Inderscience Publishers

Enigma of 'Six Sigma' for foundry SMEs in India: a case study

Six Sigma provides the opportunity and discipline to eliminate mistakes, improve morale, and save money (Henderson and Evans, 2000). Doing things right in the first time and keeping them consistently is the only idea behind Six Sigma. Its fundamental objective is to achieve customer satisfaction with continuous improvement in quality. An empirical investigation has been carried out in a make-to-order type (medium-sized) foundry, in which a modified Six Sigma approach DMAIC(S) has been implemented successfully, to decrease the scrap (or defects) of piston castings appreciably. The study focuses on scrap reduction in foundries and tries to find out the reasons of low productivity index. It also tends to shatter the various phobias of SMEs in the context of Six Sigma concepts and its implementation by validating the compatibility of it by performing a case study in an Indian foundry itself.

Keywords: six sigma, foundry SMEs, small and medium-sized enterprises, design of experiments, DOE, measurement system analysis, MSA, failure mode and effects analysis, FMEA, non-conforming products, cost of poor quality, hypothesis testing, defects per million opportunities, DPMO, process capability, DMAICS, analysis of variance, ANOVA, India, make-to-order foundries, scrap reduction, productivity

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