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Excelerated Six Sigma Case study

Six Sigma Case study for external failure analysis - How does Omnex do it?

Several of Company X's external customers had described the results of its current process for providing timely permanent corrective action as unacceptable. The company was woefully behind on its failure analysis and corrective action lead-time. Though the company had desirable, patented technology, customers were threatening to pull out and go elsewhere.

Company X and Omnex determined that we would study this process and develop solutions to significantly reduce the lead-time and improve the quality of Company X's external corrective action process. This case study outlines the definition of the problem, how it was measured and analyzed, and the steps taken to make improvements and hold the gains.

Two approaches were used to improve the current process results:

1) Omnex developed a current state value stream map of the customer returned parts process and performed a process analysis of the External Failure Analysis Lab to identify performance gaps.

2) Omnex conducted a Process Review and implemented Product Line Teams (PLTs) to improve the manufacturing process and ultimately prevent defects.

Analysis of the current process demonstrated:

(1) a significant lag in the performance of the failure analysis to determine the failure mode, and

(2) once a corrective action was opened, multiple process owners resulted in no one taking ownership to resolve the customer returns. Additionally, 26 corrective actions had violated clean dates.

The Failure Analysis Lab

We identified two primary issues in the Failure Analysis Lab:

  1. Since Failure Analysis Fault Trees had not been developed, the FA Lab technicians did not have a standard procedure to determine the failure mode of a customer returned part once parametric testing was done. Because of the technicians' current method, standard times to determine each failure mode were not known, errors might have been replicated, and the competency of each technician limited his or her ability to work on various technologies. As a result, overtime averaged $7,802 per month.
  2. 2) The FA Lab Supervisor had no way of knowing how long failure analysis took and was limited by a narrow skill set, so he did not perform any manpower planning and didn't have any defined objectives to complete the failure analysis. There was no FIFO method. Whatever arrived in the FA Lab sat there and did not become a priority until various program managers, engineers, supplier quality, etc. dictated to the Supervisor his priority to perform failure analysis.

Omnex created a Future State Map (FSM) and Road Map to implement a best-in-class external corrective action process.

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