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Hands On Simulation To Demonstrate Key Metrics For Control Of Any Process Utilizing Lean And Six Sigma Principles

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Hands-on Lean Manufacturing Simulation Workshop

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.665.1 - 14.665.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Merwan Mehta East Carolina University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Hands-on Simulation to Demonstrate Key Metrics for Control of Processes Utilizing Lean and Six Sigma Principles


Great emphasis is placed these days by private businesses and government agencies on quickly improving manufacturing and administrative processes through waste elimination and variation control. Lean manufacturing and six-sigma are two tools which allow substantial wasted effort to be eliminated and provide a statistical means to control variation in processes.

Classroom simulation utilizing a simple product made from Lego® blocks was used to show how a process becomes inefficient through large batch processing and unbalanced operations, and is discussed in this paper. Also, how metrics to control a process should be defined and calculated are covered in the paper. These metrics include Lean six-sigma metrics of lead time, inventory efficiency, percentage value added time (%VAT), first pass yield (FPY) and rolled throughput yield (RTY).

The concept of measuring the efficiency of a process utilizing operator efficiency is then presented and how it can be used to balance a process is discussed. Operator efficiency allows the simultaneous determination of evaluating how balanced the operations are in a process and how well the operators are performing. Utilizing examples of primed and un-primed processes, how the metric of operator efficiency can be calculated is shown in this paper.


Every company wants to cut costs and provide outstanding value and service to their customers. Two philosophies and tools to produce the needed results are lean manufacturing and six-sigma. Lean manufacturing has been defined as “a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection,” [1]. Six-sigma methodologies are a business philosophy and initiative that enables achievement of world-class quality and continuous improvement, along with the highest level of customer satisfaction [2].

Principles of Lean processes were first identified by Womack and Jones [3] [4], when they conducted their five-year, five-million dollar study on the differences between American and Japanese automobile manufacturing companies. In the report that they compiled for the study, that later was published as the book titled “The Machine That Changed The World,” they elaborated on how automobile manufacturers in Japan seem to be using less resources to produce the same output compared to American manufacturers. In the report they first coined the term, “Lean manufacturing,” by saying that the Japanese seem to be really lean in the consumption of resources to produce automobiles, and it seems that they are pursuing what can be called lean manufacturing [5].


Mehta, M. (2009, June), Hands On Simulation To Demonstrate Key Metrics For Control Of Any Process Utilizing Lean And Six Sigma Principles Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4507

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