Title: Productivity and quality improvement through DMAIC in SME

Authors: K. Soundararajan; K. Janardhan Reddy

Addresses: Department-Mechanical Engineering, Professional Group of Institutions, Palladam, Tiruppur District – 641662, India ' SMBS, VIT University-Chennai Campus, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract: During the past three decades, researchers have been advocating the application of define-measure-analyse-improve-control (DMAIC) phases of Six Sigma concept to achieve productivity and quality improvement in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In this context, the research reported in this paper was carried out in a SME by applying DMAIC phases in the production of the castings of a component called balance weight. While executing the DMAIC phases, it was found that green sand moulding process had to be replaced with shell moulding process to avoid the increase in hardness and rejection of castings due to pin hole defect. On implementing this solution, the productivity increased by 50.42 units per hour and the quality level increased from 3.2 sigma to 4.4 sigma. Altogether, it was found that DMAIC can be used in SMEs to achieve productivity and quality improvement so as to acquire competitive strength.

Keywords: Six Sigma; define-measure-analyse-improve-control; DMAIC; small and medium enterprises; SME; productivity; quality; shell moulding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2020.110027

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2020 Vol.31 No.2, pp.271 - 294

Received: 29 Jan 2019
Accepted: 02 Jul 2019

Published online: 22 Sep 2020 *

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