We’re in a world where manufacturing is transforming day to day; new, digitally connected infrastructure, massive amounts of data, and increasingly complex products are the new norm. And while this exciting chapter of industrial transformation is providing new opportunities for innovation, it is also introducing the potential for high risk failures.
Six Sigma is a set of techniques that implement, monitor, and control processes for real-time visibility into product performance in order to identify the risk/impact of failures.
This philosophy of viewing work as process-oriented is defined through the acronym DMAIC:
This standardized process can be implemented throughout an enterprise to deliver continuous improvement and produce quality products.
So, where does Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) fit into all of this? FMEA provides a framework so stakeholders can identify and analyze how parts might fail early in the design process to prevent failures from occurring. By systematically planning how a part or product may fail and create a knowledge base around that failure mode, stakeholders can continuously improve their products before they’re sent to be manufactured or into the field.
With FMEA implemented in conjunction with a Six Sigma approach, enterprises can structure what exactly needs to be addressed and measure continuous improvement. Just because an issue is fixed within the process doesn’t mean it might not break again. FMEA continues monitoring the problem through the control phase, ensuring the mistake is not made again and updates if a new problem is identified.
FMEA and Six Sigma go together, providing specific and factual insights and leading to continuously improved processes throughout the value chain. And with access to FMEA within PTC’s Windchill that provides visibility through the PLM process, the FMEA information doesn’t get lost through the value chain, but rather gets passed from one stakeholder to the next without fear of distorting or losing information. Stakeholders can be confident that the process is consistent and that variations are limited with the ability to also correct issues as the occur, rather than taking reactionary steps.
You can learn more about how PTC works with FMEA by going to our Quality Management webpage.