The purpose of this study is to develop a new framework to provide guidance and support for those companies who aim to reach world-class standards both in maintenance and manufacturing processes through continual improvement. Based on this study, a strategic framework was developed through conceptual integration of three popular process improvement strategies, which are six-sigma, total productive maintenance and lean. An attempt was made to analyze and address some major limitations of existing frameworks to pave the way of achieving manufacturing excellence. The result of this study showed that achieving world-class level is a moving target and the quest for reaching to such status is not a destination, but an ongoing journey that creates more and more improvement opportunities over time.
Key words: Manufacturing, six-sigma, lean, total productive maintenance, world-class, framework.
Abbreviations: CIM, Computer integrated manufacturing; DMAIC, define, measure, analyze, improve, and control; JIT, Just-in-time; ME, manufacturing excellence; PDCA, plan-do-check-act; SME, small-to-medium-sized enterprise; TPM, total productive maintenance; WCM, world class manufacturing.
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