Reducing the Scrap Rate in Manufacturing SMEs Through Lean Six Sigma Methodology: An Action Research

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The aim of this project was to investigate operational benefits of the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology to reduce the scrap rate in an automated production line of a first tier supplier of automotive sector. This is an action research case study using LSS methodology in fully automated sub-process of the manufacturers. The implementation of LSS methodology had an effective and significant impact on the scrap rate reduction with increased first run yield and waste reduction leading to significant financial impact at this scale. The research investigation needs to be fully controlled by the team in order to correctly gauge the effect of any changes made to the process. This action research can be replicated in other sub-processes of the production line and other processes of the company. This project addresses novelty about effectiveness of LSS methodology to reduce scrap rate and add value to automated processes in first-tier manufacturing small to medium-sized enterprises supplying automotive sector. The project had greater saving than expected by the managers at £98k per annum. The approach of this research project combines proven statistical tools with some basic but effective lean tools to be applied in an original sequence in order to design robust product and match manufacturing capabilities. Article Classification: Focus on practice

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Engineering Management Review
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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