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TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

Hi all,

I'm getting confused what is the difference between these three improvement techniques. I did my research and i haven't found the same information about these three methods. In other words, everyone described them in a different way. I know that each method consists of different tools. Can someone please tell me what is the real objective after each method and is it possible that a company would use some tools from each or it has to use only one technique, either lean, TQM or six sigma ? Thanks


RE: TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

All good improvement philosophies but polluted by so-called "consultants" and other charlatans out there in the industrial world. Not to mention the hijacking of these philosophies by short-term thinking company management. So, IMHO:

"lean" = a philosophy of reducing costs in a manufacturing operation, with associated analytical methods. The purpose is to stabilize a factory's output from the "before" condition of wild reactive variation in production output to an "after" condition of more controlled predictive production output. This is done by rationalizing the production operations to available capacity vs. production schedules and reducing inventory, cycle times, lead times, transport times, and unnecessary steps. "Reduce waste in everything."

"TQM" = I suspect it is an acronym for Total Quality Management and means an integrated approach to utilizing lean practices, Six Sigma methods, and data-based process analysis to improve processes and reduce operational costs. Other than that, ask 100 people for a definition and you'll probably get 100 different answers.

"Six Sigma" = an agglomeration of statistical analysis methods and philosophies used to mostly identify root causes of complex problems in a dynamic system (such as manufacturing operations). The goal is to improve the statistical behavior of a process (center the distribution's mean on the target value and narrow the distribution's spread) via statistical analysis of the process to determine causes of variation.

In my experience, these methods only identify the problem or area for improvement. One still needs the engineer to develop the solution to the problem.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

RE: TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

IMO.. Rather Lean, Six Sigma, and TQM , you'll better learn "The Combination" all of these in KAIZEN engineering. The Japanese has summarized and enhanced Lean-Six Sigme and TQM in KAIZEN.. They usualy apply this into Demming Competition of Efficiency.

RE: TQM, Six Sigma and Lean

Tygerdawg is largely correct. Each of them have their tools, Here is a more concise description:
Lean: Focus on Waste reduction (Not so statistical):
SIx Sigma: Focus on defect/variation from target (Intensively statistical)
TQM: A mix of all

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