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, No 6
  • Editorial
    Editorial: On Performability Case Studies and Success Stories
    Krishna B. Misra
    2010, 6(6): 529.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p529.mag
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    This issue mainly comprises case studies and success stories in the area of performability engineering and Six Sigma from large and reputed organizations and companies. The first five papers constitute a section organized by Mr Thimmiah Gurunatha, who is a Fellow of ASQ and is on the Reliability and Maintainability Symposium Board of Directors and a master black belt Six Sigma. This section highlights the success stories from different organizations and companies in implementing reliability programmes and to emphasize the importance of Six Sigma. I am thankful to him for having accepted our invitation to organize this section. The last two papers also present a case study from ALSTOM and the successful business strategy of some multinationals in India in the automobile sector, respectively. We do hope that in future we will be able to present more success stories and case studies for the benefit of readers and subscribers of the International Journal of Performability Engineering.

    The origin of the concept of Six Sigma can be traced back to the 1920's when Walter Shewhart showed that three sigma from the mean is a point where a process requires correction. Many measurement standards (Cpk, Zero Defects, etc.) later appeared on the scene but credit for Six Sigma (which also happens to be the trade mark of Motorola) goes to a Motorola engineer named Bill Smith. During 1980s, Motorola engineers decided that the traditional quality levels - measuring defects in thousands of opportunities wasn't adequate enough and they wanted to measure the defects per million opportunities. Motorola developed this new standard and created a methodology and the necessary cultural change associated with it.? Six Sigma helped Motorola save more than $16 billion over 11 years as a result of their Six Sigma efforts. Since then, several companies around the world have adopted Six Sigma as a way of conducting business. American companies like General Electric and Honeywell have also adopted and implemented Six Sigma in their businesses, and they claim to have made considerable savings to the order of $ 2 billion and $ 1.2 billion, respectively. Six Sigma naturally has evolved over time. It is more than just a quality system in manufacturing and services like TQM, SPC, PLM, ISO1, etc., in fact it is a way of doing business. It can not only be used as operational strategy to reduce defects or as a business strategy to improve market share, but also to evolve new business models and profitability. Six Sigma can be used as a vision; a philosophy; a symbol; a metric; a goal; a methodology.

    The Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) uses Six Sigma as a strategy to design and develop new products. DMAIC, which stands for 5 stages, viz., define, measure, analyze, improve and control, is at the heart of all Six Sigma projects. Lean Six Sigma combines lean concepts with Six Sigma.

    In addition to the success stories and case studies presented in this issue, the editor would like to draw the attention of IJPE readers to the two books that are being reviewed in this issue. They are some of the best titles brought out by Earthscan and must be read by those who are concerned with the reliability and risk assessment, particularly, as they deal with the subject of uncertainties in new perspective and risk governance in totality.

    1? Handbook of Performability Engineerng, K.B.Misra (Ed.), 76 chapters, pp. 1315, Springer, 2008.

    Guest EditorialSuccess Stories on Reliability and Six Sigma
    Thimmiah (Thim) Gurunatha
    2010, 6(6): 530.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p530.mag
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    The purpose of this section is to present papers on success stories and the tools and sources that are available for a company or an individual to pursue based on their needs.???? Reliability is a very wide field; process of Design for Reliability is evolving in the area of product design. This is a good sign. The focus so far has been towards certifying people for Design for Reliability using Six Sigma tools. Six Sigma started in manufacturing and it was easy to express Sigma Quality level of parts. However, it is now expanding to product designs where it is called Design for Six Sigma. There is a need to focus on both, products and processes in the areas of Performability, which implies, Quality, Reliability, Availability, Dependability, Sustainability, put together.

    In my 32 years of teaching Quality, Reliability, and Six Sigma, I did a survey on the role of team work, in success of teams (Soft Skills).? I found that there is as much as 60 to 90% contribution of soft skills. There is lot of research, and application of unique software to assess the performability of teams. Systems Engineering groups are also coming up with requirements of design processes to reduce waste incurred on materials and energy in product designs and for optimizing resources. Software technology has a lot of challenges to avoid waste. There are lean software development processes, and Software Score Cards have been found useful in some companies.

