|Lean Six Sigma at Tobyhanna Army Depot|
As the Department of Defense deals with increasing missions and limited resources, we are constantly searching for ways to improve our processes and methodologies in order to best serve the Warfighter. Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) has adopted Lean Six Sigma as our primary means of Continuous Process Improvement.
Lean Manufacturing is an operational system derived from the Toyota Production System. Its key objective is to eliminate waste and reduce work that does not add value in the eyes of the customer. Lean Manufacturing often reduces the cycle time of an asset and aims to decrease the time between a customer order and actual shipment. The benefits of Lean are improved profitability, higher customer satisfaction rates, and, most importantly, higher quality.
The characteristics of Lean processes are:
The two foundational principles of Lean Six Sigma are:
Six Sigma is a program developed originally by Motorola. It strives to improve processes by minimizing variability and thus eliminating defects in order to enhance quality. Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology which uses quantitative tools to drive out variation in processes. Its primary problem-solving strategy is:
In addition, TYAD utilizes the 6S methodology as a “way of life” for workplace organization.
Lean Initiatives at TYAD
Lean Six Sigma is an ongoing journey that starts with education. Over 80% of TYADs workforce has been trained in Lean Manufacturing and 6S/Workplace Organization. After training, employees are encouraged to participate in the many Lean events that take place throughout the year, to include Value Stream Analyses, Rapid Improvement Events and Process & Planning (2P) events. These events are vital to TYAD as well as the Warfighter.
The Army Suggestion Program at TYAD helps support Lean Six Sigma because it is another form of employee involvement. FY09 was a record year for suggestions.
The Value Engineering Program at TYAD is designed to reduce cost and enhance the value of goods/services by studying and improving current procedures. In FY09, TYAD completed three Value Engineering projects.
What They’re Saying about Lean Six Sigma At TYAD
On TYADs in-house Lean 101 and 6S classes:
A TYAD Union Steward On TYADs Lean and 6S events:
On TYADs Lean program overall:
The Future of Lean Six Sigma at TYAD
TYAD has several Value Streams currently preparing for Shingo competition. Several Cost Centers within TYAD are also vying for Lean Model Cell recognition and their managers are piloting concepts such as Standard Work for Supervisors, all designed to Make Tobyhanna Better (MTB).