Management Systems Inc

More business improvement stuff than you can shake a stick at

Design for Six Sigma

Posted by isoeasy on May 26, 2006

DFSSDesign for Six Sigma (DFSS) is a separate and emerging discipline related to Six Sigma quality processes. The tools and order used in Six Sigma require a process to be in place and functioning. DFSS has a different objective, that of determining the needs of customers and the business, and driving those needs into the product solution created. DFSS is relevant to the complex system/product synthesis phase, especially in the context of unprecedented system development. Contrasted with this is the traditional DMAIC Six Sigma process, as it is usually practiced, which is focused on evolutionary and Continuous improvement manufacturing or service process development. DMAIC Six Sigma usually occurs after initial system or product design and development has largely completed. In this way, DMAIC Six Sigma as practiced is usually consumed with solving existing manufacturing or service process problems (e.g., fire fighting).

DFSS seeks to avoid manufacturing/service process problems by using systems engineering techniques to avoid process problems at the outset (e.g., fire prevention). These techniques include tools and processes to predict, model and simulate the product delivery system (the processes/tools, personnel and organization, training, facilities, and logistics to produce the product/service) as well as the analysis of the developing system life cycle itself to ensure customer satisfaction with the proposed system design solution. In this way, DFSS is closely related to Systems engineering, Operations research (solving the Knapsack problem), Systems architecting and Concurrent engineering. DFSS is largely a design activity requiring specialized tools including: Quality function deployment, Axiomatic design, TRIZ, Design for X, Design of experiments (DOE), Taguchi methods, Tolerance design, and the Response surface methodology. While these tools are sometimes used in the classic DMAIC Six Sigma process, they are uniquely used by DFSS to analyze new and unprecedented systems/products
Q Is DFSS a methodology?
Not really. DFSS is an approach and attitude towards delivering new products and services with a high performance as measured by customer critical to quality metrics. Just as the Six Sigma approach has the DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) by which processes can be improved, DFSS also has a methodology by which new products and services can be designed and implemented.

DMAIC is now an industry standard methodology for Six Sigma, however DFSS does not yet have such a universal offering. DMADV (Design, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify) is one approach, however there are several in use. In many engineering design departments, DFSS is regarded as design optimisation, and the IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimise, Verify) methodology prevails, however this is focused very much on final stage engineering optimisation, and may miss many of the issues involved in actually selecting good products and features that will meet customer needs!

To deliver a good methodology that is customer focused, encompasses the entire business-to-market process, and deals effectively with both products and services, Geoff Tennant uses the DCCDI methodology – Define, Customer, Concept, Design, Implement.

Q What are the differences between Six Sigma and DFSS?
Six Sigma is a process improvement philosophy and methodology, whereas DFSS is centred on designing new products and services. The main differences are that Six Sigma focuses on one or two CTQ (Critical To Quality) metrics, looks at processes, and aims to improve the CTQ performance by about +1 process-sigma. In contrast, DFSS focuses on every single CTQ that matters to every customer, looks at products and services as well as the processes by which they are delivered, and aims to bring forth a new product/service with a performance of about 4.5 sigma or better.

Other differences are that DFSS projects are often much larger and take longer, and are often based on a long term business need for new products, rather than a short term need to fix a customer problem.

In practicality the divide between a formal DFSS project and a 'simple' Six Sigma project can be indistinct – at times there is a need for a Six Sigma project to radically improve the capability (rather than, or as well as, performance) of a broken or non-existent process using design or re-design.

Q Is DFSS only for manufacturing design?
Certainly not! Design traditionally has been associated with products much more than for services, however this is changing as companies realise that every product has associated services, many of which may matter more to the customer than the product! Engineers may be interested in using some of the 'six sigma' tools such as DOE (Design Of Experiments) to 'micro-optimise' design parameters. This runs the risk of turning out a perfect design but failing to deliver to all the customer requirements or a real commercial and business need. A full approach to DFSS will consider every aspect from the business NPI (New Product Introduction) strategy right through to ongoing commercialization. Any good DFSS methodology and approach must work as a framework for any type of design and for both products and services.

Q Where can I use DFSS in my company?
DFSS can be used anywhere a new product or service is to be introduced or re-introduced. For many manufacturing organisations the design and development of new products is very much a part of everyday company life, and a soundly adopted DFSS methodology can make a considerable improvement to the process of 'design and implement'.

Design and re-design can occur within any standard DMAIC project, and since there are many degrees of design within many commercial environments, there will be many 'flavours' of DFSS. These range from very large projects involving major design of entirely new and complex product/services, through to small 'excursions' into DFSS from a DMAIC type project.

