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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Pedro Alexandre de Albuquerque Marques and Robert Matthé

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate an application of the Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) problem-solving methodology in a Portuguese…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate an application of the Six Sigma define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) problem-solving methodology in a Portuguese industrial enterprise, aimed at reducing the rejection rate of a specific manufactured product due to defects generated in an aluminum gravity die casting operation.

Design/methodology/approach

Along the five-stage roadmap, a set of analytical and conceptual tools was systematically employed to better characterize the problem, define the product’s critical to quality characteristics, estimate the process baseline, determine the relevant cause-and-effect relationships, identify the root causes leading to the high rejection rate, implement an improvement plan, determine the effectiveness of the improvement actions, and put in place a control plan.

Findings

The project team discovered that the high rejection rate was caused by factors inherent to the gravity die casting operation itself and by the mixing of rejected parts made of different types of alloys from other locations within the plant. Another key finding was that the successful execution of the project was only possible due to the belief and support of top management and to the active involvement of the team members.

Practical implications

This case study illustrates a successful practical application of a Six Sigma project in a small-medium enterprise in Portugal, as well as the operational and financial benefits that derived from it; thus providing a good example for others to follow.

Originality/value

Few cases of continual improvement initiatives, including Six Sigma projects, developed at a Portuguese company are available in the literature; this paper fills such void by describing a very successful application that demonstrates the advantages that other companies can learn in terms of adopting structured methodologies to improve the quality of their products and the efficiency of their processes. Moreover, the analysis and conclusions herein presented can be of great importance for companies using gravity die casting technology.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Book part
Publication date: 23 March 2017

Barbara de Lima Voss, David Bernard Carter and Bruno Meirelles Salotti

We present a critical literature review debating Brazilian research on social and environmental accounting (SEA). The aim of this study is to understand the role of…

Abstract

We present a critical literature review debating Brazilian research on social and environmental accounting (SEA). The aim of this study is to understand the role of politics in the construction of hegemonies in SEA research in Brazil. In particular, we examine the role of hegemony in relation to the co-option of SEA literature and sustainability in the Brazilian context by the logic of development for economic growth in emerging economies. The methodological approach adopts a post-structural perspective that reflects Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory. The study employs a hermeneutical, rhetorical approach to understand and classify 352 Brazilian research articles on SEA. We employ Brown and Fraser’s (2006) categorizations of SEA literature to help in our analysis: the business case, the stakeholder–accountability approach, and the critical case. We argue that the business case is prominent in Brazilian studies. Second-stage analysis suggests that the major themes under discussion include measurement, consulting, and descriptive approach. We argue that these themes illustrate the degree of influence of the hegemonic politics relevant to emerging economics, as these themes predominantly concern economic growth and a capitalist context. This paper discusses trends and practices in the Brazilian literature on SEA and argues that the focus means that SEA avoids critical debates of the role of capitalist logics in an emerging economy concerning sustainability. We urge the Brazilian academy to understand the implications of its reifying agenda and engage, counter-hegemonically, in a social and political agenda beyond the hegemonic support of a particular set of capitalist interests.

Details

Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management: Social and Environmental Accounting in Brazil
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-376-4

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Book part
Publication date: 8 December 2021

Abstract

Details

Media, Development and Democracy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-492-9

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