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Proceedings Paper

Six Sigma methods applied to cryogenic coolers assembly line
Author(s): Jean-Marc Ventre; Michel Germain-Lacour; Jean-Yves Martin; Jean-Marc Cauquil; Tonny Benschop; René Griot
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Paper Abstract

Six Sigma method have been applied to manufacturing process of a rotary Stirling cooler: RM2. Name of the project is NoVa as main goal of the Six Sigma approach is to reduce variability (No Variability). Project has been based on the DMAIC guideline following five stages: Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control. Objective has been set on the rate of coolers succeeding performance at first attempt with a goal value of 95%. A team has been gathered involving people and skills acting on the RM2 manufacturing line. Measurement System Analysis (MSA) has been applied to test bench and results after R&R gage show that measurement is one of the root cause for variability in RM2 process. Two more root causes have been identified by the team after process mapping analysis: regenerator filling factor and cleaning procedure. Causes for measurement variability have been identified and eradicated as shown by new results from R&R gage. Experimental results show that regenerator filling factor impacts process variability and affects yield. Improved process haven been set after new calibration process for test bench, new filling procedure for regenerator and an additional cleaning stage have been implemented. The objective for 95% coolers succeeding performance test at first attempt has been reached and kept for a significant period. RM2 manufacturing process is now managed according to Statistical Process Control based on control charts. Improvement in process capability have enabled introduction of sample testing procedure before delivery.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 2009
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7298, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV, 729817 (7 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818924
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Marc Ventre, Thales Cryogénie S.A. (France)
Michel Germain-Lacour, Thales Cryogénie S.A. (France)
Jean-Yves Martin, Thales Cryogénie S.A. (France)
Jean-Marc Cauquil, Thales Cryogénie S.A. (France)
Tonny Benschop, Thales Cryogenics B.V. (Netherlands)
René Griot, Thales Cryogénie S.A. (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7298:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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