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The competitive market that companies are facing nowadays leads them to introduce frequently new products and, therefore, producing small series. This dynamic environment requires frequent changes in production lines and requires flexibility in the processes, which can cause reductions in the level of quality and productivity. This paper presents a Lean Six Sigma improvement project performed in a production line of the machining sector of a company from the motorcycles components branch. The project aims to eliminate losses that cause low productivity, affecting the fulfilment of the production plan, customer satisfaction and the increase of costs. The use of Lean methodology following the DMAIC phases allowed analyzing the factors that influence the line productivity losses. The major problems and causes that contribute to a reduction of productivity in the studied sector are the lack of standardization in the setup activities and the excessive stoppages for adjustment of the processes that caused an increase of defects. Quality tools such as control charts, Pareto analysis and cause-and-effect diagrams were used to analyze the problem. On the improvement phase of the DMAIC methodology, the reconfiguration of the line layout as well as the modernization of the process were the solutions chosen since their benefits justify their cost. The defective product units were reduced by 84 % and an increase of 29 % of line capacity was noticed.


Morais, Valter Rocha;  Teixeira de Sousa, Sergio Dinis;  Lopes, Isabel da Silva

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