Abstract: Many organizations, dealing with continuous improvement methods, have realized that Lean and Six Sigma methodologies complement each other. Lean manufacturing focuses on the remova l of waste so that all processes in the total system add value from the customers' perspectives. The main emphasis of Six Sigma is the application of statistical tools in a disciplined manner, which requires data-driven decision-making. The integration of Lean and Six Sigma provides a synergetic effect, a rapid process improvement strategy for attaining organizational goals. When separated, Lean manufacturing cannot bring a process under statistical control, and Six Sigma cannot dramatically improve cycle time or reduce invested capital. Together, synergistic qualities are created to maximize the potential for a process improvement. The paper deals with Lean and Six Sigma principles and approaches used in modern manufacturing for process improvements, and bring forward benefits that are gained when these two methodologies are integrated.
Keywords: Lean, Six Sigma, Continuous improvement, Process quality
Recieved: 03.09.2008 Accepted: 08.10.2008 UDC: 658.5