Reliability Growth in Six Sigma

The concept of Six Sigma is as recent as 1986. It is well known and widely accepted in almost every sphere of business. It is used by a company to identify various areas and opportunities that they could work upon and improve, underline the hidden value and bring it out and implement control that can sustain for a long time. Six Sigma is one such methodology that can be used by every industry to improve their performance and the reliability growth is the proof of it. Read on see how it works and what reliability growth is.
More on Six Sigma:
To understand reliability growth in Six Sigma, it is important to understand the six sigma concept. It is a strategic methodology and a management philosophy that was first developed by Motorola and it aims on have 99.99966% of products statistically free from any defect. This is achieved by setting very high objectives before the project starts, collecting as much relevant data as possible and maintaining stringent standards while analyzing the data. The goal is to eliminate the defects in a systematic manner and get the product or service as close as possible to perfection. If one has to achieve Six Sigma, a company cannot produce more than 3.4 defects in every million opportunities, where an opportunity is defined as a chance for non-conformance. Many companies made it possible to reduce their costs and enhance their productivity, thanks to Six Sigma process. It can also be used as a management system by linking all the crucial goals of an organization to the implementation and using the Six Sigma processes.
Two processes are comprised in Six Sigma, which are: 
  • Six Sigma DMADV
  • Six Sigma DMAIC 
Each letter in the 5 lettered-term stands for major steps that are involved in any process. Six Sigma DMADV is a process that Defines, Measures, Analyzes, Designs, and Verifies any process, product or service that is trying to achieve the Six Sigma quality. On the other hand, Six Sigma DMAIC is a process that Defines, Measures, Analyzes, Improves and Controls all the existing processes that need to attain the Six Sigma quality. Following these methods, the results will be sustainable over a long period of time.
Integrating Reliability with Six Sigma:
Reliability can be defined as the probability of a process performing its duty without failing for a specified period of time when it is operated in a particular environment and conditions. Since the Six Sigma process allows almost negligible defects, reliability analysis holds utmost importance. Reliability is usually measured based on the failures of the process, which in turn represents any defect in the reliability process. Once these failures are identified and eliminated, the reliability performance will improve.
The Six Sigma methods can be integrated with the reliability processes to maintain a reliability growth at various stages. There are various steps that are involved in ensuring reliability growth. They are:
  • Thorough Data Analysis
  • Developing new strategies 
  • Maintaining the developed strategies
  • Detecting faulty designs and improving them
  • Note down if any process is dysfunctional or not up to the standards and fix them accordingly
When there is a flawless integration between the right Six Sigma process and reliability process, any company can count on getting the desired growth and development. The strengths of both the processes should be linked and aligned properly. When that is done you will get valuable insights of solving difficult reliability issues, an opportunity to design better solutions, maintain the defects to a minimum and project better results.
Way Ahead:
Maintaining the performance to the Six Sigma level is not an easy task at all. This is the reason why companies highlight their Six Sigma achievements if they attain them. Integrating different practices that will help enhance various processes in an organization becomes vital to touch the Six Sigma level.

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Uma Daga