Rodrigues, F., Filho, A., and Lima, C., "Improving the Electronic Release Process for 3D Models using 6-Sigma Methodology," SAE Technical Paper 2004-01-3265, 2004, doi:10.4271/2004-01-3265.
The engineering team plays a key role in a product development process: it is their responsibility to make information on the latest design level available to all other teams (suppliers, manufacturing, finance, purchasing, logistics, etc.). When the design achieves the production level, it is then considered released for production. For the release process to be complete, two categories of information are needed: the CAD related information (geometry, dimensions, etc.) and the management information (in which product the components will be used, how many of them are needed for each product, etc.). At Ford, the CAD information is stored in a database system called TeamCenter Enterprise (TCE) and the management information is stored in the World Wide Engineering Release System (WERS). Unfortunately, these two systems are not yet able to communicate to each other.This article presents the results of a Green Belt project conducted to identify and to reduce the discrepancies created by the lack of communication between WERS and TeamCenter Enterprise.The scope of this article is the electronic release process for 3D models used at the development of a vehicle at Ford, specifically for body components of the Fiesta and Ecosport programs. This paper intends to show how this process was improved using the 6-Sigma methodology, hence minimizing the risk of having wrong information being used by different teams, which could lead to serious cost and timing issues.