date 2014-10-16
Six Sigma in the Fast Lane

Six Sigma in the Fast Lane

With the recent focus on the need to get things right in Formula One and motorsport, we see how applying a Certified Six Sigma mindset to the process of designing a car and running a team can help eliminate difficulties, defects and distasters.

Formula One racing is a highly technical sport where the latest technical advancements and high levels of reliability are key to implement to stay at the front of the grid. Limited opportunities to test, budgets set by legislation and only being able to improve incrementally throughout the season means that the design and manufacturing of the racing cars and supporting equipment remains as crucial as the work done on the track.

Implementing Six Sigma in the design stage by using the DMADV project methodology brings innumerable benefits to the race teams. The five stages of this are:

  • Define: What is the most fuel efficient, fastest lapping, most technologically advanced and safest motor.
  • Measure: Measure the amount and cost of the materials used, technology implemented, compatibility with standardised equipment e.g. tyres, fuel, cameras.
  • Analyse: If car was too slow last year, should the weight be reduced? Did last year's motor use too much fuel, if so the next motor needs to be more fuel efficient. If it was unsafe, improve safety
  • Design: Try new materials, new software, new features on chassis.
  • Verify: Test the developments in wind tunnels, with software, and ultimately on the track to see what gives you the best results.

The Six Sigma DMADV methodology can provide a useful approach for project managers in the motor racing industry needing to identify the root cause of variation and defects, both in the design phases and even in the concept phase before the design work has begun.

DMADV can also be applied during the production process because the Six Sigma methodology isn't just about planning, the methodology is flexible and easy to modify so problems can be reduced.  When applying the Six Sigma methodology to motor racing it means that the development direction can be moulded to suit any problems as and when they arise.

Six Sigma will help you to deliver a more consistent product, and in the case of motor racing a more consistent and reliable motor. In order to support long term goals in the motor industry it's important that the rules, principles and vision are adapted by the project managers.  Six Sigma training courses enable project managers to better plan projects, evaluate performance and outputs. A Six Sigma training course will provide you with the tools and knowledge to make the appropriate project improvements, efficiencies which will in turn reduce costs and resources. We offer a range of courses which offer the best of Lean and Six Sigma, for more information, click here

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