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bcoppess23

Lean Six Sigma - Greenbelt

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bcoppess23

I am in the process of taking a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course at work and I am wondering how many well many of these concepts are implemented at the factory and in other organizations. How many boat manufactures truly believe in the idea of continues improvement and eliminating defects?

I can't stop thinking about Malibu during this class...

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Tims

The custom boat builders need to start with the foundation principles first before they worry about six sigma and black belt projects. I doubt they have a single manufacturing process that is in statistical control.

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Indyxc

I am in the process of taking a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course at work and I am wondering how many well many of these concepts are implemented at the factory and in other organizations. How many boat manufactures truly believe in the idea of continues improvement and eliminating defects?

I can't stop thinking about Malibu during this class...

Continuous improvement and eliminating defects only really come with a standardized process. I've never done a plant tour, but based on the videos, each step in their process largely relies on their operators to perform their tasks based on their experience. Based on their level of output, I'd say they are still at a cottage industry level.

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TXBu

I've been through the classes and received my Greenbelt. It's definitely worth it! Good luck!

You'll start looking at things differently.

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MannClan

So just out of curiosity those terms are associated with a company that "brings good things to life". Many other companies now have courses for Lean Sigma Six Greenbelt and Blackbelt but they normally rename them. Just curious because I work for aforementioned company.

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nyryan2001

I doubt LSS or other operations research approaches are being used from a strict standpoint in wakeboat manf like you'd see at Toyota or Subaru for example. Especially with who they have as floor managers. Else they'd be hiring them based on an operations research and engineering background. And too low of a volume compared to what LSS is designed for: high volume: manf process better, faster cheaper.

Understand that LSS is an American attempt to rebrand.... Err..... rip off.... a Japanese concept.....the origins of operations research in manf is in the Japanese Taguchi Loss Function, not LSS.

The development of American LSS is a response to Japansese auto manfs spanking the U.S. Big 3 automanfs and other manf electronics QAQC wise the majority of the 70s-90s. TLF and LSS is what drug the big 3 out of the stone age QAQC wise in the 90s.

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67King

Ford didn't rename them. The principles apply all over, though. Many hospitals are actually implementing these principles, particularly in emergency rooms. But given the nature of the marine industry, and the fact that nearly every boat is custom made, I would imagine it would be difficult to implement many of them. That said, I know that MC has been trying to do a lot of that.

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67King

I doubt LSS or other operations research approaches are being used from a strict standpoint in wakeboat manf like you'd see at Toyota or Subaru for example. Especially with who they have as floor managers. Else they'd be hiring them based on an operations research and engineering background. And too low of a volume compared to what LSS is designed for: high volume: manf process better, faster cheaper.

Understand that LSS is an American attempt to rebrand.... Err..... rip off.... a Japanese concept.....the origins of operations research in manf is in the Japanese Taguchi Loss Function, not LSS.

The development of American LSS is a response to Japansese auto manfs spanking the U.S. Big 3 automanfs and other manf electronics QAQC wise the majority of the 70s-90s. TLF and LSS is what drug the big 3 out of the stone age QAQC wise in the 90s.

And yet the Japanese took principles from the American grocery store (notably FIFO), Ford's Rouge complex, and one particular American named Deming........

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RTS

Six Sigma (3.4 defects per million units) is something that Malibu (and all other boat manufaturers, for that matter) are far, far away from. Heck...they probably have 3.4 defects PER UNIT currently, if not more....probably a great deal more. I think you need a much greater deal of automation than they have now, or will ever have in the future to even come close. Super tough to get that level of quality with basically hand built boats. If they truely sought that level of quality with the current manufacturing processes they have, these boats would cost a quarter of a million dollars or more...if they could even get close to LSS quality. They just don't make enough of them.

Edit: Looks like there were a couple posts while I was typing....didn't mean to restate the last couple posts.

Edited by RTS

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Sixball

Ford was beating the Japaneses auto company's before it was put under the guidance of one Jack Nasser. They had better numbers then Toyota

and running with Honda. Then Jack!!!!!! But I have been out of the work fores for over twelve years now but it was around back then. Its been a long rebuilding but its looking strong at Ford. If my last few Ford, Lincoln vehicles are a example I am very pleased!.

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nyryan2001

here we go again. Confusing market share and sales with QAQC .

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chris4x4gill2

Hard to do a 6 sigma when you are dealing with basically all one off custom jobs. There is no standard process.

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Tims

I doubt LSS or other operations research approaches are being used from a strict standpoint in wakeboat manf like you'd see at Toyota or Subaru for example. Especially with who they have as floor managers. Else they'd be hiring them based on an operations research and engineering background. And too low of a volume compared to what LSS is designed for: high volume: manf process better, faster cheaper.

