Using Six Sigma Concepts in the Engineering Process at Automotive Suppliers: Analysis of an Acoustical Test Bench
Six Sigma was developed by Motorola in the 1980s as an enhancement of their Total Quality Management (TQM) approach focusing on quality improvement. Companies such as General Electric (GE) developed the concept even further and extended the application of Six Sigma tools to their entire business, including the development of new products, with a focus on both financial gain and customer satisfaction. Six Sigma, however, also offers a rigorous, data-driven procedure for process and product improvement and for the development of new products and processes using proven methods and tools taken from the Quality Management and Quality Engineering toolbox. Integration into the existing engineering culture and the application of these tools and concepts to a typical application at a leading global exhaust system supplier are outlined in this paper. The procedure which is used for measuring the surface radiated noise is analyzed in detail by the principles of Six Sigma.