Sonaca: Quality Improvement for Real Savings

Sonaca Group is a global Belgian company active in the development, manufacturing, and assembly of advanced structures for civil &  military aeronautical and space markets. It has production facilities in China, Europe, North-America, and South-America and employs over 2500 people including 350 engineers.

Oakland devised and delivered a training and coaching programme that generated six different Six Sigma process improvement projects at the Sonaca, Belgian plant.

Oakland worked with Quality Director Laurent Troquet to agree the objectives and format for the programme which involved Green Belt and Yellow Belt training for employees across several production departments. “Six Sigma is now officially part of our Quality Toolbox. Six Sigma and the DMAIC methodology help us to shift the limits of the continuous improvement and it is a nice compliment to Lean initiatives.”

Senior Associates Keith Carpenter and Wendy Buckley partnered to deliver bilingual training sessions and a monthly coaching programme. Following the successful close-out of the projects, Wendy said: “The specific benefits of Six Sigma techniques were demonstrated through each DMAIC” phase:

  • Definition of key opportunities for improvement through use of tools in workshops and involving the wider team.
  • Visual communication boards to track incidents resulted in the definition of effective quick wins.
  • Six Sigma analysis of different factors supported the cost benefit analysis of proposed innovations.
  • A strict evidence-based approach and strong leadership resulted in improved collaboration between departments.
  • Lessons learned were gathered for direct implementation in the company’s new facility. This constitutes another significant ongoing benefit for the company.