Large DFSS projects are best suited for the introduction of new products/services with major design and large impact, and where customer approval and high levels of performance and delivery are required. DFSS is about reducing the risk of failure – failure to promote and develop the correct products/services, failure to identify all the customers and customer requirements, failure to design and implement appropriately and without error or omission.

Q What are the main tools used in DFSS?
It is very important to have practical experience of Six Sigma, as DFSS builds on the concepts and tools from a typical DMAIC approach. Since DFSS works with products/services rather than processes, and since design and creativity are important, a few new tools are common to any DFSS methodology. Strong emphasis is placed on customer analysis, the transition of customer needs and requirements (of the product/service) down to process requirements, and on error and failure proofing. Since the product/service is often very new, modelling and simulation tools are important, particularly for measuring and evaluating in advance the anticipated performance of the new process.

The main tools include QFD – Quality Function Deployment, FMEA – Failure Mode Effect Analysis, DOE – Design Of Experiment, and simulation techniques. However, just as in Six Sigma, the ability of the approach to be successful in use does not depend entirely on the tools used. Six Sigma brings a methodology (DMAIC) as well as a wider, deeper and more integrated use of existing tools. DFSS methodologies are about a wider, deeper and more integrated approach to commercial design, which involves everyone in the process as well as the customer to deliver a better product/service and final implementation!

Q What is the correct order for using these tools?
If DFSS is to work successfully, it is important that it covers the full life-cycle of any new product or service. This begins when the organisation formally agrees the requirement for something new, and ends when the new product/service is in full commercial delivery.

New Product Introduction
The selection by the business of a concept product/service to fill a new need. Benchmarking, customer survey, Multi Generation Planning (MGP), R&D and Sales and Marking input. Business focus and team chartering with risk analysis.

The start of the DFSS project for real. Plenty more benchmarking, customer survey and analysis, and more work on a team charter to build a solid foundation for the project.

Customer (Measure)
The stage where the customers are fully identified and their needs collected and analysed. Mostly work with Quality Function Deployment (QFD) but here the aim is to identify the most appropriate set of CTQ (Critical To Quality) metrics to use to measure and evaluate the design by. This comes from a set of customer needs, together with a list of potential measures, and a lot of work on the first 'house of quality'. Hopefully too the start of numerical limits and targets for each CTQ!

Concept (Analyse – conceptual design)
The team take the concept provided by the business for the new product/service and begin to flesh out the concept to a working 'paper design'. This will require 'non-technical' design and a second round of QFD to identify the best 'features' that have the potential to deliver to the CTQs. Here we begin to move from CTQ to CTP – Critical To Process metrics. The idea is that, if the process by which the product/service is manufactured/delivered is 100%, then the product/service will also deliver to the customer CTQs and hence deliver to all of the customer needs! The end of this stage is a set of design concepts together with a set of CTPs that will constrain the formal and technical design.

Design (technical design)
The team handover the 'design brief' and the designers then complete the work, using all the CTPs as guides and evaluators to ensure that the design is perfect! Technical design can be carried out by the project team for simpler and service-type design, or by more technical and perhaps traditional design methods for more complex situations. Here we can use DOE and other statistical optimisation techniques, as well as greater creativity to bring inspired solutions that are proven to deliver. Simulation of both product, service and process are important tools.


No product or service should go directly to market without first piloting and refining. Here the team can use Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) as well as pilot and small scale implementations to test and evaluate real-life performance. Note however that this should be a fine tuning exercise and not a total re-design at this stage! Full scale commercial rollout will often then follow.

Once fully implemented, the new product/service and supporting processes can be handed over to (new) process owners, complete with new CTQs and monitoring systems! Naturally we have omitted to mention good amounts of project management, risk analysis and sound communication, as well as team-work


Posted in six-sigma | 7 Comments »

SIPOC Diagram

Posted by isoeasy on May 24, 2006

The SIPOC diagram includes a high-level map of the process, showing its basic steps. Through the process, the suppliers provide input. The process adds value, resulting in output that meets or exceeds the customer expectations. By analyzing the SIPOC diagram, the team recognized that the current process included good review and approval steps for the help text, a step towards meeting all the CTQ elements.

The tool name prompts the team to consider the Suppliers (the 'S' in SIPOC) of your process, the Inputs (the 'I') to the process, the Process (the 'P') your team is improving, the Outputs (the 'O') of the process, and the Customers (the 'C') that receive the process outputs. In some cases, Requirements of the Customers can be appended to the end of the SIPOC for further detail.

