area. One of the best parts of this tool is that it creates a team atmosphere almost immediately, because you have to mine for ideas from the team.
What does it look like?
How does it work?
1. Identify the problem.
2. Identify the areas that might have caused the problem.
3. Ask the group to brainstorm; the point is to create ideas. This is not the time to qualify ideas, rather to just get a good solid list of possibilities.
4. Edit the list for duplications and clarity.
5. Qualify ideas- drill down the ideas and find the root cause, once that’s done rank each idea. Qualifying ideas is based on two factors: whether it is a noise or control issue. For the measurement/process category you are going to be looking for root causes that relate to how the process is measured or the process activity itself.
The people category challenges you to look at the people, staff and organization itself. You want to note any skills gaps, unclear position responsibilities and lack of direction.
The materials category should show highlight root cause ideas centered on parts, supplies and information needed to create metrics.
The equipment category should focus on tools related to the process such as machines, vendor input and maintenance.
The environment category should highlight root cause ideals on the physical environment, regulatory environment and market conditions.
This is just a beginning to Fishbone and next week we will go into how you analyze the information you develop. As with all of my posts, a belt is your best bet to walk you through the steps and help you get acclimated. For help give us a call, we will get you started and on your way to creating a lean organization.
6Sigma is all about identifying and eliminating waste and one of the tools we use as we embark on this task is 5S. 5S is a Japanese method that deals with understanding where the waste comes from and how to deal to eliminate the waste by making the tools a practicable habit.
How does it work?
There are seven common elements of waste:
Correction-time spent on rework or additional work to correct first attempts.
Overproduction-producing more of the product/service than is necessary
Processing-processing work that has does not increase the speed or quality of the work.
Conveyance-Actions that do not directly contribute to the quality of the product/svc.
Motion-movement of people or machines that does not contribute anything of value to your product/service.
Waiting-time spent by staff/customers waiting for approvals or the end product that detracts from the value of the product/service.
The point of 5S is to minimize, ideally eliminate, as many of these waste areas as possible. 5S has the following steps and once you have nailed the first four, the fifth step is making that behavior a habit within your organization.
Sort (Seiri)-go through operations and remove any unnecessary items focus on time management.
Straighten (Seiton) – A place for everything and everything in its place.
Shine (Seiso) – Eliminate visual traps such as dirt, clutter, dust or scraps.
Standardize (Seiketsu)-Create a standard way of doing things and enforce it.
Self-Discipline (Shitsuke)- Make the other for S’s a habit and create an environment for it in your company.
So in the end it’s a great tool, but where do you start? Simple, you give us a call!
6Sigma is only as good as the practitioner and one of the greatest assets that practitioner brings to your project is the ability to determine the value of the project. There are 3 components to determining the value of your improvement project:
- Impact- your belt should be able to tell you if these impacts (negative and positive) will affect your bottom line as a one-time event or if the impact will be long-term. Ideally they will work in conjunction with your CFO or your accounting department. If the two are not talking, the result is a less informed project manager and CEO.
- Allocations-these will vary from organization to organization, but basically they should cover the budget, time and resources set aside for the project.
- Forecast- this document often times serves as the birthplace of the project and rightfully so. Your forecast tells you anticipated cash flow and when that money is scheduled to happen. If you are not using your forecast in the creation of your project, you have issues bigger than 6Sigma can help you with.
The last but certainly most important thing for a belt to convey to the executive leadership is the Benefits Capture. Benefits Capture illustrates to your leadership how the project impacts the business in different categories. Generally there are four categories:
- Cost/ Revenue Impact-this is where those numbers become meaningful to people outside of the project. It tells them how the project will impact the income statements, cash flow and balance sheet.
- Cost Avoidance Impact-this is where those all important metrics come into play and this is where the organization gets to see how 6Sigma will save you money with the improvements.
- Risk Management Impact- this impact shows you where the organization is able to save the company from unnecessarily risky behavior by creating a concrete process designed to continually avoid unnecessary risk.
- Leadership impact- this impact is a bit on the softer side but no less important. By creating concrete goals and steps, leadership is more focused. The more focused leadership, the more sustainable your growth.
As with all of my blogs, the best way to find your improvement success is with the utilization of a great belt. This blog will put you on the right road, but your belt will drive the bus home.
Michael Koploy of Software Advice recently wrote an article on supplier performance management and I thought you would be interested. In the article, he discusses how to best manage supplier performance with scorecards. In an interview with Sherry Gordon, President at Value Chain Group and performance management expert, they discussed four pieces of great advice:
- Align scorecards with business goals
- Establish supplier evaluation processes
- Communicate with suppliers – and take action
- Share information with internal departments
You can view the article the entire article on his blog at: http://blog.softwareadvice.com/articles/scm/four-best-practices-to-improve-supplier-performance-scorecarding-1120211/.