HiPower Systems, a manufacturer of power-generation and power-distribution equipment in the United States and Canada, announced it is nearing completion of its effort to implement Lean Six Sigma principles and practices at its manufacturing facility.  Through the initiative, the company has already achieved a substantial improvement on critical KPIs such as on-time delivery, first-pass yield and an overall decrease in waste.

Lean Six Sigma combines two approaches — adherence to “lean” manufacturing principles, and adoption of Six Sigma, a collection of strategies, techniques and tools devoted to process improvement.

“In today’s competitive environment, there is no room for error,” said HiPower Systems chief operating officer Sam Silva. “HiPower constantly strives to meet and exceed its customers’ expectations while looking for new ways to continuously improve its products. Adopting Lean Six Sigma provides the world with a formal declaration of our commitment to excellence.”

Lean Six Sigma, which officially debuted in a book entitled Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma with Lean Speed, takes companies through an improvement journey similar to that of Six Sigma, which involves measuring, analyzing and improving processes as well as training personnel to control them and then demonstrably replicating the process improvements. However, Lean Six Sigma also incorporates elimination of the seven types of waste ― transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over-processing, over-production and defects. Lean Six Sigma incorporates a belt-based training system ― similar to karate ― whereby company personnel are awarded white belts, yellow belts, green belts, black belts and finally master black belts for their progress.

“The highly disciplined Lean Six Sigma process helps us focus on developing top-quality products through identification and elimination of waste and quality problems,” said Silva. “We look forward to completing the journey ― and to obtaining our ISO-9001 certification, which we anticipate by end of first quarter in 2014.”