Improvement Program Cross-fertilization


Lean Six Sigma and TPM are both highly effective programs. Some practitioners are purists, eschewing alternate methods. "Don't corrupt the DNA."

However, cross-fertilizing tools under the right conditions can create powerful synergy. The conditions are right when Lean Six Sigma focuses on OEE performance. The methodical approach of the DMAIC gets an accelerated boost using elements of TPM’s Zero Breakdowns.


Returning equipment to as close as possible to factory condition is the first step in Zero Breakdown. We added equipment restoration as a “Restore” step at the end of Measure in the DMAIC on Lean Six Sigma projects. This increases and stabilizes the equipment performance for clearer examination of other factors affecting OEE during Analyze and Improve. The “noise” of minor repairs, or deterioration as TPM describes it, can skew the data collected assessing changes.


This has worked well on highspeed packaging equipment. Prior to the Restore step, eighty percent of our Lean Six Sigma OEE projects had disappointing results. With the Restore step, the lowest increase in Performance Efficiency we’ve seen is 18%. The highest has been 86%, clarifying sustainment in Control.

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