Reducing the cost of poor quality with Lean Six Sigma

Metso Outotec is a frontrunner in sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the aggregates, minerals processing and metals refining industries globally. The company generates significant annual savings thanks to a powerful methodology and new skills in improvement work.

A Lean Six Sigma initiative was launched as part of Metso Outotec's operational strategy in Sala. The aim of the systematic approach was to achieve good quality, high on time delivery (OTD) and short lead times.


CANEA has supported Metso Outotec with training, coaching and implementation of Lean Six Sigma through:

  • Customized workshops, seminars and training content.
  • A kick-off for continuous improvement, and business development. With the aim of creating a basic understanding, awareness and acceptance of the working methodology among all employees.
  • A course for white belts, who will be able to bring a systematic approach to minor improvement work in the department.
  • A certification program with training and project coaching for green belts to run problem-solving projects.
  • A course for managers/sponsors on how to prioritize, sponsor, commission, follow up, support and enable successful projects.
  • Support for the local "champion" whose task it was to hold everything together and drive the initiative locally at Metso Sala pump.


In year 1, discussions were held about what the next step in the development towards becoming a world-class pump factory could be. The decision was made to focus on the well-known concept of Lean Six Sigma.

In year 2, training and workshops were initiated for all 150 employees. This included training for champions/sponsors that provided an overview of Lean Six Sigma and their roles and responsibilities in the initiative. In addition, three different levels of training were offered to other employees: Basic, White, and Green Belt.

In year 3, an organization was set up where the responsibility for business development lay with all departments and where overall strategies for the factory were implemented.



One year after its launch, the project had successfully identified significant savings that will be realized in the coming years. Several of the projects also contributed to a better working environment.

Business benefits

In addition to the documented savings in completed projects, the company now has competence in improvement work at all levels of the organization, taking on more and more initiatives. Metso Outotec has built a platform that facilitates further business benefits and the reduction of cost of poor quality (COPQ).

About Metso Outotec

Metso Outotec is a pioneer in sustainable technologies, complete solutions and services for ballast production, mineral processing and metal processing.

They are committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C with Science Based Targets and are ranked 8th in the Global 100 list of the world's most sustainable companies.

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Metso Outotec has over 15,000 employees in over 50 countries and its 2020 sales were approximately EUR 3.9 billion.

”With Lean Six Sigma and the DMAIC methodology, I feel confident that we are focusing on solving the right problem in the right way. The structure of the approach and tools for communicating with colleagues and management creates commitment and helps to get the right support and resources to implement solutions."

Andreas Lindberg, Design Engineer, Metso Outotec, Sala, Metso Outotec