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What is Six Sigma ?

Six Sigma definitions ? Six Sigma is a term used to describe a measure of quality control that is higher than "normal". The manufacturer generally associated with starting Six Sigma programs is General Electric. Six Sigma is a methodology that is intended to reduce process variation to within a limit that will result in 3.4 defects per million samples or less.

The roots of Six Sigma as a measurement standard can be traced back to Carl Frederick Gauss (1777-1855) who introduced the concept of the normal curve. Six Sigma as a measurement standard in product variation can be traced back to the 1920's when Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is the point where a process requires correction. Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, etc.) later came on the scene but credit for coining the term " Six Sigma" goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. (Incidentally, "Six Sigma" is a federally registered trademark of Motorola).

In the early and mid-1980s with Chairman Bob Galvin at the helm, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels -- measuring defects in thousands of opportunities -- didn't provide enough granularity. Instead, they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities. Motorola developed this new standard and created the methodology and needed cultural change associated with it. Six Sigma helped Motorola realize powerful bottom-line results in their organization - in fact, they documented more than $16 Billion in savings as a result of our Six Sigma efforts.

Since then, hundreds of companies around the world have adopted Six Sigma as a way of doing business. This is a direct result of many of America's leaders openly praising the benefits of Six Sigma. Leaders such as Larry Bossidy of Allied Signal (now Honeywell), and Jack Welch of General Electric Company. Rumor has it that Larry and Jack were playing golf one day and Jack bet Larry that he could implement Six Sigma faster and with greater results at GE than Larry did at Allied Signal. The results speak for themselves.

Six Sigma has evolved over time. It's more than just a quality system like TQM or ISO. It's a way of doing business. As Geoff Tennant describes in his book Six Sigma: SPC and TQM in Manufacturing and Services: "Six Sigma is many things, and it would perhaps be easier to list all the things that Six Sigma quality is not. Six Sigma can be seen as: a vision; a philosophy; a symbol; a metric; a goal; a methodology." We couldn't agree more

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing focuses on value-added flow and the efficiency of the overall system. A part sitting in a pile of Inventory is waste and the goal is to keep product flowing and add value as much as possible. The focus is on the overall system and synchronizing operations so they are aligned and producing at a steady pace.

Lean Manufacturing is a manufacturing philosophy that shortens the time between the customer order and the product build/shipment by eliminating sources of waste. Waste is anything that does not contribute to transforming a part to your customer needs. The seven wastes in manufacturing are over production, producing defective products, inventories, motion, processing, transportation and waiting.

ISO 9001
Quality Management System

ISO 9001:2001 is an international total quality management system standard developed to help businesses achieve total customer satisfaction. In its simplest form, it is about identifying and understanding customer requirements and then focusing on meeting or exceeding them.

The ISO 9001 family of international quality management standards and guidelines has earned a global reputation as the basis for establishing quality management systems.

The Objective: To earn and maintain "supplier-of-choice"

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(Electronic Quality Management System)

Inevitably, implementation of Quality Management System as well as any other related management system has always been perceived as paperwork exercise, simply because all practices in our business process must be furnished with objective evidence. Therefore, e-QMS will be able to resolve this problem by providing paperless practices.

The e-QMS consist of the following modules:

  • Document Management
  • Employee Recruitment and Training Management
  • Equipment Calibration Management
  • Corrective/Preventive Action Management

Through implementing e-QMS, the work involved in maintaining the system will be more efficient and productive.


MINITAB is a data analysis and graphical data presentation product. It can perform a variety of data analysis and presentation functions, including statistical analyses and graphical presentation of data. With a simple command-line interface, MINITAB supports standard vector and matrix algebraic data input and manipulation, making it a useful statistical training tool.

MINITAB is an easy-to-use statistical analysis and graphical presentation product. For the Macintosh and MS-Windows versions, it features a graphical user interface that allows many procedures to be completed via pop-up menus and dialog boxes. It has many statistical procedures, from the simple to the advanced. It has good high-resolution graphics. It also uses a relatively simple command language that enables the algebraic manipulation input of data in vector and matrix form. Also, MINITAB macro language allows users to customize and save their own statistical procedures.

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ISO 14001
Environmental Management System

ISO 14001 was first published in 1996 and specifies the actual requirements for an environmental management system. It applies to those environmental aspects which the organization has control and over which it can be expected to have an influence.