When Should You Use SIPOC?

The SIPOC tool is particularly useful when it is not clear:

    * Who supplies inputs to the process?

    * What specifications are placed on the inputs?

    * Who are the true customers of the process?

    * What are the requirements of the customers?

Here are the steps you should follow:

   1. Create an area that will allow the team to post additions to the SIPOC diagram. This could be a transparancy (to be projected by an overhead) made of the provided template, flip charts with headings (S-I-P-O-C) written on each, or headings written on post-it notes posted to a wall.

   2. Begin with the Process. Map it in four to five high level steps.

   3. Identify the Outputs of this Process.

   4. Identify the Customers that will receive the Outputs of this Process.

   5. Identify the Inputs required for the Process to function properly.

   6. Identify the Suppliers of the Inputs that are required by the Process.

   7. Optional: Identify the preliminary requirements of the Customers. This will be verified during a later step of the Six Sigma measurement phase.

   8. Discuss with Project Sponsor, Champion, and other involved stakeholders for verification.

Posted in six-sigma | 8 Comments »

What is Value Stream Mapping?

Posted by isoeasy on May 23, 2006

Lean Thinking, a concept that is based on the Toyota Production System, extends continuous improvement efforts to reduce the costs of serving customer/s beyond the physical boundaries of a manufacturing facility, by including the suppliers, distributors and production system that support the manufacturing function. These improvements and cost reductions are achieved by eliminating the muda (wastes) associated with all activities performed to deliver an order to a customer. Wastes are defined as “all activities that consume resources (add costs to the product) but contribute zero value to the customer.” According to Jim Womack and Dan Jones, there are five steps for implementing Lean Thinking in an enterprise:

1) Define Value from the perspective of the Customer,
2) Identify the Value Streams,
3) Achieve Flow in the facility,
4) Schedule production using Pull, and
5) Seek Perfection through Continuous Improvement.

Womack and Jones define the value stream as “the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product through the three critical management tasks of any business: …problem solving, …information management, …physical transformation”.

Basic Concepts of VSM

Unlike traditional process mapping tools, VSM is a mapping tool that maps not only material flows but also information flows that signal and control the material flows. This visual representation facilitates the process of lean implementation by helping to identify the value-adding steps in a value stream and eliminating the non-value adding steps, or wastes (muda).

Using a VSM process requires development of maps: a Current State Map and a Future State Map. In the Current State Map, one would normally start by mapping a large-quantity and high-revenue product family. The material flow will then be mapped using appropriate icons in the VSM template. The (material) flow path of the product will be traced back from the final operation in its routing to the storage location for raw material. Relevant data for each operation, such as the current schedule (push, pull, and order dispatching rules in effect at any process ex. FIFO) and the amount of inventory in various queues, will be recorded. The information flow is also incorporated to provide demand information, which is an essential parameter for determining the “pacemaker” process in the production system. After both material and information flows have been mapped, a time-line is displayed at the bottom of the map showing the processing time for each operation and the transfer delays between operations.   The time-line is used to identify the value-adding steps, as well as wastes, in the current system. The comparison between the processing times and the takt time (calculated as Available Capacity/Customer Demand) is a preliminary measure of the value and wastes in a stream. This takt time is mostly used as an ideal production rate for each operation to achieve.  Ideally, the cycle time for each operation should be less than or equal to the takt time.

Based on the analysis of the Current State Map, one then develops a Future State Map by improving the value-adding steps and eliminating the non-value adding steps (waste). According to Rother & Shook, there are seven guidelines, adapted and modified based on the concepts of Lean Thinking, that can be followed when generating the Future State Map for a lean value stream:

1) Produce to takt time
2) Develop continuous flow
3) Use supermarkets to control production where continuous flow does not extend upstream
4) Schedule based on the pacemaker operation
5) Produce different products at a uniform rate (Level the production mix)
6) Level the production load on the pacemaker process (Level the production volume)
7) Develop the capability to make “every part every (EPE) <time period>”

Advantages of VSM

> Relates the manufacturing process to supply chains, distribution channels and information flows.
> Integrates material and information flows.
> Links Production Control and Scheduling (PCS) functions such as Production Planning and Demand Forecasting to Production Scheduling and Shopfloor Control using operating parameters for the manufacturing system ex. takt time which determines the production rate at which each processing stage in the manufacturing system should operate.
> Helps to unify several IE techniques for material flow analysis, such as Production Flow Analysis (PFA), Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and Process Analysis and Improvement (PA&I) that, to date, have been taught and implemented in isolation.
> Provides important descriptive information for the Operation and Storage icons that, to date, has not been captured in standard Flow Process Charts used by IE’s.
> Forms the basis for implementation of Lean Manufacturing by designing the production system based on the complete dock-to-dock flow time for a product family.
> Provides a company with a “blueprint” for strategic planning to deploy the principles of Lean Thinking for their transformation into a Lean Enterprise.

