Lutron Electronics is an exemplary practitioner of "mass customization", which allows it to offer a wide variety of products that are tailored to its customers' preferences. Lutron's engineers design lighting systems that use standard modules that can be configured to make the products distinctive for discerning customers. New technologies, such as solid-state components and microprocessors allow some features, e.g., voltage, to be modifiable via software. Standardized subassemblies are manufactured at Lutron's two Caribbean plants, while customized components allow for changeover to finished goods in Pennsylvania. Lutron began as a producer of lighting dimmers, but has grown into the leader of the "Visual Environment Business". Lutron has traditionally focused on artificial lighting controls. However, recently Lutron has expanded its product line into shades and blinds, creating a total lighting solution for its customers.
Manufacturing Integration Director, Six Sigma
Black & Decker, Inc.
Six Sigma has been widely applied across manufacturing operations for many years. Although its focus areas are defect reduction, cost reduction, and process improvements on the shop floor, there are also applications and benefits in the process of developing new products. This presentation will present a brief introduction to Six Sigma and describe how Black & Decker has integrated it into their design development process. A case study from the accessory business team will be included to demonstrate the benefits of this methodology in the marketplace.
Manager, New Programs and Strategy
Ford Production System Office,
Ford Motor Company
Ford is now applying to product development the lessons it learned about continuous flow and waste elimination in the production process. Tools developed for the Ford Production System, e.g., value stream mapping and parts reuse, can be applied from product definition through full-scale production, and lead to enhanced product quality and reduced development time and cost. Other FPS tools have focused on the interface between product and process design in order to eliminate unnecessary or inefficient steps in production and shipping, and thereby improve ergonomics and safety.