ISO 14001 is often seen as the corner stone standard of the ISO 14001 series. However, it is not only the most well known, but is the only ISO 14001 standard against which it is currently possible to be certified by an external certification authority. Having stated this, it does not itself state specific environmental performance criteria.

This standard is applicable to any organization that wishes to:

  • Implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system
  • Assure itself of its conformance with its own stated environmental policy (those policy commitments of course must be made)
  • Demonstrate conformance
  • Ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations
  • Seek certification of its environmental management system by an external third party organization make a self-determination of conformance

OHSAS 18001
Occupational Health and Safety

OHSAS is an international occupational health and safety management system specification. It comprises two parts, 18001 and 18002 and embraces BS8800 and a number of other publications. It has been developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001:1994 (Quality) and ISO 14001:1996 (Environmental) management system standards, in order to facilitate the integration of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management systems by organizations, should they wish to do so.

Prevention of labour accidents and occupational disease has traditionally been seen as an employer's legal and ethical obligation. However, nowadays it is generally accepted that the costs related to injury and ill-health significantly reduce profits of organizations and entire economies.

This standard is applicable to any organization that wishes to:

establish an OH&S management system to eliminate or minimize risk to employees and other interested parties;
implement, maintain and continually improve an OH&S management system;
assure itself of its conformance with its own stated OH&S policy;
ensure compliance with OH&S laws and regulations;
demonstrate such conformance to others;
seek certification of its environmental management system by an external third party organization;
make a self-determination of conformance

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ISO/TS 16949
The Harmonised Standard for Automotive Supply Chain

Where did ISO/TS 16949 come from? - Beginning in 1994 with the successful launch of QS 9000 by DaimlerChrysler, Ford and GM, the Automotive OEM's recognized the increased value that could be derived from an independent quality system registration scheme and the efficiencies that could be realized in the supply chain by communizing system requirements.

In 1996, the success of these efforts led to a move towards the development of a globally accepted and harmonized quality management system requirements document. From this, the International Automotive Task Force (IAT F) was formed to lead the development effort.

What is ISO/TS 16949? The result of the I TAF's effort is the ISO/TS 16949 specification. ISO/TS 16949 forms the requirements or the application of ISO 9001 for automotive production and relevant service part organizations.

There are actually two versions of ISO/TS 16949 - the 1999 revision and the 2002 revision. Both use the ISO 9001 Standard as the basis for their development and include the requirements from these Standards with specific 'adders' for the automotive supply chain. The 1999 revision of TS uses the 1994 revision of ISO 9001 as its baseline while the 2002 revision of TS builds off the ISO 9001:2001 document.

The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System

HACCP is a systematic approach to food safety consisting of 7 principles, which is as follows:

Analyze hazards. Potential hazards associated with a food and measures to control those hazards are identified. The hazard could be biological, such as a microbe; chemical, such as a toxin; or physical, such as ground glass or metal fragments.

Identify critical control points. These are points in a food's production--from its raw state through processing and shipping to consumption by the consumer--at which the potential hazard can be controlled or eliminated. Examples are cooking, cooling, packaging, and metal detection.

Establish preventive measures with critical limits for each control point. For a cooked food, for example, this might include setting the minimum cooking temperature and time required to ensure the elimination of any harmful microbes.

Establish procedures to monitor the critical control points. Such procedures might include determining how and by whom cooking time and temperature should be monitored.

Establish cor rective actions to be taken when monitor ing shows that a critical limit has not been met --for example, reprocessing or disposing of food if the minimum cooking temperature is not met.

Establish procedures to ver ify that the system is working proper ly--for example, testing time-and-temperature recording devices to verify that a cooking unit is working properly.

Establish effect ive recordkeeping to document the HACCP system. T his would include records of hazards and their control methods, the monitoring of safety requirements and action taken to correct potential problems.

Human Resource
Development Program

Competency of a personnel is not just measured from how good he/she is from the area of expertise, very often we need to particularly look at their attributes such as the personality, work attitude, leadership, communication, interpersonal skills, etc as these elements will usually determine the personnel whether he/she will accomplish the task effectively or not. Hence, we have a series of soft skill related courses aiming at different level of staff in the organization to enhance a person attributes. These can be categorized in the following areas:

  • Managers And Leaders Development Program
  • Personal Development Program
  • Productivity Skill Development Program
  • Life Team Development Program

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