Disadvantages of VSM

> Fails to map multiple products that do not have identical material flow maps.
> Fails to relate Transportation and Queuing delays, and changes in transfer batch sizes due to poor plant layout and/or material handling, to operating parameters (ex. machine cycle times) and measures of performance (ex. takt time)  of the manufacturing system.
> Lacks any worthwhile economic measure for “value” (ex. profit, throughput, operating costs, inventory expenses) that makes it similar to the Flow Process Charting technique used by IE’s.
> Lacks the spatial structure of the facility layout, and how that impacts inter-operation material handling delays, the sequence in which batches enter the queue formed at each processing step in a stream, container sizes, trip frequencies between operations, etc.
> Tends to bias a factory designer to consider only continuous flow, assembly line layouts, kanban-based Pull scheduling, etc. that are suitable mainly for high volume and low variety (HVLV) manufacturing systems .
> Fails to consider the allocations and utilization of an important resource – factory floor space – for WIP storage, production support, material handling aisles, etc.
> Fails to show the impact on WIP, order throughput and operating expenses of in-efficient material flows in the facility ex. backtracking, criss-cross flows, non-sequential flows, large inter-operation travel distances, etc.
> Fails to handle complex product BOM’s branched and multi-level Operation Process Charts and Flow Diagrams that result in complex value streams.
> Fails to factor queuing delays, sequencing rules for multiple orders, capacity constraints, etc. in any map .
> Lacks the capability, due to the manual mapping method, for rapid development and evaluation of multiple “what if” analyses required to prioritize different alternatives for improving a Current State Map when time and/or budget constraints exist.

Posted in six-sigma | 21 Comments »

Introduction to Statistical Process Control

Posted by isoeasy on May 22, 2006

What is SPC?

* SPC stands for Statistical Process Control
* SPC does not refer to a particular technique, algorithm or procedure
* SPC is an optimisation philosophy concerned with continuous process improvements, using a collection of (statistical) tools for
o data and process analysis
o making inferences about process behaviour
o decision making
* SPC is a key component of Total Quality initiatives
* Ultimately, SPC seeks to maximise profit by
o improving product quality
o improving productivity
o streamlining process
o reducing wastage
o reducing emissions
o improving customer service, etc.

SPC is a method for achieving quality control in manufacturing processes. It is a set of methods using statistical tools such as mean, variance and others, to detect whether the process observed is under control.By using statistical tools, the operator of the production line can discover that a significant change has been made to the production line, by wear and tear or other means, and correct the problem – or even stop production – before producing product outside specifications. An example of such a statistical tool would be the control chart.

control-chartControl chart

The control chart is a statistical tool intended to assess the nature of variation in a process and to facilitate forecasting and management.

Every process in one way from another varies. To illustrate this reality, write your name ten different times. If you compared your handwriting collectively no two signatures will be exactly alike. The random variation would normally be common and expected, however there is also a type of variation called special cause variation that is totally unexpected within the process. This can be shown for example by when somebody bumps into your elbow while you write your name on one of the ten trials. This also may alter the way your signature looks significantly. Special causes are crucial to catch since if hypothetically this were a process repeated ten different times in diamond cutting. The seemingly harmless bump to the elbow can be substituted for some other variation factor related to diamond cutting for example, in which case it would become quite an expensive special variation.

A control chart is a run chart of a sequence of quantitative data with three horizontal lines drawn on the chart:

* A centre line, drawn at the process mean;
* An upper control-limit (also called an upper natural process-limit drawn three standard deviations above the centre line; and
* A lower control-limit (also called a lower natural process-limit drawn three standard deviations below the centre line.

Common cause variation plots as an irregular pattern, mostly within the control limits. Any observations outside the limits, or patterns within, suggest (signal) a special-cause. The run chart provides a context in which to interpret signals and can be beneficially annotated with events in the business.

Variable and attribute charts are the two different types of control charts. Variable charts assess quantitative features like height, weight, volume, and etc. An airplane’s speed is an example of this measure of data. Attribute charts, however, are usually denoted by a letter such as p charts, c charts, u charts, and etc. P charts show the percentage of defectives in a set. C charts show the number of defectives per unit in a set. U charts show the average number of defects in a set. Attribute charts make up only a part of the whole from the all-encompassing influence of control charts. Attribute charts have become the dominant trait when one thinks about control charts in general. The many different varieties of control charts can be applied to different kinds of data that need to be processed.

