Pagers Built to Order


T o reduce cycle times and improve quality, Motorola Inc. (Schaumburg, Ill.) decided to change its pager manufacturing process to meet customer request for specialized pagers, that could be produced efficiently and cost effectively.

Using design for Six Sigma (6s) techniques, Motorola was able to meet external and internal customer requirements. Motorola's Fusion factory can process different pagers with different circuit boards on the same production line. The manufacturing process is so agile that different products can be assembled on the same line without machine retooling. Another internal customer requirement was to eliminate single station failures from shutting down the entire production line. Motorola's Fusion factory now uses parallel paths in the manufacturing line and robots capable of doing their jobs plus the jobs of robots before and after them in the manufacturing process. As each order is received from the customer, it is entered into the system. Before the order is sent to the plant floor for 'filling', it is created in virtual reality to ensure the pager can be made. Once the design is sufficient, the order is forwarded to the plant floor. Each part of the pager is labeled with a number. Each machine on the production line reads these numbers and relates the pager to the original customer order.

Because of Motorola's new innovations developed using 6s design, customer pager orders are made to a specific design within hours of design approval. The result is, pagers specialized to meet customer requirements.

For more information about Motorola and its Six Sigma efforts, visit .

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