An often-used symbol for Six Sigma
An investment in Six Sigma quality-management methodology has yielded savings of about USD1.5 million to electric forklift manufacturer Crown Equipment Corp.
Crown introduced the concept in late 2005 and, after a selection process, began developing candidates for Green Belt workers who might advance to Black Belt status. Trainers from the American Society for Quality in Milwaukee, Wisconsin delivered most of the lessons and explained how to follow specific steps with the goals to reduce costs and increase profit.
Improvements in handling manufacturing-related scrap, waste materials and component rework generated most of the savings.
In early phases, the Six Sigma projects identified and corrected complex problems and issues that were causing Crown to have inefficient operations. The company is expanding its base of Green Belt trainees to pursue a range of less obvious problems with an eye on achieving continuous-improvement gains.
Also, Crown is zeroing in on initiatives involving such Black Belt-level areas such as statistical analysis and broad business challenges.
New Bremen-based Crown has 11 manufacturing facilities in seven US locations.
Mark DeGrandchamp serves as Crown director of quality and Lean/Six Sigma.