    ?Although, we have tried to cover in this section the reliability approaches in engineering, applications of Six Sigma, technology, business processes and human factors but it cannot be called an adequate coverage of the vast opportunities provided by system's approach. We would welcome to hear more on success stories from others engaged in various areas of performability engineering and disseminate these through the medium of International Journal of Performability Engineering in the form of a research paper or a report.

    Thim has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (from University College of Engineering, Karnataka, India (1968) and a master's degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Wayne State University (1972), He worked for General Motors; Wayne State University at Detroit, Michigan; and Olivetti in Toronto, Canada; and then joined Xerox Corporation in 1977. After 32 years of service at Xerox, Thim has started a company Warranty Warriors Guru. Since then, he has been a practicing Six-Sigma Quality and Reliability engineering in design, manufacturing, and testing processes. While at Xerox, he developed, copyrighted, and introduced worldwide, his RAINBOW Chart process. Currently, he is Principal Engineer and a Master Black Belt. He has received numerous awards, such as Individual Excellence Award, by Xerox Corporation (1986, Canada),Team Excellence Award, by Xerox Corporation (1992, USA), Highest level McDermond Award for Management of Reliability Division, by (ASQ), American Society for Quality for the years 2000 and 2001, Six Sigma Master Black Belt Plaque at Annual Quality Congress in Denver Colorado, May 2002 and Outstanding Achievement Award given at R & M Symposium-Seattle, Washington on January 30, 2002. Excellence in Oral Presentation, by (SAE) Society of Automotive Engineers at SAE conference in Detroit He has served clients in many countries: Brazil, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Mexico, Taiwan, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Dubai, Mexico and many states of USA.

    Original articles
    Successful Application of Software Reliability: A Case Study
    2010, 6(6): 531-546.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p531.mag
    Abstract    PDF (154KB)   
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    The purpose of this case study is to help readers implement or improve a software reliability program in their organizations, using a step-by-step approach based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Recommended (AIAA) Practice for Software Reliability, released in June 2008, supported by a case study from the NASA Space Shuttle.

    This case study covers the major phases that the software engineering practitioner needs in planning and executing a software reliability-engineering program. These phases require a number of steps for their implementation. These steps provide a structured approach to the software reliability process. Each step will be discussed to provide a good understanding of the entire software reliability process. Major topics covered are: data collection, reliability risk assessment, reliability prediction, reliability prediction interpretation, testing, reliability decisions, and lessons learned from the NASA Space Shuttle software reliability engineering program.
    Received on July 30, 2009, revised on May 3, 2010
    References: 17

    Integrating LDP Lean Document Production? solution within the DMEDI Methodology
    2010, 6(6): 547-560.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p547.mag
    Abstract    PDF (494KB)   
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    This paper presents a Xerox case study that demonstrates the use of Xerox's LDP Lean Document Production? solution within the DMEDI (Define, Measure, Explore, Develop and Implement) framework for designing and optimizing print shops. The DMEDI process that was utilized for new print shop design is described using 18-steps. Various tools that are utilized at each step of the process are highlighted to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.
    Received on October 25, 2009, revised on December 22, 2009
    References: 04

    Improvement of Segment Business using DMAIC Methodology: A Case Study
    2010, 6(6): 561-576.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p561.mag
    Abstract    PDF (399KB)   
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    Xerox uses Lean Six Sigma to uncover methods to manage the company's document strategy.

