Daniel S. Munson’s default image

By: Daniel S. Munson

The Empire State Building in New York City, with its 103 stories, 73 elevators, 2,500,000 feet of electrical cable and 6,500 windows, was built in 405 days. The framework rose at a rate of four-and-a-half stories per week. That’s nearly a floor a day. Most impressive was that the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

Marilyn Fischbach’s default image

By: Marilyn Fischbach

Deployment is one of the most critical elements of a successful Six Sigma program. Top-down support, champion training, wide publicity and Six Sigma awareness training for all employees are common components. In addition, employees selected to be Black or Green Belts must be trained and projects must be selected. But deployment isn’t a destination; it’s a process in which one input leads to an output—which in turn leads to another input. The deployment process for a company can be tracked and measured.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Kanban, in its most simplifying role, is a visual signal (or cue) that something needs to be replenished. More specifically, lean manufacturers today use kanban to drive a process to make, move or buy the appropriate parts. Thus, kanban has become one of the fundamental building blocks of a pull (or consumption-based) replenishment system. No card, no replenishment.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

“Jim, how do we know that your project made any improvement?” asked the Six Sigma champion.

The Black Belt candidate looked confused. “Um, the sponsor said he was happy with the outcome,” he offered. The members of the certification board looked skeptically at one another:

Tom Pryor’s default image

By: Tom Pryor

My twin grandsons celebrated their first birthday on July 1, 2001. And while the majority of people reading this article don’t know Alex and Austen, there is another set of twins celebrating their fifteenth birthday this year whose names are familiar. Born in 1986, they are Six Sigma and Activity Based Management (ABM). I’m proud to say that I was present for the birth of both of these sets of twins. CTQ

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Failure mode and effect analysis, or FMEA, is an attempt to delineate all possible failures, their effects on the system, the likelihood of occurrence and the probability that the failure will go undetected. FMEA provides an excellent basis for classification of characteristics such as identifying CTQs and other critical variables. As with Pareto analysis, one objective of FMEA is to direct the available resources toward the most promising opportunities. An extremely unlikely failure, even one with serious consequences, may not be the best place to concentrate preventative efforts.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Scott Paton’s "The Chinese are Coming! The Chinese are Coming!" (Quality Digest, February 2005) describes how China’s Chery Automobile Co. plans to undercut American automakers’ prices by up to 30 percent.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

As quality professionals, we frequently report such facts as proportions (percentages), process capability indices, averages and standard deviations as if we know what we’re talking about. But what’s our actual level of confidence? All of our observations and our understanding are based upon data or, more accurately, a sample of the universe that we’re attempting to describe.

Tim Burke’s default image

By: Tim Burke

For years, customers and auditors have been preaching to suppliers the need for the FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis) to be a “living” document. There are probably several interpretations of what it means to have a living FMEA, but one thing is for sure—the FMEA must be updated whenever real problems occur. This fails to happen because people don’t recognize the value of the FMEA document to prevent problems and so, in reality, the document is as dead as a doorknob.

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

“Then the Husaria broke into a wild g allop and the heavy mass of men and horses cascaded over the Turkish ranks, bowling over the first, slicing through the second… The Grand Vizir leapt onto a horse and made his own escape moments before the winged riders thundered up to the tent and the banner was struck.”

—Excerpted from The Polish Way, (Hippocrene Books, 1987)

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