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six sigma

Whoops! How Much Can We Mess Up?

As we all know from our cracked cellphone screens, technology isn’t perfect. It takes a lot of work for any company to get a product to you in one piece. This is especially true for technology companies whereas the parts and pieces to one product can be in the hundreds or thousands.


But unlike this sphere, nothing is perfect.


In fact, every company makes mistakes. It is often known as ‘dead-on-arrival’ or DOA. Quite frankly, it cannot be completely prevented.  Companies must plan and decide on how much error is accepted and what can it handle. Many larger companies use six sigma as a tool for controlling production errors. In fact the target is less than 0.00034%. This sounds extreme at first but it is important to keep in mind errors can destroy a company’s operation. It also keeps the product from getting to the hands of the customer.

When it comes to manufacturing, engineers utilize an error budget. An error budget is a tool to assist in design. In most operations it is used to predict part accuracy. 

In six sigma the end result depends on the companies operation and the complexity of the product. If there are too many errors, the company may need to shift to a new manufacturing process. While in error budgeting engineers must decide on which errors they can quantify and correct.

In the end, either way, nothing is perfect. But we can get very close.