Characteristics Of 3s Application

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Characteristics of a 3s application:The following is a brief discussion of 3S application characteristics.


A)     Transactional Nature

1.       The 3S projects are characterized by their application to transactional processes in both manufacturing and service environments.

2.       The term transactional often refers to some intended transformation that is applied to an entity of interest in a service or manufacturing system.

3.       The process is transactional once it consists of logically organized operations with intended value-added transformations. From a lean manufacturing view, all process operations (transformations) are expected to be value-added. In manufacturing, the value-added transformation is applied to entities that are mainly raw materials and components in order to produce finished goods. Examples of transactional manufacturing processes include various types and configurations of job shops, assembly lines, and flexible manufacturing systems.

4.       In services, on the other hand, the value-added transformation can be applied directly to customers or to customer-related entities where some type of service is provided to customers to gain their business. Examples of transactional service processes include banking services, clinics and hospitals, fast-food restaurants, insurance services, mass transportation, and airline services.


B)       Time-Based (CTQ) Process Measures

1.       Another key characteristic of 3S projects states that the performance of the underlying system is measured with time-based metrics.

2.       Time-based process metrics include those dynamic measures that change discretely or continuously over time. These measures are common in manufacturing and service.

3.       systems and include plant productivity, order lead time, number of customers in a waiting room, number of daily served customers, and inventory level, among others.

4.       Although initially, the six-sigma method was developed to work on product quality, many recent six-sigma applications are focused on analyzing process or system-level performance. For example, customers may complain about long lead times for their orders rather than complaining about product quality.

5.       On the other hand, system-level simulation was developed fundamentally to model the time-based performance of real-world systems and to estimate time-based metrics such as productivity and lead time. Hence, the merge of six-sigma and simulation in the 3S approach provides a great advantage in facilitating the analysis of systems’ time-based performance.


C)      Process Variation in a Data-Driven Approach

1.       Six-sigma is a data-driven methodology based mainly on reducing process variation using statistical analysis and experimental design.

2.       Simulation is also a data-intensive application of model building and statistical analysis. Hence, the 3S approach is characterized by being data-driven with applications that aim at reducing variability in system-level time-based metrics, the CTQs.

3.       Data driven implies that each time-based selected metric can be estimated quantitatively based on certain model data and conditions.

4.       Qualitative criteria are typically harder to measure and may not be suitable for 3S application. Examples include measures such as comfort, trust, loyalty, and appeal.


D)     Simulation-Based Application to Manufacturing Systems

1.       A wide range of manufacturing applications can benefit from the 3S approach.

2.       Many six-sigma projects have targeted the effective design and improvement of manufacturing systems. Simulation modeling was used initially in manufacturing systems applications.

3.       3S manufacturing applications target job shops, plants, assembly line, material-handling systems, and many other manufacturing systems.

4.       3S can be used to design new manufacturing systems or to improve existing ones using a defined set of time-based (CTQ) performance measures.