Application of Lean and Six Sigma to Improve Productivity of Armboard Manufacturing

Presenter: Leo Poggie

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
PI: Awatef Omar Ergai

Background: With new products being developed all the time, and new floor space being required to set up cells to manufacture these products, the need to improve production time for existing products is at an all-time high. The Six Sigma methodology (DMAIC) accompanied with lean tools has been proved to be a rigorous method in reducing waste and enhancing productivity and quality performance.

Method: This case study discusses the productivity improvement of armboards at Allen Medical using the DMAIC methodology, and lean tools by identifying, quantifying and eliminating sources of variation in their main production process.

Time studies, kaizen event, and flow charts, in addition to other tools, were utilized to study the process and to identify opportunities for improvement.

Results: An average of 45 seconds per armboard was saved by reorganizing and resequencing particular steps in the process. This along with the eradication of superfluous activities in the process led to many improvements on the line as a whole. The production output of the process went from 5.3 armboards/hour to slightly above 6 armboards/hour.

Conclusion: The successful implementation of this project resulted in better overall process performance leading to significant cost reductions.