Peter J. Ryan, Principal
The Six Sigma process is very straightforward:
• A team is formed with members from production, marketing, Q&A, operations, maintenance and RPC.
• Project goals are developed based on the needs of production and operations (Define).
• Process variables associated with these goals are identified, historical process data is reviewed, existing
process simulations (if available) are updated, and product quality control methods are reviewed for
accuracy and repeatability (Measure).
• The data associated with the project goals is analyzed. Specifically, batch data is collected and initial LV
models are created. These models look at the batch data collectively – not individually. The LV model
results identify outliers in the batches (see below) and characterize good batch performance based on the
patterns of the process variables through the duration of the batch (Analyze).
• Based on the results from the Measure phase of the project, plans are developed to reduce process
variability between batches. The control system is considered, as are the standard operating procedures,
raw material handling and quality control procedures (Improve).
• Once the Improve plan in implemented, control measures are introduced to ensure that the project gains
become part of the process’s workflow. Again, the control system is considered, as well as revising
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and operator training (Control).
The Control phase is not only concerned with the unit’s process control system. It is more concerned with maintaining the process gains and incorporating the new-found process knowledge into day-to-day operations.