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Citation Corporation announced it has completed its first of three waves of Six Sigma green belt certifications, a statistically based problem-solving methodology, as part of a company-wide initiative to certify 42 Six Sigma green belts at its castings facilities in 2008. The first series of certifications included employees from Citation's Albion, Ind.; Novi and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Biscoe, N.C.; and Lufkin, Texas, locations.
"Six Sigma certification is a valuable tool that is helping us reduce process variation and drive continuous improvement throughout our manufacturing operations," said Citation chief operating officer Cary Wood. "With these certifications, we are planning double-digit improvements in quality indicators. Additionally, Six Sigma methods will add support to our existing lean initiatives already under way, aimed at strengthening our position as a world-class supplier."
The certification process includes a weeklong training event that uses a standardized process to test employees in five areas of the DMAIC Process: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.
Training and project mentoring is provided by a master black belt team from GE, which was established to assist GE customers with process improvement and other value-adding initiatives.
"The support we have received from GE will be instrumental in helping us reach our productivity goals for 2008," added Wood. "GE's proficiency in Six Sigma methodologies has allowed us to shorten our own learning curve."
To complete the 42 employee certification training, Citation will conduct two more classes of green belt certifications during the summer 2008. The next group will begin in June and will include employees at its Berlin, Menomonee Falls and Brownstown, Wis., plants. The third class is scheduled for July and will target the Brewton, Birmingham, Bessemer and Columbiana, Ala., divisions.
This initiative combined with the existing 18 Six Sigma black belts and the 21 members of senior management who recently received executive overview training, brings the total count to 81 employees, or 18 percent of the salaried workforce, who have gone through some level of Six Sigma training in the past six months.
Citation is a privately held corporation headquartered in Novi, Mich. Citation employs 2,700 associates in Alabama, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The company designs, develops and manufactures high-quality cast, machined and assembled components for the automotive, heavy truck and industrial markets.