Success Stories on Reliability and Six Sigma
Volume 6, Number 6, November 2010, p. 530
A Section Organized by:
Thimmiah (Thim) Gurunatha
ASQ Fellow, Member, ASQ Reliability Webinars Chair
Reliability and Maintainability Symposium Board of Directors
Master Black Belt – Six Sigma, Certified Reliability Engineer
CEO- Warranty Warriors Guru
The purpose of this section is to present papers on success stories and the tools and sources that are available for a company or an individual to pursue based on their needs. Reliability is a very wide field; process of Design for Reliability is evolving in the area of product design. This is a good sign. The focus so far has been towards certifying people for Design for Reliability using Six Sigma tools. Six Sigma started in manufacturing and it was easy to express Sigma Quality level of parts. However, it is now expanding to product designs where it is called Design for Six Sigma. There is a need to focus on both, products and processes in the areas of Performability, which implies, Quality, Reliability, Availability, Dependability, Sustainability, put together.
In my 32 years of teaching Quality, Reliability, and Six Sigma, I did a survey on the role of team work, in success of teams (Soft Skills). I found that there is as much as 60 to 90% contribution of soft skills. There is lot of research, and application of unique software to assess the performability of teams. Systems Engineering groups are also coming up with requirements of design processes to reduce waste incurred on materials and energy in product designs and for optimizing resources. Software technology has a lot of challenges to avoid waste. There are lean software development processes, and Software Score Cards have been found useful in some companies.
Although, we have tried to cover in this section the reliability approaches in engineering, applications of Six Sigma, technology, business processes and human factors but it cannot be called an adequate coverage of the vast opportunities provided by system's approach. We would welcome to hear more on success stories from others engaged in various areas of performability engineering and disseminate these through the medium of International Journal of Performability Engineering in the form of a research paper or a report.
Thim has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (from University College of Engineering, Karnataka, India (1968) and a master's degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Wayne State University (1972), He worked for General Motors; Wayne State University at Detroit, Michigan; and Olivetti in Toronto, Canada; and then joined Xerox Corporation in 1977. After 32 years of service at Xerox, Thim has started a company Warranty Warriors Guru. Since then, he has been a practicing Six-Sigma Quality and Reliability engineering in design, manufacturing, and testing processes. While at Xerox, he developed, copyrighted, and introduced worldwide, his RAINBOW Chart process. Currently, he is Principal Engineer and a Master Black Belt. He has received numerous awards, such as Individual Excellence Award, by Xerox Corporation (1986, Canada),Team Excellence Award, by Xerox Corporation (1992, USA), Highest level McDermond Award for Management of Reliability Division, by (ASQ), American Society for Quality for the years 2000 and 2001, Six Sigma Master Black Belt Plaque at Annual Quality Congress in Denver Colorado, May 2002 and Outstanding Achievement Award given at R & M Symposium-Seattle, Washington on January 30, 2002. Excellence in Oral Presentation, by (SAE) Society of Automotive Engineers at SAE conference in Detroit He has served clients in many countries: Brazil, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Mexico, Taiwan, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Dubai, Mexico and many states of USA.