Forthcoming articles


International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage


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International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage (13 papers in press)


Regular Issues


  • Leanness Production System through Improving of Upstream Process based on Check-Act-Plan-Do (CAPDo) Cycle   Order a copy of this article
    by Che Ani Mohd Norzaimi, Kamaruddin Shahrul, Abdul Azid Ishak 
    Abstract: In this paper, upstream process of production system was studied and improved according to the modified Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, known as Check-Act-Plan-Do (CAPDo). The PDCA cycle has been widely recognized and utilized by the industrial practitioners, but most of focus on the production processes and less consideration to the upstream process. This research has been conducted by reviewing the current trend of the continuous improvement program, and developed systematic approach of upstream process to improve the production efficiency based on CAPDo cycle because it was consists of predecessor works of the production system, and failure or inefficient will cause production delinquency. The result as implemented in a selected case study industry shows significant process improvement for upstream process. The waiting time of the production process due to misaligned time of the pre-preparation part has been identified as a root cause and this issue has been solved through the systematic approach.
    Keywords: upstream process; production system; PDCA; CAPDo; predecessor works.

  • Dynamic Sigma-TRIZ Solution Model for Manufacturing Improvement and Innovation, Case study in Thailand.   Order a copy of this article
    by Jakrapong Karnjanasomwong, Natcha Thawesaengskulthai 
    Abstract: The aim of this research is to examine how improvement and innovation methodology can be practically implemented in manufacturing area in Thailand. Six sigma is considered an essential methodology approaching for product and process improvement. The methodology applies 5 Six Sigma phases, DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control) for resolving the respected problems which demonstrated a lot of successful stories for decades. This paper is an attempt to introduce new model of manufacturing improvement and innovation which mainly based on DMAIC phases. Dynamic Sigma-TRIZ Solution Model is proposed to enhance the opportunity of deploying improvement and creating innovative solutions in manufacturing process whereas that Dynamic Sigma-TRIZ Principle Matrix database was created from 107 examined projects and also keep updating regularly once additional problems or opportunities got resolved. The paper discussed the real-life cases when Dynamic Sigma-TRIZ Solution Model was implemented successfully in resolving manufacturing problems in different aspects.
    Keywords: Six Sigma; TRIZ; Big Data and Analytics; Manufacturing; Competitive Advantage.

  • Factory-in-Factory (FiF) Concept as a New Business Model for Automotive Production System   Order a copy of this article
    by Che Ani Mohd Norzaimi, Kamaruddin Shahrul, Abdul Azid Ishak 
    Abstract: In this research, a review of the continuous improvement program concepts and applications as employed in the automotive manufacturing ecosystem is analysed based on published articles. The objective of this study is to develop a systematic Factory-in-Factory (FiF) framework of production system by minimizing wastes according to the unresolved issues of the current continuous improvement program. The outcomes obtained from evaluation of the current trend in the continuous improvement programs show that even though the establishment of continuous improvement has been a key to successful business model, there are significant unresolved issues with regards to the vendors. To solve the problem, the future trend of business model in the automotive tier system has been introduced which is Tier-0 and a new production system known as Factory-in-Factory (FiF). The objectives of the new production system are to minimize costs and shorten the lead time through wastes elimination.
    Keywords: Continuous improvement; automotive manufacturing ecosystem; business model; vendors; Tier-0; Factory-in-Factory (FiF).

  • A proposed model for the effect of entrepreneurship on total quality management (TQM) implementation: An applied study on dairy and juice manufacturing companies in Egypt   Order a copy of this article
    by Amal Farouk 
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship becomes a central issue for research in the developing countries. To date no study clarified how corporate entrepreneurship affects TQM implementation. This study aims at empirically investigates the significant impact of corporate entrepreneurship on TQM implementation in the Egyptian dairy and fruit juice companies. In contrast, most of the previous studies illustrated the effect of entrepreneurship on many factors rather than TQM or they correlated one of entrepreneurship sub-dimensions to TQM implementation. The initial sample in this research consisted of 900 employees who had been contacted by telephone. Overall, the results indicate that the six entrepreneurship variables significantly affect TQM implementation. Entrepreneurs skills sub-variable has the highest effect while product characteristics had the lowest effect. These findings contribute to increasing the knowledge about corporate entrepreneurship constructs and clarifying how these constructs affect TQM implementation in a developing country such as Egypt.
    Keywords: TQM; entrepreneurship; entrepreneur’s skills; entrepreneur’s passion.