There are some characteristics to lookout for in how to use and fully utilize the powerful tool of control charts. The point of making control charts to begin with is to look at variation, seeking special causes and keeping track of random causes. Special causes can be recognized and discovered by some simple tests. First of all, if one data point (outlier) falls outside of the control limits set then that is most likely a special cause. Another important observation is if six or more points are in a steady row of increasing or decreasing in the chart. Also, if eight or more points lie in a row on either side of the mathematical mean or centerline then that could be due to special variation. Lastly, but most obscurely if fourteen points alternate up and down then that may be something to responsible for in special cause. A good idea when implementing control charts is to pair two control charts together and compare inconsistencies to help further maximize control chart effectiveness.

A control chart is a tremendous graphical and analytical tool used by quality technicians to control, analyze and document the processes involved in production and other quality-relevant areas. As quoted by Deming, “There is no such thing as constancy in real life. There is, however, such a thing as a constant-cause system. The control chart will tell you whether your process is in statistical control”. In a business, control charts contribute to process analysis that can improve productivity, quality, and efficiency by establishing what needs to be altered within an operation. If control charts are implemented correctly, they can become a commanding advantage in the greater philosophy of total quality management in an organization.

Posted in quality, six-sigma | 1 Comment »

Determine The Root Cause: 5 Whys

Posted by isoeasy on May 19, 2006

The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps users to get to the root of the problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: “Why?” and “What caused this problem?”

Very often, the answer to the first “why” will prompt another “why” and the answer to the second “why” will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy.

Asking "Why?" may be a favorite technique of your three year old child in driving you crazy, but it could teach you a valuable Six Sigma quality lesson. The 5 Whys is a technique used in the Analyze phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology. It's a great Six Sigma tool that doesn't involve data segmentation, hypothesis testing, regression or other advanced statistical tools, and in many cases can be completed without a data collection plan.

By repeatedly asking the question "Why" (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the ostensible reason for a problem will lead you to another question. Although this technique is called "5 Whys," you may find that you will need to ask the question fewer or more times than five before you find the issue related to a problem.

Benefits Of The 5 Whys

> Help identify the root cause of a problem.
> Determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem.
? One of the simplest tools; easy to complete without statistical analysis.

When Is 5 Whys Most Useful?

> When problems involve human factors or interactions.
> In day-to-day business life; can be used within or without a Six Sigma project.

How To Complete The 5 Whys

1. Write down the specific problem. Writing the issue helps you formalize the problem and describe it completely. It also helps a team focus on the same problem.
2. Ask Why the problem happens and write the answer down below the problem.
3. If the answer you just provided doesn't identify the root cause of the problem that you wrote down in step 1, ask Why again and write that answer down.
4. Loop back to step 3 until the team is in agreement that the problem's root cause is identified. Again, this may take fewer or more times than five Whys.

5 Whys Examples

Problem Statement: The machine stopped working.

1. Why did the machine stop?  It blew a fuse.
2. Why did the fuse blow?   The fuse was the wrong size.
3. Why was the wrong size in the fuse box?  The engineer put it there.
4. Why did the engineer do that?  The supply room issued the wrong size fuse.
5. Why?  The stock bin was mislabeled

Problem Statement: Gage was found in use on shop floor beyond its calibration date.

1. Why was a gage in use beyond its calibration date? Because the gage was not recalled and the operator did not check the calibration label. 
2. Why was the gage not recalled? Because the gage was not on the recall list.
3. Why was the gage not on the recall list? Because the gage was just recently purchased.
4. Why are new gages not added to recall list? Because there is no procedure or specific training on purchasing gages.
5. Why did the operator not check the label? Because the operator was recently hired and had not been trained to check calibration labels.
6. Why wasn't the operator trained to check labels? Because on-the job training does not specify and it was overlooked.
7. Why doesn't OJT address calibration labels? Not considered a priority by supervisors.

The final Why leads the team to a statement (root cause) that the team can take action upon.

5 Whys And The Fishbone Diagram
The 5 Whys can be used individually or as a part of the fishbone (also known as the cause and effect or Ishikawa) diagram. The fishbone diagram helps you explore all potential or real causes that result in a single defect or failure. Once all inputs are established on the fishbone, you can use the 5 Whys technique to drill down to the root causes.

Key Points:
The 5 Whys strategy is an easy and often-effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. Because it is so elementary in nature, it can be adapted quickly and applied to most any problem. Bear in mind, however, that if it doesn’t prompt an intuitive answer, other problem-solving techniques may need to be applied.

