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Ford have invested significantly in the Six Sigma Breakthrough Methodology in an effort to improve long term competitiveness through driving down waste and improving process performance, so that there is a positive impact on the customer. Ford was also one of the first companies to adopt WITNESS simulation to help develop effective manufacturing facilities.
Six Sigma is a structured approach to reducing variability, so enhancing the quality of products or services used by many of today’s successful companies.
Ford started using Six Sigma approximately 3 years ago. Personnel are seconded for two years from their core function; they are trained in Six Sigma and other key leadership skills; they then focus on delivering projects. Black belts are at the heart and soul of the Six Sigma quality initiative. Their main function is to lead quality projects, remain focused on the delivery of the improvements and develop controls to ensure any improvements are sustained.
Within Ford, black belts are aligned to specific products or programmes with responsibility for leading the improvement projects. They bring a consistent approach and a focus on robust analysis using a proven set of tools and techniques to ensure objectivity and sustainable recommendations.
Six Sigma Methodology
The Six Sigma DMAIC process (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) is an improvement system for existing processes or products falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement.
The Six Sigma DMADV process (Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify), is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels.
Ford employs a variation on these approaches DCOV (Define, Characterise, Optimise, Verify), to realise advantage in its products development. The latest vehicle line up proves this, including the Mondeo, Focus and Fiesta, all of which have benefited from the use of these...