Understand that LSS is an American attempt to rebrand.... Err..... rip off.... a Japanese concept.....the origins of operations research in manf is in the Japanese Taguchi Loss Function, not LSS.

The development of American LSS is a response to Japansese auto manfs spanking the U.S. Big 3 automanfs and other manf electronics QAQC wise the majority of the 70s-90s. TLF and LSS is what drug the big 3 out of the stone age QAQC wise in the 90s.

Japanese concept? Are you kidding???? Deming (an American) was awarded the order of the sacred treasure from the Emperor of Japan for his contributions to Japanese manufacturing (Using data and statistics to drive continual improvement). They ripped us off and took his work seriously.

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chris4x4gill2

Detroit wouldn't take Dr. Demmings principles. Japan did and leapfrogged over the US automakers. US is still playing catchup.

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MadMan

Manufacturing is only part of quality product equation. If the engineering/design/components used are poor, the product will still be poor.

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Soon2BV

That is great training and will help you in your work and personal life (except don't try to lean out some of the processes at home - that never turns out well ... :rofl: )

Six Sigma focuses on eliminating waste by removing variation from the process. So with boat building, any process that is repeated through multiple builds could be optimized. Steps that remove variability, if the variability matters, improve the process. In boat building, I would say many of the variations boat to boat are not relevant.

Lean focuses on removing waste by removing steps that do not add value. Value is defined as something that the end user or end purchaser would pay for. Lean principles apply to business processes, customer service processes, etc. as well as manufacturing processes.

Some companies use the industry standards for training and certifications, some do internal verification and don't recognize the certifications from other companies.

So just out of curiosity those terms are associated with a company that "brings good things to life".

Yes, but they were developed by Motorola.

Edited by Soon2BV

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bcoppess23

Ford didn't rename them. The principles apply all over, though. Many hospitals are actually implementing these principles, particularly in emergency rooms. But given the nature of the marine industry, and the fact that nearly every boat is custom made, I would imagine it would be difficult to implement many of them. That said, I know that MC has been trying to do a lot of that.

While I agree that these boats are custom and it is unrealistic to get to 3.4 defects per million, I do not agree that the process for building each boat is custom. The materials used to cut a VLX vinyl should always be the same. The color and fabric used may change but the process should remain the same. The same is true for the process of laying the fiberglass and installing the interior of our boats. The tools used on a VLX are likely the same tools used on an A22. However, the units can change.

In all honesty, I think their biggest improvement could be seen as a result of listening to the customer, and researching several of their warranty items. What is the cost for rework on many of these items? How many of our boats need some sort of "rework" done at the dealership as a result of the "factory" missing something?

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05hammerhead

I worked for a major defense contractor and we used to joke that LSS was common sense engineering, but many plant floor operators dont use common sense. We also called it lazy engineering, cause Im too lazy to have to do the same job twice, may as well do it right every time.

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mikeo

While I agree that these boats are custom and it is unrealistic to get to 3.4 defects per million, I do not agree that the process for building each boat is custom. The materials used to cut a VLX vinyl should always be the same. The color and fabric used may change but the process should remain the same. The same is true for the process of laying the fiberglass and installing the interior of our boats. The tools used on a VLX are likely the same tools used on an A22. However, the units can change.

In all honesty, I think their biggest improvement could be seen as a result of listening to the customer, and researching several of their warranty items. What is the cost for rework on many of these items? How many of our boats need some sort of "rework" done at the dealership as a result of the "factory" missing something?

I've been on the factory tour at both the Merced and Loudon plants, and while everyone working on the production lines is super nice and friendly the overall process lacks the attention to detail that Malibu claims to have. I've found numerous "defects" in my '15, and many of them have been addressed via my dealer or Malibu directly. It absolutely would have been in Malibu's best interest to have not had the defect from the factory.

Since I've toured the factory over multiple days to follow the production process of my current boat I have a better understanding of how the process works and the pressure that the production line is under. I also have to assume that there is some additional pressure for production targets now that Malibu is a public company that needs to report on both volume and margin. Neither of these pressures excuse any of the blatant defects that I discovered in my boat.

***edit***

Somebody with a cooler head than mine pointed out that public "shaming" of Malibu doesn't accomplish anything positive, so I've removed the bulk of the content of my post. If you're interested in what I wrote, please send me a PM and we can have a discussion. I know Malibu can and will make it right for me, and I hope that they're able to address many of the issues with the high-volume custom production.

Since my original post was quoted, you can read it openly. I'm not going to ask the person who quoted me to edit their post, but please realize understand that I'm not trying to disparage Malibu. I believe we're all looking for a "turnkey" product to be delivered.