Posted in quality | 14 Comments »


Posted by isoeasy on May 18, 2006

DMAIC refers to a data-driven quality strategy for improving processes, and is an integral part of the company's Six Sigma Quality Initiative. DMAIC is an acronym for five interconnected phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.

Each step in the cyclical DMAIC Process is required to ensure the best possible results. The process steps:

1. Define formally define the process improvement goals that are consistent with customer demands and enterprise strategy.

> Define who customers are, what their requirements are for products and services, and what their expectations are
> Define project boundaries ­ the stop and start of the process
> Define the process to be improved by mapping the process flow

2. Measure to define baseline measurements on current process for future comparison. Map and measure process in question and collect required process data.

> Develop a data collection plan for the process
> Collect data from many sources to determine types of defects and metrics
> Compare to customer survey results to determine shortfall

3. Analyze to verify relationship and causality of factors. What is the relationship? Are there other factors that have not been considered?

> Identify gaps between current performance and goal performance
> Prioritize opportunities to improve
> Identify sources of variation

4. Improve optimize the process based upon the analysis using techniques like Design of Experiments.

> Create innovate solutions using technology and discipline
> Develop and deploy implementation plan

5. Control setup pilot runs to establish process capability, transition to production and thereafter continuously measure the process and institute control mechanisms to ensure that variances are corrected before they result in defects.

> Prevent reverting back to the "old way"
> Require the development, documentation and implementation of an ongoing monitoring plan
> Institutionalize the improvements through the modification of systems and structures (staffing, training, incentives).

Posted in six-sigma | 2 Comments »

Introduction to OHSAS 18001

Posted by isoeasy on May 17, 2006

safety is everyones concernOccupational safety and health is the discipline concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of employees, organisations, and others affected by the work they undertake (such as customers, suppliers, and members of the public).

The primary, and arguably most prominent reason for occupational safety and health (OSH) standards are moral – an employee should not have to expect that by coming to work they are risking life or limb, and nor should others affected by their undertaking.

The management of health and safety is becoming a growing problem in the UK. Recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that there were 235 workplace fatalities reported in the period 2003/4 representing a 4% increase over the previous year. Additionally, there were over 150,000 other injuries reported in 2002/3. It is estimated that ill health and injury now costs British industry around 3% of GDP.

In the European Union, Member States have enforcing authorities to ensure that the basic legal requirements relating to occupational safety and health are met. In many EU countries, there is strong cooperation between employer and worker organisations (e.g. Unions) to ensure good OSH performance as it is recognized this has benefits for both worker (maintenance of health) and enterprise (improved productivity and quality).

OSH standards are, generally speaking, further reinforced in both civil law and criminal law; it is accepted that without the extra "encouragement" of potential litigation, many organisations would not act upon their implied moral obligations.

What is OHSAS 18001?

OHSAS 18001 is a specification for Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) management systems that was published in 1999. It was jointly developed by a number of the international third party certification bodies and national standards bodies from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico and other interested parties from around the world.

The specification was developed to provide a model for OHS management systems and their internal or external assessment and/or certification in the absence of a suitable international (ISO) standard. It is closely aligned with ISO 14001:1996, the model for environmental management.

‘OHSAS 18002:2000: Guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001’ has been written to help explain and ensure consistent interpretation of OHSAS 18001. This guide contains all the requirements set out in OHSAS 18001, together with explanatory guidance on each section in turn. In particular, OHSAS 18002 provides guidance on how the various parts of the management system must interact with each other, with risk assessment forming the heart of the management system, providing inputs to the other elements of the system.

Both documents are available from national standards bodies.

How can OHSAS 18001 benefit my organisation?

Whether you have a contractual requirement to gain certification to OHSAS 18001, or one of the growing numbers of organisations looking to reduce the overall risks to the organisation and demonstrate good governance, there are a number of key benefits with implementing a certified OHS management system. These include:

> a structured approach to hazard identification and risk management which can contribute to the provision of a healthier and > safer working environment and the avoidance of a high proportion of accidents and occupational health problems – this > should help reduce lost time through employee illness and injury
> the management of health and safety becoming more transparent and effective by translating the outputs of risk assessment, audits, inspections, legal reviews and incident investigations into action plans to minimise the risk of accidents
> improved staff morale, potential reductions in liability claims and lower insurance premiums
> increased credibility from having an OHS management system independently assessed

How can we gain certification to OHSAS 18001?

