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Six Sigma is a process improvement program that use data and statistical tools to identify and reduce variation in a process. The results of using this methodology can include increased productivity, decreased defects, cost reductions and improved customer service. The Six Sigma methodology is comprised of four phases: measure, analyze, improve and control. In each of these phases different tools are used to identify where and how improvements to a process should be made.

The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana has embraced Six Sigma to enhance the processes and services the City provides its residents. Fort Wayne is believed to be the first city in the country to implement this methodology. Currently, the City has 35 employees trained in Six Sigma and working on projects that will directly benefit City operations. The Water Pollution Control Plant, Water Filtration Plant, Police, Fire, Parks, Street and Solid Waste departments are some of the areas of the City where Six Sigma improvements have and are taking place.

The Water Pollution Control Plant's project was to increase the processing time of Waste Activated Sludge (W.A.S.) through the centrifuge by 40% and to increase the thickness of the sludge being produced from 2.2% to 6–8%. One of the most significant outcomes of this project was cost avoidance of 1.7 million in digester improvements, however that was not the project's only achievement.

The outcome of this session is an introduction to Six Sigma and how it benefited the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana in its operation of the centrifuge.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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