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Integrating Six‐Sigma with other reliability improvement methods in equipment reliability and maintenance applications

Salman T. Al‐Mishari (Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Saad Suliman (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bahrain, Isa Town, Kingdom of Bahrain)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to address reported weaknesses with existing equipment reliability improvement methods through their integration into the Six‐Sigma DMAIC methodology.


The evaluation was done by assessing the weaknesses of traditional methods such as reliability centered maintenance (RCM), evaluating what Six‐Sigma could potentially offer to close the gaps, and testing potential improvements through an example application.


It is concluded that Six‐Sigma addresses many RCM flaws and weaknesses. It is also concluded that Six‐Sigma, if integrated with other reliability techniques, can produce results that are far more objective and dependable.

Research limitations/implications

Six‐Sigma, however, still bears its own cons and limitations. It requires good data which are sometimes unavailable. Six‐Sigma is also lengthier and consumes more resources per single problem since it focuses at one problem at a time.


The introduction of Six‐Sigma into equipment reliability/maintenance applications is quite original since this methodology has traditionally been limited to manufacturing and only recently to administrative processes. The outcome is of significant value as it opens up a new perspective into the development of reliability improvement measures for plant equipment.



Al‐Mishari, S.T. and Suliman, S. (2008), "Integrating Six‐Sigma with other reliability improvement methods in equipment reliability and maintenance applications", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 59-70.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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