Edited by mikeo

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MannClan

That is great training and will help you in your work and personal life (except don't try to lean out some of the processes at home - that never turns out well ... :rofl: )

Six Sigma focuses on eliminating waste by removing variation from the process. So with boat building, any process that is repeated through multiple builds could be optimized. Steps that remove variability, if the variability matters, improve the process. In boat building, I would say many of the variations boat to boat are not relevant.

Lean focuses on removing waste by removing steps that do not add value. Value is defined as something that the end user or end purchaser would pay for. Lean principles apply to business processes, customer service processes, etc. as well as manufacturing processes.

Some companies use the industry standards for training and certifications, some do internal verification and don't recognize the certifications from other companies.

Yes, but they were developed by Motorola.

Yes I realize that. Just that Jack took it to the next level.

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Indyxc

I've been on the factory tour at both the Merced and Loudon plants, and while everyone working on the production lines is super nice and friendly the overall process lacks the attention to detail that Malibu claims to have. I've found numerous "defects" in my '15, and many of them have been addressed via my dealer or Malibu directly. It absolutely would have been in Malibu's best interest to have not had the defect from the factory.

Since I've toured the factory over multiple days to follow the production process of my current boat I have a better understanding of how the process works and the pressure that the production line is under. I also have to assume that there is some additional pressure for production targets now that Malibu is a public company that needs to report on both volume and margin. Neither of these pressures excuse any of the blatant defects that I discovered in my boat. I'm "showing my hand" here, but I plan to write, publish, and send a letter to Malibu detailing the first season of owning a new boat. Here's some highlights of the issues I will be documenting:

Holes drilled in the boat that weren't necessary (no front ballast, yet all the holes are there; I did approve this not being repaired at the factory due to my plans for the boat)

Vinyl "skins" seams don't align on multiple panels

Air pockets/bubbles in core fiberglass that reduce structural strength

Inaccurate fiberglass cuts that make additional parts not fit or secure properly

Tower not aligned on gunnel (+/- .5" L-R) and tower not aligned to boat (+/- 1" F-R)

"extra" wire run to bypass primary wiring harness defect

plumbing "defects" for shower (this is a total disaster in '15 boats)

gelcoat cracks from mounted hardware (bow navigation light screws chipped the fiberglass)

Malibu logo stickers on transom 3/4" out of level

transom step pad .5" out of alignment (overhang and stuck to vinyl)

anti-siphon loops "duckbills" leaked (in to the engine air intake!"

kinked intake cooling water hose on engine (I pointed this out in the factory before the engine was installed and it *still* hasn't been fixed; the engine never should have been installed!)

all "lounge" seats +/- 2" out of alignment

gas shock bracket installed backwards and hard cooler lid couldn't open without removing cooler from storage locker

*more*

Now here's the part where I shoot myself in the foot: I love my Malibu and can't imagine owning any other boat. For my riding style (wakeboard or surfing) the boat is perfect and I can't find the same "sweet spot" on other boats. I would have gladly waited (impatiently) for a later delivery if it would have meant that my boat arrived without all defects that I have deal with in the off season. For those of you familiar with the firearms industry, I keep coming back to the thought "why hasn't someone opened a 'custom shop' for wakeboard boats?" For those of us who aren't satisfied with "off the lot" builds, someone could stay busy, and I have to assume make a decent profit, getting base/incomplete boats from Malibu (and other manufacturers?) to build them to customers exact specifications.

I'll make sure to post the letter I write Malibu, complete with pictures, on TMC when I send it to Malibu.

Honestly, if quality is a concern check out Mastercraft boats for your next one. I just sold my 06 Mastercraft X2, and the build quality on that boat was flawless. I was very impressed. Everything was perfect, and you could tell they even took the care to do things properly in areas you would probably never see, like removeable panels. Malibu boats are good value, but the quality is medicore at best. My axis I already laughed a couple times to the build quality, but I didn't buy it because of that.

Edited by Indyxc

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DarkSide

I toured both MC and BU a couple months ago. I am not convinced a MC is better constructed. Like Mikeo, i had a crap load of issues with my '14. My '15 is absolutely flawless so far! Night and day difference, also if you pay attention to Malibu quarterly reports, money spent on warranty claims is going down and production is going up. So boats are getting better! My wife gave me carte blanche to order the boat i have always wanted. I picked the 24 MXZ then and am still happy with the choice. I would not trade my MXZ for any MC or a G.

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Indyxc

I toured both MC and BU a couple months ago. I am not convinced a MC is better constructed. Like Mikeo, i had a crap load of issues with my '14. My '15 is absolutely flawless so far! Night and day difference, also if you pay attention to Malibu quarterly reports, money spent on warranty claims is going down and production is going up. So boats are getting better! My wife gave me carte blanche to order the boat i have always wanted. I picked the 24 MXZ then and am still happy with the choice. I would not trade my MXZ for any MC or a G.

The tour does not tell you that much. Owning both boats does. The contrast is pretty large.

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