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Our organization has recognized the need to improve quality of both incoming material and outgoing products. Our products are primarily electrical/electronic but mechanical components are an integral part of the end product. As result of sharing insight gained from this question and other public articles in process improvement, I was able to get management's attention concerning the possible need for additional training for team members in quality engineering. So management asked me to provide a high level proposal for a quality engineering training program with a focus on six-sigma principles. This leads me to ask two questions which I believe are related:

  • What are the most commonly used statistical tools in quality engineering?
  • What should be the focus when looking for a six sigma consultant to train a manufacturing engineering organization?
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Get an ASQ certificate:

ASQ certification is a formal recognition by ASQ that an individual has demonstrated a proficiency within, and comprehension of, a specific body of knowledge.

They have a bunch of different certificates that are applicable to the different engineers/techs you guys have:

  • Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)
  • Certified Quality Inspector (CQI)
  • Certified Quality Technician (CQT)
  • Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE)
  • Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)
  • Certified Quality Process Analyst (CQPA)
  • Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)

And,

  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)

The Six Sigma Green Belt operates in support of or under the supervision of a Six Sigma Black Belt, analyzes and solves quality problems and is involved in quality improvement projects. A Green Belt is someone with at least three years of work experience who wants to demonstrate his or her knowledge of Six Sigma tools and processes.

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In the first order the most commonly used quality engineering tools are average, standard deviation, histograms, pareto charts, control charts. In the second order tool such as Design for Experiments (DOE), ANOVA, student t-test, z-test, confidence testing, gauge R&R, Ishikawa diagram most likely are next set of tools that are most used.

From software standpoint Microsoft excel can perform almost all statistically analysis, but Minitab is a better too. JMP from SAS is another good tool. A training program utilizing industry leading statistical software package should also be considered.

From a six sigma standpoint there are different levels, namely yellow belt, greenbelt, black belt, master black belt and so forth. Primarily the two certification awarding bodies are IASSC and ASQ.

With regard to selecting a consultant, I would reach out to referrals from peers in your industry. A search using your favorite search engine is a good start but I will request potential consultants to submit referrals. Also make sure you properly vet these consultants. A consultant with strong engineering background, might be something else to consider.

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Apart from current answers, I think a quality engineer must also be aware of the FMEA processes (DFMEA as well as PFMEA in general)... In fact , for a Mfcg company, (if it is not designing the product), PFMEA (along with the relevant other processes like control plans) are essential too.... SQC is also important.... If inspection is being done on sampling basis, the logic of deciding sampling plans must also be understood... (source; personal experience in a automobile design and mfcg company)

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  • $\begingroup$ Please spell out the acronyms. There are a lot of them in here. $\endgroup$ – hazzey May 26 '16 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ FMEA is Failure Modes and Effects Analysis....DFMEA is Design FMEA and PFMEA is Process FMEA.....SQC is Statistical Quality Control.....Hope this helps...... $\endgroup$ – shishir Jun 1 '16 at 4:09

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