Motorola, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of semiconductors and electronic equipment systems for civil and military applications, introduced the concept of six-sigma process quality to enhance the reliability and quality of their products, and cut product cycle times and expenditure on test/repair. Motorola used the following statement to explain:
Sigma is a statistical unit of measurement that describes the distribution about the mean of any process or procedure. A process or procedure that can achieve plus or minus six-sigma capability can be expected to have a defect rate of no more than a few parts per million, even allowing for some shift in the mean. In statistical
The approach was championed by Motorola’s chief executive officer at the time, Bob Galvin, to help improve competitiveness. The six-sigma approach became widely publicized when Motorola won the US Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988.