Lean Six Sigma in Industry 4.0

Suresh Menon, Principal Consultant & Trainer, Six Sigma | Monday, 17 August 2020, 05:23 IST

 Lean Six Sigma In Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 i.e. fourth industrial revolution brings a new outlook to the manufacturing sector which can associate with emerging and innovative technologies to get effective output with optimum utilization of resource in manufacturing organization. German government’s initiative, Industry 4.0 has amalgamated manufacturing with IT. With the introduction of steam engine, the first industrial revolution was started, with focused on mass production, second industrial revolution began, third industrial revolution started with advancements in computing technologies. The digital revolution which initiates from advancement of computerization and networking in all the areas of production, leads to fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 may be stated as the combination of cyber-physical systems (CPS) with information technology.

The emerging technologies like smart machines, cloud computing, and production facilities with data exchange, triggering actions and independently controlling each other creates cyber physical systems (CPS). Any organization with Industry 4.0 has huge potential to achieve social and economic benefits integrates the use of internet of things, big data and artificial intelligence as one. CPS facilitating the integration of system and processes across production units and manufacturing organizations and emerging technologies like the internet of things (IoT) has enhanced the way in which cyber-physical systems can interact, monitored, controlled and managed. This gives better cooperation and communication within production units resulting transformed production, enhanced services, improved logistics and an efficient and cost-efficient resource planning. The current development in information communication technology (ICT) tools has encouraged the Industry 4.0 development. The recent advancements in emerging technologies in Industry 4.0 will provide a set of feasible solutions to the increasing demands of manufacturing industries. The idea of Industry 4.0 may sounds the best at first, but at the same time it is necessary to remark that there are challenges, risks and barriers associated with implementation of Industry 4.0 viz. defining necessary infrastructures, architectures and standards, ensuring proper data security and continuous educating employees and their skill development are among the major concerns that need to be addressed on the way to implementation of Industry 4.0 . Industry 4.0 also provide opportunities to manufacturing industries to develop and use advanced materials in efficient and effective way.

Earlier industry was just doing input and output now the output has become integrated that means a bread toaster is integrated with the watch of the person and once the time is up it pops up the bread automatically which is also integrated with the coffee machine which pours the coffee in the cup after the time is synchronized with it.

Our context is the application of lean six sigma in the industry 4.0 environment, so let us get a brief about six sigma and then further we will try to apply the concepts of lean in the industry 4.0 environment. In Six Sigma we have 2 approaches one is DMAIC and the other is DFSS. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is used to improve existing processes and products whereas DFSS is Design for Six Sigma which is used to Design New Products and services.

Differences between Six Sigma and DFSS

  • Six Sigma is reactive to problems, removing defects and DFSS is proactive avoiding problems in the first place.
  • Six sigma aims for fast return and DFSS is long term strategy with pay-out down the road.
  • Six sigma focusses on improvement projects and DFSS focusses on products and processes.
  • Six Sigma Improves the current process and DFSS optimizes new designs and processes.

80% of the quality problems are design related.

Is DFSS always advised?

DFSS is not a cure for all problems. And since it requires an upfront investment, it is strongly advised to verify that DFSS will be the toolset available and the projected results will justify the investment.

In order to deploy DFSS the four things listed below has to be considered

1) The six sigma level of the organization if the level is rising steadily it is unlikely that DFSS will beneficial, if the rise of the level is slowing significantly or is still low DFSS is likely to be beneficial.

2) The organization’s business, if changes in market demand, customer requirements, technology or legal restrictions threaten to make the products obsolete, DFSS can be adapted by the organization.

3) The organizations prioritized project schedule simple projects to be handled first and the organization should be prepared to roll out DFSS for the more complex projects.

4) The organizations capacity to roll out the project. Does the organization have the resources needed to roll out a DFSS project? Does it have the financial capabilities and even more important is the team and management available to be involved

There are 3 main reasons to deploy DFSS which are listed below: -

1) A new product, service or business is currently not in place and its design or processes need to be designed from scratch.

2) All possible efforts have been made to meet customer satisfaction but customer satisfaction is still too low.

3) After many six sigma projects the rate of improvement has slowed or stopped and the organization is still not close to six sigma level.

From the table below we can see the elements of DFSS given below which is the DFSS family.













































From the above points it is very clear that DFSS is the ideal tool in the Industry 4.0 environment rather than DMAIC.

Application of DFSS in the Industry 4.0 Environment.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is an accepted application of the Six Sigma approach to design and develop new products or new service processes, that meet or exceed customer expectations, employing well-established tools and techniques. DFSS is an organized and systematic method for the strategic improvement and for developing new products and processes using statistical tools in order to drastically reduce defects and

variations perceived by the customers. DFSS applies these tools combining them with a team approach. To design a new product(DMADV) or service we first use the tool in the define phase called the voice of the customer as this becomes proactive in designing a new product or service which is first noted down as todays customer wants a integrated output we need to define their requirements precisely.

The other tools in DFSS is DFMEA (Design Failure mode and Effect Analysis), FMEA forces the team to quantify and prioritize risks associated with failure modes and to calculate the probability effect and severity of potential failures while designing a new product or process.

FMEA steps.

  • FMEA is carried out on a new process.
  • For each process step, list requirements for each process step.
  • For each requirement, list the failure mode for each requirement.
  • For each failure mode, list the effects of failure for each failure mode.
  • For each effect of failure, estimate the severity.
  • For each failure mode, list the causes.
  • For each cause of failure, estimate the likelihood of occurrence.
  • For each process control, estimate the detection.
  • For each process control, estimate the detection.
  • For each cause of failure, calculate the Risk Priority Number by multiplying the scores associated with severity, occurrence, and detection.
  • For high priority causes of failure and or failure modes, develop recommended actions.
  • For each recommended action, assign responsibility and completion dates.
  • For each recommended action, implement the action and note its effect.

For each implemented action, re-estimate the severity, occurrence, and detection rankings and recalculate the RPN.

In today’s highly competitive environment some designs become obsolete as the customer is no longer interested in that design so we have to make a new design prototype by using DFSS.

For example while designing a new laptop using the tools of DFSS we have to first survey the voice of customer in the define phase , then collect data pertaining to that in the measure phase and analyze the data in the analyze phase then develop the design but before developing the design we have to use DFSS tools like FMEA to find the risks if the laptop is released in the market as it should be a integrated output with futuristic design which is given by the customer and as per the current market needs.


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