Whitman, LCS grad students partner with Currier Plastics for Six Sigma project


Graduate students from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science are working with Currier Plastics on a course that will concentrate on Six Sigma’s “Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control” (DMAIC) process. The students, from the Master of Supply Chain Management (SCM), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Master of Engineering Management (MSEM) programs, will begin their class at the Currier Plastics facility in Auburn at the end of August.

The student team will target the manufacturing process at the custom molder's facility and work to identify the best methods for repeatability of the manufacturing process using Six Sigma, a set of tools and strategies for process improvement developed by Motorola in 1981. Using quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement, the team’s goal is to find ways to improve the molder's quality by identifying and removing the causes of defects.

Beginning in fall 2014, the Whitman School will offer a one-year, 30-credit Master of SCM with the Lean Six Sigma course as its capstone. Similarly, Whitman’s full-time MBA students must complete a minimum of six experiential credits before graduation.

"The two most popular ways of meeting the requirement are to take an internship for academic credit or to enroll in an experiential course which has a real-world project in it. We typically field six to eight projects each fall. These have ranged from manufacturing problems to hospital processes and procedures. We’ve done approximately 15 projects over the past several years for Crouse Hospital, one for Upstate, a couple for St. Joseph’s Hospital, two for Loretto, and two for National Grid," says Amy McHale, Whitman’s director of experiential learning.

Currier is excited about the joint venture. "It's our way to improve on our process control plan while at the same time helping future industry professionals," says Scott Reilly, Currier’s continuous improvement coordinator.

Currier Plastics has been custom molding for a variety of industries such as plastic packaging, beauty and cosmetics, amenities, household consumables, electronic connectors and medical measuring devices since 1982.