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Improvements in productivity alone are not enough. The goal for any manufacturing or distribution company is to see improved profitability without sacrificing quality. The ORBA Manufacturing and Distribution Group is positioned to advise companies on how to achieve measurable productivity improvements with the goal of achieving improved profitability. 

Lean Manufacturing
One common concept to improve productivity is through Lean Manufacturing. The concept of Lean Manufacturing is one that has been around for many years and has helped companies improve their productivity and profitability. Lean Manufacturing involves finding efficiencies and removing wasteful steps that don’t add value to the end product. There are eight components of waste that can be monitored:

  1. Overproduction – Does production exceed demand?
  2. Waiting – How much lag time occurs between production steps?
  3. Inventory – Are supply levels and work in process excessive?
  4. Transportation – Are materials moved efficiently?
  5. Over-processing – Is there too much work done on the product?
  6. Motion – Do people and equipment move efficiently between production steps?
  7. Defects – Is there too much time spent finding and fixing production errors?
  8. Workforce – Do workers work efficiently?

The Lean Manufacturing process has three key stages:

  1. Identifying waste
  2. Analyzing and finding the cause of waste, and
  3. Solving the cause of the waste to improve efficiency

Once wastes are determined by using the three key strategies above, there are a number of tools and techniques available to manufacturers that can further reduce waste.  

Six Sigma
While Lean Manufacturing is a concept applied to reduce waste, Six Sigma is a concept used to increase quality and improve manufacturing productivity. The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement. The Six Sigma DMADV process (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement. Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.

ORBA’s Manufacturing and Distribution Group is available to work with manufacturing companies to apply these concepts to achieve the desired result of improved manufacturing productivity.