Combining Lean Concepts & Tools with the DMAIC Framework to Improve Processes and Reduce Waste


Six Sigma DMAIC methodology has been applied to systematically apply lean manufacturing concepts and tools in order to improve productivity in a local company specialized in the manufacturing of safety and fire resistance metal doors, windows, and frames. In-depth analysis of the plant processes unfolded different critical processes, specifically foam injection process and sheet metal cutting process. Throughout the different project phases, various improvements had been implemented to reduce production cycle time from 216 min to 161 min; non-value added activities in the different processes were identified and eliminated. Plant layout and machine reconfiguration reduced backtracking and unutilized space. Percentage of defective doors (needing rework) dropped from 100% to only 15%. The successful implementation of this project is largely due to top management active involvement and participation of workers and operators in all stages of the project. Finally, new policies and mentoring programs are introduced to maintain improvements.

Share and Cite:

Arafeh, M. (2015) Combining Lean Concepts & Tools with the DMAIC Framework to Improve Processes and Reduce Waste. American Journal of Operations Research, 5, 209-211. doi: 10.4236/ajor.2015.53017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Womack, J.P., Jones, D.T. and Roos, D. (2008) The Machine That Changed the World. Simon and Schuster, New York.
[2] Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T. (2010) Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation. Simon and Schuster, New York.
[3] Antony, J. (2009) Six Sigma vs. TQM: Some Perspectives from Leading Practitioners and Academics. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 58, 274-279.
[4] Andersson, R., Eriksson, H. and Torstensson, H. (2006) Similarities and Differences between TQM, Six Sigma and Lean. The TQM Magazine, 18, 282-296.
[5] Munro, R.A. (2009) Lean Six Sigma for the Healthcare Practice: A Pocket Guide. ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee.
[6] Arafeh, M., et al. (2014) Six Sigma Applied to Reduce Patients’ Waiting Time in a Cancer Pharmacy. International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 8, 105-124.
[7] Voehl, F., et al. (2013) The Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Handbook: Tools and Methods for Process Acceleration. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
[8] Brue, G. and Formisano, R.A. (2002) Six Sigma for Managers. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[9] Hambleton, L. (2007) Treasure Chest of Six Sigma Growth Methods, Tools, and Best Practices. Pearson Education, New York.
[10] Karelahti, J. (2002) Solving the Cutting Stock Problem in the Steel Industry. Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki.
[11] Lunau, S. and John, A. (2008) Six Sigma+ Lean Toolset: Executing Improvement Projects Successfully. Springer, Berlin.
[12] Carreira, B. (2005) Lean Manufacturing That Works: Powerful Tools for Dramatically Reducing Waste and Maximizing Profits. AMACOM Div American Management Association, New York.
[13] Pyzdek, T. and Keller, P.A. (2003) The Six Sigma Handbook: A Complete Guide for Green Belts, Black Belts, and Managers at All Levels. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[14] Pande, P.S. and Neuman, R.P. (2000) The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola, and Other Top Companies Are Honing Their Performance. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[15] Munro, R.A., et al. (2008) The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook. ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.