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time for a lean diet continues improve, control). DMAIC is a collection of tools used to identify, analyze, and eliminate sources of variation in a process (Figure 1). What is Lean Sigma? Although Lean principles and Six Sigma are two distinct methodologies, they are being combined in many organizations as Lean Sigma to become a roadmap to achieving operational excellence. Some of the common tools of Lean Sigma include Cause & Effect Diagrams, FMEA, Process Mapping, Pareto Analysis, Kanban, DOE, Capability Studies, Poka-Yoke, Voice of the Customer Analysis, and the principles of Kaizen. Why Lean Sigma? Lean Sigma provides a consistent, quantitative problem solving methodology that can be applied across all operations, industries and businesses. This process improves the financial strength of an organization, which directly benefits the company, the employees, and the customer. I will close by suggesting that the great Vince Lombardi's words, in his famous speech on what it takes to be number one, could also be said of Lean: "It's not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time." PCB Steve Williams is the president of Steve Williams Consulting LLC (www.stevewilliamsconsulting.com) and the former strategic sourcing manager for Plexus Corp. He is the author of the books, Quality 101 Handbook and Survival Is Not Mandatory: 10 Things Every CEO Should Know About Lean. To read past columns, or to contact Williams, click here. video interview Mentor Graphics Offers End-to-End Solutions by Real Time with...productronica 2013 Stephan Hafele explains how Mentor Graphics has recognized and responded to the changing face of electronics manufacturing by offering a totally integrated end-to-end solution to supply chain management and control, from design through assembly. Click realtimewith.com To View 60 The PCB Magazine • January 2014

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