Sept. 5, 2003 — Since the Six Sigma concept was first defined over 15 years ago, it has become one of the favored methods employed by business in its pursuit of quality improvements.
Initially little more than an accounting of individual product defects, Six Sigma has evolved to represent an on-going, systematic improvement process with viable applications for achieving real product, process and personnel performance enhancements which ultimately benefit companies and their customers.
Precision Engine Controls Corp.’s (PECC’s) practical introduction to Six Sigma occurred during its involvement with Six Sigma teams belonging to one of its customers.
The company’s participation reinforced the realization that Six Sigma’s philosophy of statistical quantification through the use of DMAIC criteria (Define, Measure, Analyze, Identify and Control) ensured that improvements capable of achieving significant employee productivity gains and process efficiencies-along with others in overall quality and customer satisfaction-were accomplished.
With this in mind, PECC decided to sponsor formal training for key employees through the University of California’s extension program in San Diego. During this training, a pilot team was formed to see how its Customer Returned Material (CRM) cycle time could be shortened. A goal to reduce the CRM turnaround to 35 days or less was established.
As of this date, targeted cycle times for all product returns have been successfully achieved and the focus of its efforts has expanded beyond maintaining its realized CRM gains, to even shorter turnarounds of 30 days or less for all customer returns in 2004.
The success of the CRM pilot program also resulted in the formation of two additional Six Sigma teams at PECC-focused on improving the first yield of HFG/ACT electronics testing and improving receiving inspection throughput times.
These teams both expect to complete their initial phase of project-work by September of this year. Additionally, the Operations Group at PECC will be initiating a new quality program later this month. The program will be called ‘LESS is More’ and will combine Six Sigma methodologies with Lean Enterprise tools.
Precision Engine Controls Corporation is a San Diego based manufacturer of digital controls and fuel metering valves for industrial and marine gas turbines. For further information, please contact Precision directly at 858-792-3217.