Integration of Lean and Six Sigma: A practical example at ABB Composites

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Luleå/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Sammanfattning: Lean and Six Sigma are two of the most used continuous improvement methodologies today. Even though both methodologies complement each other well, usually only one of these methodologies is implemented within a company, either Lean or Six Sigma. Around the year 2000 the evolution of a new continuous improvement methodology started by integrating Lean and Six Sigma into Lean Six Sigma in order to create synergies between them both.

Most discussions regarding Lean Six Sigma has so far been at a theoretical level, and less attention has been devoted to the study of the practical implications. The lack of empirical evidence is mainly a consequence of the lack of a standard framework for a Lean Six Sigma model, even though previous authors have proposed different models.

The aim for this study was to develop and propose a model for Lean Six Sigma that can be used as a standard framework. This was done by comparing the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, and also studying previous models proposed by different authors. The comparison was made possible by breaking down each methodology into values, techniques and tools to find similarities and differences between Lean and Six Sigma. The two methodologies were then integrated into a holistic Lean Six Sigma model.

The Lean Six Sigma model was later exemplified in a case study conducted at ABB Composites to show how the model can be used. The define-, measure- and analyse phases of the model was exemplified which resulted in 30 opportunities for improvement that can be translated into improvement projects. In addition, 40 different variation contributing parameters was identified.

Future research should focus on validating the proposed model in order to legitimize its role as a standard framework. Future work should also focus on conducting more case studies to further validate the model and demonstrate its practical use.