How to organize for Lean / Six Sigma

John Teresco of Industry Week wrote a good article that shows how up upfront design enables the next level of improvments in Lean and Six Sigma.

Here are several excerpts:

At Hypertherm Inc., a manufacturer of plasma cutting systems, the DFMA software enabled a first pass part count reduction as high as 50%, says Mike Shipulski, Hypertherm’s director of engineering. About 500 parts were eliminated from the product, a main power supply sub-assembly that originally contained about 1,000 parts. Shipulski says the resulting reduction in assembly floor space requirements made it possible to satisfy a growing market demand within the existing building. “We didn’t have to add floor space.”

Gilligan says past applications of the DFMA software reveal that most of the material and labor savings are in the 50% to 70% range, with floor space reductions typically in the 15% to 20% range. Shipulski says Hypertherm’s part count reduction efforts range from 47% to 63% in first pass efforts. Subsequent efforts achieve less, but parts and labor can still be reduced, says Shipulski.

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