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Nordson MEDICAL Engineers Complete Advanced Design for Six Sigma Training

Twenty engineers from the Value Plastics and Vention businesses within Nordson MEDICAL in Loveland, Colorado, participated in Design for Six Sigma training last month, allowing them to gain experience applying continuous improvement techniques to product design and production in a collaborative environment.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is a data-driven continuous improvement approach that utilizes the principles of Six Sigma, a set of management techniques used to decrease probability for error. This advanced process is designed to help engineers and manufacturers meet customer needs, launch and re-design products with minimal process variation while reducing the production time needed in traditional approaches.

After discovering how DFSS could help engineers increase precision and improve complex product design processes, Ravi Naryanan, Global Product Manager for Nordson MEDICAL, with the help of Cindy Vergano, Human Resources Manager for Nordson MEDICAL, collaborated with the Continuous    Improvement group and engineering managers. With their help, Brett Huey, Senior Continuous Improvement Manager, and Brian Keyser, a Continuous Improvement Director, developed training content and facilitated the interactive training session to four teams from separate business units within Nordson MEDICAL.

These groups had not previously had an opportunity to work together as one cohesive team. The collaborative exercises created a forum for the engineers from Nordson MEDICAL—including those from recently-acquired Vention—to learn from each other as they practiced the advanced continuous improvement methods.

“We all really enjoyed the class and came away with something we can apply to our everyday tasks,” Tim Crowley, Product Development Engineering Manager for Vention, said. “It was an excellent opportunity to get the Vention team to work face-to-face with Nordson.”

In addition to encouraging collaboration between Nordson MEDICAL engineers, the Design for Six Sigma training provided education on methodologies such as House of Quality, Pugh Matrix and P-Diagram—statistical tools that help minimize risk when using data to make design decisions and meet customer requirements. These tools also assist engineers with re-designing products and addressing field issues, which are skills the employees can build on long after the training.

“It was a pleasure to watch the engineers come together and collaborate in group exercises,” Ravi said, noting that the teams have already begun discovering ways they can improve existing projects using the skills they gained throughout their training. “We hope that this training and collaborative exercises help engineers use data in driving design decisions, form long-term bonds and lean on each other’s expertise to ensure the success of Nordson MEDICAL.”