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Sikorsky Aircraft: Determining Waste


Creating a flawless environment, in which waste is reduced to zero, is practically unattainable). However, striving for waste reduction is an essential part of any enterprise. Sikorsky Aircraft is no exception to this rule; incorporating the approaches such as Just-in-Time (JIT), Lean Manufacturing, and the Six Sigma framework, the company has been striving toward a better performance. Nevertheless, certain dents in the company’s design still create prerequisites for waste to occur in accordance with the seven mudas principle (Kubiak & Benbow, 2009).

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The defects emerging as a result of the lack of supervision are clearly becoming an issue at Sikorsky.

Similarly, the defects caused by the equipment imperfection are currently a problem.


Although overproduction at Sikorsky was dealt with successfully in the 90s, it seems to have returned. Particularly, the overproduction of rotocraft (McIntoch, 2011) needs to be brought up.

Similarly, the issue regarding the overproduction of X2 (Rotocraft outlook, 2015) needs to be addressed. Unless the company starts producing a smaller number of items, it may fail to sell the product.


Unnecessary Over-processing

The process of transferring information from one member to another when checking the aircraft parts for compliance with the existing standards is one of the primary issues to be addressed as it leads to the possibility of making a mistake or misunderstanding information. In addition, the process of filing reports concerning the checking stages has to be simplified as they take a considerable amount of time and prevent from carrying out a full analysis.

Unnecessary Motion of Employees

Because of improper zoning of the quality control department, the staff members tend to spend a lot of time walking from one area to another. As a result, a lot of time is wasted.

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Another essential issue regarding the motion of employees concerns the cooperation between departments. Because of the lack of a proper information transfer scheme, a range of staff members prefer to travel across departments to make sure that their messages are heard and taken into account.

Unnecessary Transportation and Handling of Goods

Because of information management issues and the following delay, the transportation processes at Sikorsky could use some work. For instance, the papers with the information regarding the quality of the product travel long before reaching the destination.

In addition, the process of goods handling could also use improvements. Although the production stages require working with the materials that cannot be deemed as fragile, certain parts, such as rotor blades, need careful handling (Napsholm, 2013). The current lack of concern for the identified parts leads to an increase in waste rates.

Waiting (Delivery, Processing, Support, Etc.)

Unfortunately, waiting remains one of the major dents in the current design of the firm’s processes. Particularly a significant amount of time must pass for the manufactured parts to reach the quality control department.

In addition, the time lapse between identifying the quality of the vehicle produced and filling in the corresponding form as well as waiting for it to be approved could be reduced significantly.


Although most processes are arranged in an impeccable manner at Sikorsky, some of the elements of quality assurance need a redesign or a minor improvement. The abundance of restrictions imposed on the staff might be viewed as a security measure. However, some of the rules prevent from carrying out the quality assurance process efficiently and, thus, must be altered slightly.

Reference List

Kubiak, T. M., & Benbow, D. W. (2009). Waste elimination. In The certified Six Sigma black belt handbook (pp. 332-336). Milwaukee, WI: American Society for Quality.

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McIntoch, T. (2011). A process for improving long-term production planning. Boston, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management.

Napsholm, S. R. (2013). Prototype of a tilt rotor helicopter. Web.

Rotocraft outlook. (2015). Web.

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