  • Variations of Length of Stay: A Case Study Using Control Charts in the CRISP-DM Framework   Order a copy of this article
    by Nasibeh Azadeh-Fard, Fadel Megahed, Fatma Pakdil 
    Abstract: In-patient length of stay (LOS) at hospitals is considered a critical catch-all metric because it is widely used to measure the overall efficiency of healthcare services. The goal of this paper is to effectively analyze and monitor hospital LOS to help improve healthcare quality. Given the fact that abnormal LOS results in increasing cost for all stakeholders, this study proposes a new framework based on cross-industry standard process for data mining framework (CRISP-DM) and Six Sigma methodology, including control charts for monitoring and improving LOS. The utility of the proposed method is demonstrated through a case study involving 11,722 internal medicine patients at a large hospital in Southwest Virginia. Outcomes of this study have potential to support decision makers at hospitals to detect abnormal LOS by identifying effective and efficient ways to minimize it, thereby reducing costs.
    Keywords: Hospital Length of Stay; LOS; Control Charts; Quality; Internal Medicine; CRISP-DM; Data Mining; DMAIC; Quality Improvement in Healthcare; I-MR Charts; Six Sigma.

  • An Empirical Analysis of Critical Success Factors of Lean Six Sigma in Indian SMEs   Order a copy of this article
    by Harsimran Singh Sodhi 
    Abstract: This article focuses on the impact of individual factors of Lean Six Sigma in Manufacturing based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India. So that main emphasis can be given to majorly contributing factors during implementation of Lean Six Sigma in a manufacturing SMEs. A questionnaire based survey has been done in which the voice of Indian SMEs has been captured regarding the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in their organization as a waste management technique. Study has been conducted in two phases. In first Phase survey based upon twenty eight questions has been conducted afterwords in second phase process capability test has been done on considered responses. In first phase with factor analysis it has been concluded that twenty eight factors listed in the Questionnaire (Annexure no.1) can be further reduced to four Major parameters in which similar kind of factors are grouped together. These major four parameters contributing towards the success of Lean Six Sigma in manufacturing SMEs. Second phase of this study Process capability of various phases of Lean Six Sigma has been checked through CPk. Those phases having CPk value less than 0.5 can be neglected as those phases are not contributing significantly towards the successful implementation of LSS.
    Keywords: Lean Manufacturing; Six Sigma,Lean Six Sigma,Waste management techniques,Manufacturing Industries.

  • An integrated model for achieving business strategic objectives with a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohamed H. Essawy, El-Awady Attia, Ahmed M. El-Assal 
    Abstract: In almost all large-scale private companies, top management strategic direction usually focuses on maximizing profit, minimizing wastes, and satisfying customers needs. The current paper proposes an integrated model that uses balanced scorecard (BSC) and quality function deployment (QFD) in the define phase of the six-sigma process (DMAIC). The BSC is used to translate the strategic objectives into operational actions with the associated key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs of the balanced scorecard are considered as the voice of customer (VOC) in the QFD house of quality. Whereas all related production sectors of the company are used as the perspectives for satisfying those KPIs. The proposed approach was adopted in one of the largest manufacturing firms located in Egypt. Relying on the KPIs of the BSC and results of QFD, two factories among twelve are highlighted for improvement. Moreover, the defected parts scrap cost, the metal and plastic normal scrap costs were emphasized as the most important KPIs. By investigating the two factories with respect to the different types of scrap costs, the normal metal scrap cost was identified as dominant. The main root causes of the normal metal scrap cost were analyzed. After reducing the effect of these root causes, the scrap cost reduced with an average of 12% of the total scrap cost of each factory. In monetary units, this saving can be translated to about 12.5 million Egyptian pounds. The payback period of the associated improvement expenses is estimated at three months on average. As the output of this study, the proposed holistic approach is considered as a roadmap to select and manipulate continuous improvement projects in the industrial firm.
    Keywords: Quality Function Deployment; Six-sigma DMAIC; Strategic Objectives; Balanced Scorecard; Key Performance Indicators; Continuous Improvement.

  • Six Sigma tolerance analysis for functionality and assemblability: Designing locking systems   Order a copy of this article
    Abstract: Assembling can be seen as the process of joining together several manufactured parts in order to create a final product-assembly. In Six Sigma terms, overall performance of final product is highly affected by each components design and manufacturing characteristics. A key role for successful fitting plays the specified target of dimensions and tolerances of parts. Assembling parts are designed and studied with the help of CAD/CAM systems. Although these systems are great design tools in terms of reducing design time and minimizing design changes - even with current technology - they dont include methods with associated functions to represent proper design information such that to allow selecting optimal geometrical and functional parameters. This slows down the Design for Six Sigma process. In this work, the following issues are addressed while elucidated through a case study: 1) a method for Six Sigma designers to check for possible part defect which may present misalignment opportunities during assembly, 2) an approach for evaluating part and assembly dimensions and tolerances while ensuring functionality and 3) a corrective action approach for design changes which avoids endangering the increasing of overall cost. The simple unified framework may aid a Six Sigma designer to assess and make product-assembly decisions by offering more robust information.
    Keywords: Six Sigma; assembling process; tolerance Analysis; CAD; SPC; nonparametric methods.

