Is Six Sigma Enough for Formula One?

Posted by: meikah | 19 October 2008 | 11:03 pm

more than Six Sigma for Formual 1I heard in the news recently that Lewis Hamilton won in the Shanghai F1 Grand Prix and he was just a few points a way to be declared as the youngest champion in F1.

That reminded me of what happened in the Singapore F1 race. I’m sure you saw, read, or heard the mishaps during the race. Perhaps, the most disastrous for the F1 books was what happened to Felipe Massa, who left the pit stop with the fuel rig still attached to his racecar. The hose spilled fuel on the ground and knocked a crewman down.

Though the hose was removed by frantic mechanics, Massa lost those precious seconds and he finished at 13th, and worse, got slapped a drive-through penalty. The crewman who stumbled was rushed to a nearby hospital.

The incident of course was not Massa’s or the crewman’s fault. So that you will know the gravity of that faux pas, let me share with you how F1 pit stops work. I got this information from Joaquin Henson of Philippine Star. I chose his version because it’s the simplest to understand.

After you’ve read the F1 pit-stop process, ask yourself this question: Is Six Sigma enough for the Formula 1 race?

Once a driver is given the green signal, he’s good to go. He’s not expected to look back and check if the tires are in place or the fuel hose is safely removed. Every second counts in a pit stop and that’s why the crew must operate like clockwork. The driver is absolutely dependent on the crew doing its job and giving the go-signal to return to the track.

The rule of thumb is the work in the pit lane must be finished in less 10 seconds. The goal is seven seconds for a 25-man crew to change four wheels, deposit 65 liters of fuel (the hose has a capacity to deliver 12 liters a second), adjust the front wing, clean the radiator ducts, lower the jacks and send the car back on the road.

Roles are clearly defined for every man in the crew. For instance, there are three men assigned for each wheel. One removes the old tire, the second fits the new and the third, a gunman, reattaches the nut-all in about three seconds. The gunman attaches a pneumatic impact wench to the wheel’s single, central nut even before the car stops and removes the nut in a second.

Others in the crew are a nozzle man who attaches the hose to deliver a pre-programmed amount of fuel, according to strategy; a front jackman who holds the car until the work is finished and a lollipop man who controls the stop, tells the driver when to move first gear and when to leave. The lollipop man must be aware of the cars moving on the track and exercise precise timing in guiding the driver out of the pit lane.

Unlike other Formula One team, Ferrari doesn’t employ a lollipop man. Instead, it uses overhead lights to prompt the driver with green or red signals.

*Photo credit

Filed under: Automotive, Formula One, Six Sigma

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Auto Suppliers Benefit fron Six Sigma

Posted by: meikah | 16 October 2008 | 12:18 am

The Birmingham Post reports:

Eight automotive suppliers from the West Midlands have retained or won more than £37 million of business with the help of an industry supply chain network initiative.

… In addition to the contracts secured, the innovative project has also helped firms save nearly £800,000 and safeguarded close on 500 jobs, not to mention improving 43 processes, ranging from invoicing and stock control to quality and product design.

Continue reading…

This is yet another proof that Six Sigma not only improve proceses beyond the shop floor, but also allow companies to enjoy a lot of savings.

Filed under: Automotive, Benefits and Savings, Six Sigma, Supply Chain

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Using Six Sigma and Lean in Improving Performance in Practice

Posted by: meikah | 9 June 2008 | 6:40 pm

Take a look at the automotive industry and healthcare industry. Do you see any similarities?

By its name alone, the automotive industry is concerned with the design and manufacture of motor vehicles, while the healthcare industry is concerned with people’s health. The details of each industry’s processes may be different but improving these processes can be done using the same methodology.

This is proven by Automotive Industry Action Group and Michigan Medical Group Management Association.

They launched a program called Improving Performance in Practice, or IPIP.

“What was demonstrated without a doubt is you could put an automotive quality coach in a medical setting and have a positive outcome,” said Rose Steiner, state director of Michigan IPIP for the AIAG.

The results so far: increased patient satisfaction and a much smoother flow of processes.

To improve further, IPIP will also use Six Sigma and lean systems philosophies, and look for efficiencies throughout the entire practice.

Read more…

Source: a featured link of iSixSigma

Filed under: Automotive, Healthcare, Lean, Manufacturing, Processes, Services, Six Sigma

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