Certification bodies suich as LRQA and BSI provide a range of assessment, certification and training services to this standard.

Posted in ohsas 18001 | 1 Comment »

Introduction to Kaizen

Posted by isoeasy on May 16, 2006

ZenKaizen literally means change (kai) to become good (zen). Key elements of kaizen are: quality, effort, willingness to change and communication. The kaizen attitude supports a continuous process of incremental improvements within an organization.

The foundation of the kaizen model consists of five founding elements:
• teamwork
• personal discipline
• improved morale
• quality circles
• suggestions for improvement.

From this foundation, three key aspects of kaizen arise: elimination of muda (waste, inefficiency, the five-S framework for good housekeeping and standardization.

Through its impact on multiple functional parts of the organization, kaizen can eventually lead to sustainable profit management.

When to use it
First, the organization must reduce and eliminate muda (waste, inefficiency) on the production floor as a result of overproduction, excess inventory, rejected products, movement, production and assembly, waiting, transportation, etc.

Good housekeeping is the next building block. This is achieved through the five Ss:

• Seiri – tidiness. Separate what is necessary for the work from what is not. This should help to simplify work.
• Seiton – orderliness. You can increase efficiency by making deliberate decisions with regard to the allocation of materials, equipment, files, etc.
• Seiso – cleanliness. Everyone should help to keep things clean, organized, looking neat and attractive.
• Seiketsu – standardized clean-up. The regularity and
institutionalization of keeping things clean and organized as part of 'visual management' is an effective means of continuous improvement.
• Shitsuke – discipline. Personal responsibility for living up to the other four S's can make or break the success of housekeeping.

Standardization of practices and institutionalization of the five S's will make it easier for everyone, including newcomers, throughout the organization to keep improving and building on the achieved success. Top management plays an important role in looking after the widespread implementation and co-ordination of kaizen, the five S's and the standardization of work.

The kaizen philosophy resonates well with speed of change at operational levels in the organization. The sustainability of improvements proposed and implemented by people on the work floor is perhaps the strongest argument in favour of kaizen. Its mere simplicity makes implementation easy, although some cultures may not be as receptive to the high level of self-discipline that the Japanese are able to keep up.

Kaizen has more potential in incremental change situations than in abrupt turnarounds. A culture that focuses on short-term success and big 'hits' is not the right ingredient for kaizen. Co-operation and widespread discipline at all levels of the organization are absolute keys to success.

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What is ISO 14001?

Posted by isoeasy on May 16, 2006

ISO 14001Environmental Management is not, as the phrase suggests, the management of the environment as such but rather the management of the humankind's interaction with and impact upon the environment. It involves the management of all components of the bio-physical environment, both living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic). This is due to the interconnected and network of relationships amongst all living species and their habitats. The environment also involves the relationships of the human environment, such as the social, cultural and economic environment with the bio-physical environment.

As with all management functions, effective management tools, standards and systems are required. An environmental management standard or system or protocol attempts to reduce environmental impact as measured by some objective criteria. The ISO 14001 standard is the most widely used standard for environmental risk management and is closely aligned to the European Eco Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS). The UK has developed a phased standard (BS8555) that can help smaller companies move to ISO 14001 in six manageable steps.

In general, the ISO 14000 series of environmental management system standards exist to help organizations:

(a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc.)impact the environment (i.e. cause adverse changes to air, water, or land);
(b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and
(c) continually improve in the above.

It specifies requirements for establishing an environmental policy, determining environmental aspects & impacts of products/activities/services, planning environmental objectives and measurable targets, implementation & operation of programs to meet objectives & targets, checking & corrective action, and management review.

ISO 14000 is similar to ISO 9000 <<link to post>> quality management in that both pertain to the process – the comprehensive outcome – of how a product is produced, rather than to the product itself. As with ISO 9000, certification is performed by third-party organisations rather than being awarded by ISO directly. The ISO 19011 audit standard applies when auditing for both 9000 and 14000 compliance at once.

The material included in this family of specifications is very broad. The major parts of ISO 14000 are:

ISO 14001 is the requirements standard against which organizations are assessed. ISO 14004 is a guidance document that explains the 14001 requirements in more detail. These present a structured approach to setting environmental objectives and targets, and to establishing and monitoring operational controls. ISO 14001 is generic and flexible enough to apply to any organization producing any product or service anywhere in the world.