  • Applying Lean Six Sigma methods to improve infectious waste management in hospitals   Order a copy of this article
    by Nasim Nabiyouni, Matthew J. Franchetti 
    Abstract: This work encompasses optimising red bag waste management program by using Lean Six-Sigma methodology in a Toledo area hospital, essentially increasing value by decreasing defects and managing disposal frequency. The author conducted full process analysis of red bag waste management including the human factor, economic, environmental, assessments of entire process by implementing Lean Six Sigma approach. However numbers of papers have applied Lean Six Sigma method to improve quality factors in healthcare, no single publication has considered all areas that are covered in this study. The data illustrates proper disposal can minimise waste by 55% which would lead to a reduction of environmental impact and a cost savings for the healthcare facility.
    Keywords: Six Sigma; lean; infectious waste management; red bag waste.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2019.10020011
  • Implementation of Lean Six Sigma framework in a large scale industry: a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Rajeev Trehan, Ajay Gupta, Mohit Handa 
    Abstract: In the present competitive scenario most of the companies are using improvement strategies like lean and Six Sigma for obtaining good quality products, reduction in overall cost and for enhancing availability of equipment. Lean and Six Sigma are two different tools which are used in combination for operational excellence. It provides a framework for waste reduction and elimination of non-value added activities along with variability reduction tools. Lean tools reduce the waste and non-value adding activity and enhance the effectiveness of equipment, tools and machines. Six Sigma tools helps in decision making based on data which finally reduce the variability in the process. In this case study, Lean Six Sigma framework is implemented to reduce the defects which occurred during the manufacturing process in a bulb manufacturing company in India. The framework used combines the lean as well as Six Sigma tools to mitigate the defects and increase the customer satisfaction.
    Keywords: lean; Six Sigma; case study; frame work.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2019.10020012
  • Identification of components and parameters contributing to noise in transmission through the use of Shainin techniques   Order a copy of this article
    by Ramnendra Mandloi, R.C. Gupta, Neeraj Tiwari 
    Abstract: Growing expectation from global market poses challenges to the manufacturing industries to provide the best quality products at a competitive price. Cost of poor quality has gone up significantly with the traditional approach of controlling the quality. Traditional approaches are not very effective in solving chronic quality issues. In order to meet up the global expectation, organisation needs to explore effective and fast approaches which utilise various advanced techniques to solve chronic quality issues. This paper demonstrates the systematic use of Shainin techniques to solve chronic quality problem of noise from automotive transmission. Transmission is a complex system having many subassemblies, components and each component in turn has multiple parameters contributing to noise makes transmission noise an extremely complex multi-factorial problem. Shainin techniques known as component search and paired comparison have been used sequentially to identify components and subsequently the parameters of components contributing to the noise in the transmission.
    Keywords: Shainin; Shainin techniques; component search; transmission noise; parameter search; paired comparison.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2019.10020036
  • A review of specification limits and control limits from the perspective of Six Sigma quality processes   Order a copy of this article
    by J. Ravichandran 
    Abstract: While specification limits represent voice of the customer, control limits address voice of the process. Specification limits and control limits are treated as independent entities until modified control limits are proposed which stress the need for control limits to keep satisfying specification requirements as well. High quality processes always attempt to provide products right the first time where specification requirements are checked for controlled processes. This calls for a strong link between control limits and specification limits. A house of quality-like representation can be used to describe such a link. It is preferred to intertwine the features of specification limits with the construction of control limits to achieve right the first time. In this paper, a critical review on specification limits and control limits is made from the perspective of Six Sigma quality and the need for a strong bond between the two is stressed.
    Keywords: control limits; modified control limits; MCLs; process capability indices; house of quality; HoQ; right the first time; Six Sigma quality; specification limits.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2019.10020040
  • Analysis of lean practices in manufacturing industries: an ISM approach   Order a copy of this article
    by Mahesh Chand, Suraj, O.P. Mishra 
    Abstract: The role of lean manufacturing (LM) has increased with an increase competition in global market. A customer wants to buy a product at the lowest possible price without compromising quality. To overcome this problem, the role of lean manufacturing has been introduced. Lean manufacturing is capable for waste reduction without compromising both quality and productivity. To fulfil this purpose, 13 practices of LM have been identified through literature review and expert opinions from academics and industry experts. To identify the cross impact of LM practices, an interpretive structural modelling (ISM) approach have been utilised to find interrelation between these LM practices using MICMAC analysis. Results of this analysis are highly beneficial towards the implementation in industries getting lean.
    Keywords: lean manufacturing; LM; interpretive structural modelling; ISM; practices.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2019.10020041