The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Engineering: M.E.M


Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


College of Science and Engineering

Third Advisor

Balsy Kasi

Keywords and Subject Headings

Six Sigma, Root Cause Analysis, Risk Analysis, Engineering, Management


This study examines problems that arise during transition to production of a complex system. It focuses on a single component of the system as a representative of the whole to illustrate how three common production concerns can be addressed: (a) late delivery of the first production part, (b) the ongoing production of non-conforming parts, and ( c) predicting/preventing future interruptions of continuous production. Focusing on the Analysis process of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, this study centers on a structured approach to problem solving by applying root cause analysis techniques to identify key causation factors. Results of this study indicate that the use of cause-and-effect diagrams and 5-Why's are effective tools to reduce the confusing many to the critical few causes linked to many of the problems encountered in production. In addition, these techniques were shown to be beneficial in providing order and focus to the task of solving real-time problems as well as predicting future problems before they occur-leading to a potential starting point for conducting comprehensive risk assessments.


The author expresses their appreciation to the entire staff of GMT Corporation, and others who were instrumental to the project.

Included in

Manufacturing Commons



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