These are further explicated by:

1. ISO 14040 discusses pre-production planning and environment goal setting.
2. ISO 14020 covers labels and declarations.
3. ISO 14030 discusses post-production environmental assesment.
4. ISO 14062 discusses making improvements to environmental impact goals.
5. ISO 14063 is an addendum to 14020, discussing further communications on environmental impact.
6. ISO 19011 which specifies one audit protocol for both 14000 and 9000 series standards together. This replaces ISO 14011 meta-evaluation — how to tell if your intended regulatory tools worked. 19011 is now the only recommended way to determine this.

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What is ISO/TS16949?

Posted by isoeasy on May 15, 2006

automotive standardsISO/TS16949:2002 is an ISO Technical Specification which aligns existing US, German, French and Italian automotive quality system standards within the global automotive industry. ISO/TS16949:2002 specifies the quality system requirements for the design/ development, production, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.
Who are the authors of ISO/TS16949:2002 ?

ISO/TS16949 was written by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). The IATF consists of an international group of vehicle manufacturers, BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat Auto, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault SA and Volkswagen, plus national trade associations, AIAG (America), VDA (Germany), SMMT (UK), ANFIA (Italy) and FIEV (France). Japanese vehicle manufacturers association, JAMA, have been involved in the development of ISO/TS16949:2002, and are expected to join IATF as full members in due course.

What are the key differences between QS-9000 and ISO/TS 16949?

The key differences between QS-9000 and ISO/TS 16949 relate to the aspects of customer and employee satisfaction.

Customer Satisfaction
Both QS-9000 and ISO/TS 16949:1999 require a documented process for measuring customer satisfaction. This includes the documentation of trends and the comparison of benchmark data.

ISO/TS 16949:2002, additionally specifies that companies should:

> Determine a method for monitoring customer perception as to whether requirements have been met,

> evaluate data continuously,

> demonstrate compliance with customer requirements & efficiency of process.

Employee motivation, Empowerment & Satisfaction
QS-9000 makes no reference to employee motivation whilst TS 16949:1999 requires that companies develop a process for the measurement of employee satisfaction. ISO/TS 16949:2002 additionally specifies that organizations:

> have a process for measuring satisfaction to achieve quality objectives &
make continual improvements,
> promote quality awareness at all levels,
> make personnel aware of the relevance of their activities.

What is the format of ISO/TS16949:2002?

Automotive Sector requirements, defining international automotive quality system requirements are contained in ISO/TS16949, which is written around the format of ISO9001:2000.Customer specific requirements are required by individual subscribing vehicle manufacturers and are provided separately.

What are the Eligibility requirements for ISO/TS16949:2002?

> ISO/TS16949:2002 is relevant to automotive production and service part organizations only.

> It is applicable only to sites where production or service parts are manufactured. (A site is defined as: a location at which value added manufacturing processes occur.

Manufacturing is defined: as the process of making production materials, parts or assemblies, or heat treating, painting, plating services.). Any tier within the supply chain can apply.

> Any potential supplier can only be accepted for registration if they have a documented request for quotation or is on a bid list of a subscribing customer. This means that ISO/TS16949:2002 is also relevant to vehicle manufacturing plants: Jaguar, DaimlerChrysler, Land Rover, Bentley are all working on quality systems to meet ISO/TS16949:2002 requirements.

> Some organizations currently certified to QS-9000 will not be eligible for ISO/ TS16949:2002 registration, for example: stockists and organizations who have no automotive customers.

> Organizations which have automotive and non-automotive product will require separate certification for these separate product groups. They would have ISO/TS16949:2002 certification for their automotive activities, and ISO 9001:2000 (or an alternative specified by their non-automotive customers) for the non-automotive business.

> Organizations wishing to break into the automotive market must wait until they are on an automotive customer's potential supplier list before they can progress with registration.

Will ISO/TS16949 be accepted in addition to current automotive standards such as QS-9000 and VDA 6.1?

Yes. Along with customer specific requirements, ISO/TS16949 has been accepted as equivalent to the following automotive quality standards:

> QS-9000 (America)

> VDA 6.1 (Germany)

> AVSQ (Italy)

> EAQF (France)

Which vehicle manufactures will accept ISO/TS16949?

Ford, GM, DaimlerChrysler, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Fiat, BMW, Daimler Benz and Volkswagen all support ISO/TS 16949. DaimlerChrysler. Japanese and Korean manufacturers may also recognise ISO/TS16949:2002 as a valid supplier approval mechanism in future. Formal communications by Big 3 regarding their particular requirements have been made.

Customer Specific Requirements: For subscribing members, these are to be made available via the IAOB website (Big 3 specifics are already referenced on this site). Note that some customer specifics may be incorporated into Purchasing agreements.

Refer to attached files for more information:

16949 Checklist

Customer Specific Requirements

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