Along with the extensive use of production systems, techniques, and tools to bring in huge benefits to the company, the application of management techniques in the business will bring long-term stability in the market and a better company reputation. Six Sigma is such a set of tools and techniques that are used to remove defects and minimize variability from the process. It is a management tool that is viewed as a systematic, scientific, statistical, and smarter approach to create quality innovation and total customer satisfaction. Six sigma is a proven method for improving profits by pursuing perfection. It also allows us to draw comparisons among all processes, and tells how good a process is. It provides efficient manpower cultivation and utilization. There are several six sigma models, but among them ‘DMAIC’ and ‘DMADV’ are mostly used. In this article I will explain concept, tools and application of six sigma in textile and garment industry.
Six Sigma, or 6s, is a disciplined use of applied science that improves profits by creating and systematically replicating breakthrough improvements. It helps to eliminating defects in textile and apparel manufacturing industry. After implementation of six sigma process, it is found that, the process improved to 3.16 sigma level. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. Six Sigma is a statistical unit of measure which reflects process capability. The sigma scale measure is perfectly correlated to such characteristics as defects per unit, parts per million defective and the probability of a failure or error. It clearly shows the way and scope for the further improvement of the same process indicating the flaw in the process.
Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that focuses an organization on:
- Understanding and managing customer requirements
- Aligning key business processes to achieve those requirements
- Utilizing rigorous data analysis to minimize variation in those processes
- Driving rapid and sustainable improvement to business processes.
The 3Cs in Six Sigma are:
- Change—changing society
- Customer—power is shifted to customer
- Competition—competition in quality and productivity
Some of the Six Sigma models are DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), which is used to improve the existing process, and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify), which is used to employ the new products.
Tools of Six Sigma:
Seven basic tools used in Six Sigma process-
- Cause and effect diagram
- Check sheet
- Control chart
- Pareto chart
- Scatter diagram
- Stratification (Flow charts, Run charts, etc.)
Application of Six Sigma in Textile and Apparel Industry:
Possible areas in textile industry for Six Sigma application are-
- Reducing rejections in shipments.
- To produce defect free new product.
- To reduce cost (through lean six sigma application).
- Improving first sample approval percentages while working with buyer.
- Improving the performance of the existing product.
- Improving supplier evaluation processes.
- Improving acceptable quality level (AQL) performance in shipments.
- To reduce rejections from buyer.
- To ensure on time delivery of all the product.
- Improving garment merchandiser performance.
- Improving processes at the source (including fabric purchase and inspection, stitching, embroidery, packing, and shipping) to reduce rejections at later stages.
- Improving the overall company image.
- Eliminating manufacturing errors/defects.
- To ensure the entire workforce is working in a synchronized way.
Nowadays, Six Sigma is widely applied in the textile and apparel industry due to its positive impact on the performance of the company. During implementation of six sigma is in garment manufacturing, we can reduce the garment cost, wastage in the garment and get higher production and good quality of the garment. Textile industry being a field dealing with lot of variations and defects in each process is the exact place for six sigma application. Six Sigma initiatives aim at reduction of process variations and defects. Statistical process control (SPC) and Engineering process control (EPC) are two important techniques for achieving these goals.
- Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
- Application Of Six Sigma Concepts In Garment Manufacturing By P. Aravin Prince
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.