Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The goal of this research was to find examples of traditionally production-oriented systems, particularly Continuous Improvement methods, being applied in engineering environments. On top of finding examples of CI tools being used outside of production, there was heavy focus on finding out how the systems were tweaked to reach the goals of different environments. A literature review was done to identify 5S and Six Sigma basics and cite examples of their use outside of traditional manufacturing. Examples of two separate projects done at the engineering center of a large Midwest manufacturer were evaluated for their effectiveness and the adjustments that were made to suit the specific environment were recorded. Separate conclusions were drawn for each project and then a final analysis of the overall study was done. Both the 5S and Six Sigma projects were deemed productive. The 5S project had been completed by the time this paper was finished and an expansion of 5S to adopt similar projects has begun. The Six Sigma project is still underway, but the process has helped lead the project in the right direction. This study has concluded that traditionally production-oriented CI tools can be used successfully in an engineering environment.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Technology

First Advisor

Julie Zhang


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Date Original


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