Original Date: 03/06/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Raytheon Six Sigma™
Raytheon-Louisville has deployed Raytheon Six Sigma™ successfully and has gained cost, quality, and schedule benefits since 1999 using this methodology, which focuses on continuous process improvement. The Raytheon Six Sigma™ process has developed strong leadership candidates who are well-versed in applying the tool to gain process improvement for the site. It has also created happier employees, proud leaders, and a safe work environment for the Louisville employees.
The fundamental objective of the Raytheon Six Sigma™ (R6σ) methodology is the implementation of a knowledge- based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of R6σ™ tools. R6σ™ is a corporatewide initiative. This process was launched at the Louisville facility in 1999 to unify companies acquired by Raytheon and bring the acquired companies up to speed with the way Raytheon did business worldwide. R6σ™ implemented the same common culture and language across the enterprise to close any gaps that existed among the different business sites. The six steps of the R6σ™ process wheel include: Visualize, Commit, Prioritize, Characterize, Improve, and Achieve (Figure 2-7). By addressing the different steps in the wheel along with lean manufacturing, Raytheon-Louisville was able to implement improvements to systems and processes.
Selecting the right project has a tremendous effect on Raytheon-Louisville’s business. When done properly, processes function more efficiently in 3 to 6 months, and employees feel satisfied and appreciated for contributing to improvements that impact the business unit. If project selection is done improperly, a project may be selected that does not have the full business buy-in, and project roadblocks may arise due to other business priorities.
Raytheon-Louisville currently has senior leadership sponsorship, from the CEO and vice presidents to the entire Raytheon enterprise. The facility’s 382 employees have received R6σ™ specialist training, with approximately 237 employees having worked on R6σ™ projects. The facility’s goal is to involve all trained employees in R6σ™ projects. Web-based tools and a project library provide a constant flow of communication across the company. Trained R6σ™ experts lead R6σ™ continuous process improvement projects. A specialist is trained and experienced in the application of the R6σ™ methodology and tools by demonstrating the ability to apply the knowledge to a wide range of business unit activities. Experts are recognized and evaluated on traits that include leadership, self-motivation, and managing and executing R6σ™ projects.
The implementation of the R6σ™ tools has enabled the supplier-management project to reduce and consolidate suppliers from 800 to 600 in the past 3 years. This has led to a total of 19 purchasing agreements locked to a fixed price for the next 3 years. With an increase in Phalanx production over the past year using R6σ™ strategies and lean manufacturing, waste has been minimized, cycle time has been reduced by 20%, and operational efficiency has improved by 10%. The most impressive benefits have been the retention of employees, selecting achievable projects, high visibility for employee involvement, and prioritization of improvement projects. There are currently 20 ongoing R6σ™ projects at the Raytheon-Louisville site.
Figure 2-7. Raytheon 6s Principles
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.