Managing efficiencies to remain Lean


Gaining the competitive edge in business gives a company the upper hand and it is therefore imperative that functionality and processes are kept sharp. Managing costs, reducing variation, removing waste and improving customer satisfaction all contributes effectively to enhancing excellence during the manufacturing process.

After introducing the Six Sigma assignment to RPC Astrapak’s sites earlier this year, trainees are one month into their first project at their respective sites as part of the process to implement Six Sigma methodology into their operations.

Six Sigma methodology focuses on two key areas – teamwork and excellence – incorporating two of RPC Astrapak’s Core Values. By implementing the correct methodology and processes, and identifying areas where efficiencies are less than optimal, the execution of Six Sigma methodology rectifies processes and outcomes.

Stephan Kappelsberger, RPC Astrapak Group Moulding Executive said: “By approaching a problem and identifying a root cause in a standardised way, it becomes easier to gain insight to the problem. When we adopt speaking the “DMAIC” language, we can universally understand our approach to the root cause and it unlocks greater opportunity for sustained improvement when tackled the correct way. This is the benefit of using the DMAIC improvement cycle to drive Six Sigma projects.”

Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control (DMAIC) – with the DMAIC method in place, each step works in unison to improve processes, and DMAIC is an integral part of the Six Sigma process.

Six Sigma is not limited to any single area within the workplace, and the current group is representative of those holding positions as General Managers, as well as in Planning, Technical and Quality sectors amongst others. The process is being driven to become part of the operations culture at RPC Astrapak.

RPC Astrapak JJ Precision Quality Assurance Manager Nelash Harinarain said: “By aligning to the Six Sigma methodology, we equip our teams with the optimal way of working, adopting world-class standards and keeping our operations functioning lean. We wish the team success as they progress further along with their projects and we look forward to seeing more projects being executed as they become familiar with the methodology.”

Mylene Paynter