The region’s automotive and wider manufacturing sector has been strengthened through the availability for the first time of internationally certified Six Sigma process training.
According to an agreement between the AIDC Eastern Cape and Port Elizabeth based Network Consulting, the AIDC, an implementing agency of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, will offer training in Six Sigma and certify participants as sought after Yellow, Green and Black Belts.
Traditionally manufacturing based companies seeking to employ the business management strategy, have had to acquire training from certified trainers outside of the Eastern Cape.
AIDC Supplier Development Manager, Lance Schultz said the availability of a Six Sigma centre of excellence at the AIDC which “will offer training and advanced Six Sigma interventions at subsidised rates to industry is seen as a key strategy by the Eastern Cape Province to build the competitiveness of local industry.”
The AIDC comprises a team of technical experts, many with master’s degree level qualifications and years of OEM and automotive supplier experience, established by the Province of the Eastern Cape to build the region’s automotive sector, Schultz said.
“Recently, the AIDC embarked on a drive to push for accredited Six Sigma certifications for their team. “This marks a new step towards the level of assistance we are able to offer the automotive sector.”
“The newly formed Eastern Cape Automotive Cluster will be a focal point for our resources as we strive towards greater local content in the region”, Schultz said.
The term Six Sigma originated from terminology associated with statistical modeling of manufacturing processes. The maturity of a manufacturing process can be described by a sigma rating indicating its yield, or the percentage of defect-free products it creates.
A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects (3.4 defects per million), Schultz said.
He said Six Sigma capability, which was recognised as one of the leading manufacturing approaches globally, added to the expertise and Lean Manufacturing programmes already available to the Eastern Cape manufacturing hub, and would “raise the bar on productivity from local manufacturers.”