Six Sigma–Designing Past the Five Sigma Wall


In the eighth chapter of the book Six Sigma:  The Breakthrough Strategy Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World’s Top Corporations, the authors Ikel Harry, Ph.D., and Richard Schroeder talk about moving past the Five Sigma wall.

There is only way to do this–you can’t inspect your product past this wall, you have to design your product past the wall.   The Design for Six Sigma or DFSS system is a system of Six Sigma principles and methods that allow a designer of products, processes, or services to create designs that a) are resource efficient, b) capable of very high yields, and c) are imperious to process variations.

Why is this important?   Because although design represents the smallest actual cost element in products, it leverages the largest cost influence.   If you simplify the design by 30%, it creates 21% overall cost savings, whereas the same 30% savings applied to labor or overhead only results in a 1.5% overcall cost savings.

This is why DFSS is so valuable for a company, because it can eliminate parts or processes that either create defects or do not translate into critical-to-quality characteristics, and thus can improve customer satisfaction.

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