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Research

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Blending Six-Sigma with Lean Thinking: Lockheed Martin Astronautics Develops Rigorous Training Program for Process Improvement Locked

Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

Six-Sigma has its origins in the effort to achieve extremely low defect rates. Lean tools, meanwhile, focus on eliminating waste. Implementing one without the other risks the failure to optimize resources. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Astronautics Operations, working in conjunction with other Lockheed companies, minimized this risk by adopting its own high-octane blend of Six-Sigma methodologies and Lean concepts. The Company established a tiered training program that certifies “green belts” and “black belts” in a core set of process improvement practices at various levels of the organization. Through the evolution of its six-sigma and lean process program, Astronautics has laid a well-documented foundation for applying its experience to product design and development. (6 pages)

Process Design for Internal Customers: Powell Electrical Lean Initiative Aligns Functions, Improves Manufacturability and Reduces Cycle Time Locked

Research | Posted: 2004-05-19

Having a Lean organization is about much more than rationalizing processes or inventory reduction. When Lean becomes an integral part of an organization it can have a significant impact on manufacturability as an embedded product characteristic. Powell Electrical used Lean Thinking to design a process that created efficiencies in both the back and the front end of product development. Powell's Lean initiative also had an effect on customization and Design for Manufacturability.Powell’s experience suggests that an important aspect of Lean Product Development is learning the concerns of downstream customers – both internal and external. (7 pages)

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