Enterprise Lean Six Sigma

At Littelfuse we believe in continuous improvement not only to our products and employees but also to our organizational processes. That is why we have made the organizational commitment to embrace lean as a company-wide culture.

The Lean Team mission is to continuously increase value for our customers through training and development of all associates, enabling Littelfuse to be your global supplier of choice.

This video illustrates how our Lean Team in Legnago, Italy, increased productivity and quality control with their Pick to Light process improvement.

Some of our practices include:


Gemba Walk

Gemba is the place, any place in any organization, where value is created for the customer. The first step in many lean journeys starts with a gemba walk to see the current condition and witness the value creation process. Once we see the current condition, we can begin the never-ending journey of making the gemba a better place by creating more value with less overburdening of people and equipment, less variation, and less waste.

Universal Principles of Lean

1. Specify value in the eyes of the customer

2. Identify the value stream and eliminate waste

3. Make value flow at the pull of the customer

4. Involve and develop associates

5. Continuously improve in the pursuit of perfection

Reducing 8 Wastes (DOWNTIME)




Not utilizing employees' knowledge, skills, and abilities




Excess Processing

True North Metrics

The True North metric boards enable us to cascade and deploy Littelfuse business metrics. The metrics are aligned and data is rolled up from the gemba (production line/cell) metrics, to the value stream (department/product line) metrics, to the local (plant) metrics, and finally to the global (corporate operations) metrics. By linking the boards to the continuous improvement process, we ensure that all associates have a clear understanding of where we are going and how we are currently measured against our goals.

Where do you want to go? Are you getting there? What action do you need take to go further?



A problem-solving tool that incorporates the problem statement, goal, background, analysis, corrective actions and action plan on a single sheet of large (A3 size, approximately 11” x17”) paper. It often includes graphics, charts and graphs.


6S System

Six related terms (Safety, Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain), beginning with the letter S, describing practices conducive to visual management and workplace organization.


Value Stream Mapping

A simple diagram of every step involved in the material and information flows needed to bring a product from order to delivery. Often used to help highlight major opportunities, and includes a value-added/non-value-added ratio.

Process Mapping

A simple diagram of the major steps in a process, without a value-added or non-value-added ratio. It is often used to help highlight specific wastes.


Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

A set of techniques to help ensure that every machine in a production process is always able to effectively perform its required tasks.


3P (Production Preparation Process)

Production Preparation Process; sometimes known as Product, Process and People. A methodology used to approach new product design (and the associated manufacturing of that product). Involves evaluating multiple different ideas, and mocking up production lines or products using cardboard, wood, tape, etc., in order to more effectively evaluate options, which incorporates the use of many lean tools and principles.


Standard Work

Establishing precise procedures for each associate’s work in a production process. Includes takt time and work sequence.

6 Sigma

Employs the Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) approach for improving an existing process or Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) for creating a high-quality new process or design.

6 Sigma seeks to improve the quality of manufacturing and business process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and by minimizing variability.  


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