    At Xerox, the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) methodology of Lean Six Sigma is critical to helping us run our business. We use the tools and processes – along with the fact-based data-driven information – to drive decisions through this Black Belt project. It's a rigorous, results-oriented approach to process improvement. And, we are disciplined and dedicated to its delivery. In this paper, we will describe how a new solution developed by a Xerox team, could increase the revenue and win additional new business in the Subsidiary Business in a specific area of business – Printing Systems. The various tools that are utilized at each step of the process are highlighted to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.
    Received on October 31, 2009, revised on December 07, 2009
    References: 02

    Design for Reliability: Overview of the Process and Applicable Techniques
    2010, 6(6): 577-586.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p577.mag
    Abstract    PDF (202KB)   
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    Design for Reliability (DFR) is not a new concept, but it has begun to receive a great deal of attention in recent years. What is DFR? What are the ingredients for designing for reliability, and what is involved in implementing DFR? Should DFR be part of a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) program, and is DFR the same as DFSS? In this paper, we will try to answer these questions and, at the same time, we will propose a general DFR process that can be adopted and deployed with a few modifications across different industries in a way that will fit well into the overall Product Development Process.
    Received on August 17, 2009, revised December 11, 2009
    References: 09

    A Crucial Strategy for the Success of Six Sigma Implementation
    2010, 6(6): 587-593.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p587.mag
    Abstract    PDF (86KB)   
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    Communication can be a predictor of and inoculation against the success of any Six Sigma process. When the communication process breaks down, Six Sigma inevitably breaks down. And most often, communication fails during what we call "crucial conversations"— high-stakes disagreements that involve strong emotions and differing opinions. VitalSmarts researchers sought to identify a relatively small set of common, costly, and difficult to discuss problems, and to measure their impact on Six Sigma projects. The researchers at VitalSmarts found five common problems that spell the difference between success and failure of a Six Sigma project. These five problems demand special attention within Six Sigma deployments and they were encountered by more than 90 percent of the Black Belts in our sample. When left unresolved, these problems caused missed timelines, unachieved quality and savings goals, dissatisfied sponsors and process owners, and poor morale. When addressed and resolved, these problems were not major obstacles to Six Sigma success. However, fewer than 20 percent of the Black Belts surveyed did address and resolve them. Research by VitalSmarts also reveals that the problem is not that Six Sigma teams encounter problems; rather the problem is that they fail to openly discuss and effectively resolve a specific set of common issues using the skills and principles of crucial conversations.
    Received on October 3, 2009, revised on December 11, 2009
    References: NIL

    Cost Effective Maintenance Policy: A Case Study
    2010, 6(6): 595-603.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p595.mag
    Abstract    PDF (689KB)   
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    European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is a major venture by European Union in order to create interoperable railway network within Europe. Manufacturers of ERTMS strive to attain a competitive edge by demonstrating the efficiency of their systems. Cost effectiveness is one of the significant ways to address efficiency of the system which deals in maximising availability and minimising life cycle cost of the system over the system life cycle. One of the important ways of maximizing cost effectiveness of a system can be attained by optimising maintenance policy. This paper demonstrates the estimation of cost effectiveness of an ERTMS system. The degradation and repair process of the system is modelled by Petri-Nets. Failure, maintenance and cost data are used as parameters for the model. The model will be useful for the systems that experience degradations and subjected to imperfect maintenance.
    Received on August 31, 2009, revised February 10, 2010
    References: 03

    Entry Mode Choice between Wholly-Owned Subsidiary and Joint Venture: A Case Study of the Automotive Industry in India
    2010, 6(6): 605-614.  doi:10.23940/ijpe.10.6.p605.mag
    Abstract    PDF (130KB)   
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    This paper compares two competing entry mode choices-wholly owned subsidiary and joint venture-utilized by the Korean and Japanese automakers in India. The motivation of entry into India is explained by the extended diamond model through an analysis of country-specific and firm-specific factors. The result shows that Hyundai Motors exploited the country-specific factors by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary and Suzuki Motors appropriated firm-specific factors using a local partner. While existing studies generally argue on types of entry mode chosen over others as a guideline for entering a foreign country, this paper demonstrates that both wholly-owned subsidiary and joint ventures can be successful depending on the situation. An important implication related to this finding is that policy makers have to consider not just engineering performability, but also other business performability aspects such as marketing and management capabilities.
    Received on October 19, 2009, revised on May 06, 2010
    References: 31

ISSN 0973-1318