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Lean Six Sigma in Media Industry

As per the industry classification benchmark, this industry sector includes the following subsectors –

Broadcasting & Entertainment – Producers, operators and broadcasters of radio, television, music and filmed entertainment.

Media Agencies – Companies providing advertising, public relations and marketing services. Includes billboard providers and telemarketers.

Publishing – Publishers of information via printed or electronic media.

Applications in Printing Press

One important aspect in printing presses is the ink density. Process capability (the ability of the process to meet customer requirements) can be assessed using questions of the kind that follow.

1. Does your printing result in consistent ink film thickness both across and around the drum?

2. Is your densitometer calibrated and consistently checked?

3. Have you determined the specification limits for the inks in questions? (how far can the density shift up/down before the pressman must make an adjustment? – these upper and lower ink densities will be your upper and lower specification limits.)

Now what are the chances that your printing shall remain with this specification limits? If the chances are 100%, you have got a wonderful process going. But if you know the practical sources of variation in this field, you would know that the print thickness does sometimes go out of specification. And each time that happens you have one the three possibilities.

1. Defective output leading to rework that is extra cost.

2. Customer returns or dissatisfaction which can mean lost of future business.

3. Competitor getting advantage over you in the next review by customer, although customer does not state his dissatisfaction.

Six Sigma is about meeting requirements first time and every time. If you are in the printing industry, this may be just one of your concern areas. Working scientifically in each of these areas using world best, tried and tested management techniques shall lead to wonderful business benefits. And that is Six Sigma advantage for you.

  • Case Study Description

    A printing press found that the ink density was inconsistent leading to multiple problems. Most important ones were –

    • Defective output leading to rework that is extra cost.
    • Customer returns or dissatisfaction which meant lost of future business.
    • Competitor getting advantage over the company in the next review by customer, although customer does not state his dissatisfaction.

    Initial measurement system check showed that the densitometer was calibrated and consistently checked. However, the issue was that the ink film thickness both across and around the drum was not consistent. It was found that the specification limit for the inks in question was not standardized (how far can the density shifts up/down before the pressman must make an adjustment – these upper and lower ink densities should be fixed as upper and lower specification limits.). For few inks, these limits were well defined and were easily documented. For several other inks, experiments had to be carried out to find spec limits. Once controls were put in place to ensure that the limits are used properly in operational conditions, the problems almost disappeared and competitive advantage was restored.

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