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product excellence using six sigma

Assignment Guidance and Front Sheet

Date set Friday 21st January 2022

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Submission date (excluding extensions) Monday 21st February 2022

Submission guidance

Late submission policy I

Resubmission policy If you fail this assignment or module, please be aware that the University allows students to remedy such failure (within certain limits). Decisions to authorise such resubmissions are made by Exam Boards. Normally these will be issued at specific times of the year, depending on your programme of study. More information can be found from your programme office if you are concerned.


To be completed by the module owner/tutor prior to approval and issuing of the assessment; to be consulted by the student(s) so that you understand the assignment brief, its context within the module, and any specific criteria and advice from the tutor:

Module title & code
Module owner
Module tutor See above
Assessment type essay
Weighting of mark 70%

Assessment brief

The assessment for PEUSS is split between in-module and post-module work.

In-module assessment
DFSS mini-project presentation 20
Reflective writing 10

Post-module assessment 70
The following PMA question is worth 70 marks. It focusses on student knowledge of tools, techniques and methodologies covered throughout the whole module.
A propylene plant pump, which is used as a feed pump, is a key component in a refinery plant. Two of the key components of the pump have been failing thus affecting the plant availability. The following data requires analysis to help identify an appropriate maintenance strategy to keep the plant at 100% availability. The two key components in this pump are – the seal and the bearing. Use Weibull analysis to identify the lifetime distribution and estimate the shape and scale parameters for the seals and bearings and explain your modelling assumptions.


Component Failure Time (days)
Bearing 1516
Bearing 2800
Bearing 3276
Bearing 4078
Bearing 4629
Seal 4650
Seal 4772
Seal 4915
Seal 4953
Seal 5300
Bearing 5411
Seal 5488

Discuss these results and explain how they could be used to improve the refinery plant availability.
30 marks
It has been decided by the refinery plant management to consider a redesign of the feeder pumps. Using DFSS explain how the company could improve the availability of these pumps. You should look at the DFSS methodology and explain key tools that would ensure that the new design is optimized. You do not need to implement the tools but explain which tools you think would be most appropriate and justify your choice.
40 marks

You should refer to data and information from journals or books to support your answer and include examples to illustrate your points.
Marks will also be awarded for structure, presentation, flow, argument, spelling and referencing.
The word limit for this work is maximum of 4000 words (+10%). Penalties will be issued for exceeding the word limit.

Word count
5000 words + 10%
Module learning outcomes (numbered) Critique the use of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)
Discover how the DFSS methodology can enhance product excellence
Evaluate how analytical tools are applied in DFSS
Develop a conceptual understanding of how to capture customer requirements to design for excellence
Discover how the application of life time data analysis aids decision making and consequently enhances product excellence

Learning outcomes assessed in this assessment (numbered) All met in this assignment
Marking guidelines Marking Scheme
The answer should be well structured with a logical narrative flow. References should be correct and the correct format. Spelling should be correct. Diagrams and figures should be referenced correctly and discussed in text.
Part a)
Marks are awarded for the discussion of the Weibull distribution and its parameters in the context of reliability analyses. Discussion of plotting method and assumptions is required. The data should be analysed appropriately and discussed giving the implications of the plots with reference to literature on seal and bearing failures.
30 marks
Part b)
Introduction and background to DFSS, it’s methodology and link with availability. A critique of key DFSS tools as covered in the module. Each tool discussed should include an explanation and how the tool could be used to improve the design of the new pump to improve availability.
40 marks

Academic guidance resources See moodle notes and book list