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What is the difference between specification limits and control limits?

What is the difference between specification limits and control limits?

This is a crucial distinction that is frequently confused. Basically, specification limits have to do with the voice of the customer while control limits have to do with the voice of the process. (more…)
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What is the relationship between process stability and process capability?

What is the relationship between process stability and process capability?

Nothing and everything. Though they are not directly linked, statistician and SPC expert Steven Wachs cautions that without evidence of process stability, capability data is useless. (more…)
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How do I test my data for normality?

How do I test my data for normality?

Before applying statistical methods that assume normality, it is necessary to perform a normality test on the data. (more…)
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What is a standard deviation and how do I compute it?

What is a standard deviation and how do I compute it?

It’s not subjective: Because it’s an objective measure of variation, standard deviation is an essential statistical tool for increasing quality. (more…)
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How do I choose the appropriate type of control chart?

How do I choose the appropriate type of control chart?

Proper control chart selection is critical to realizing the benefits of Statistical Process Control. (more…)
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SPC 101: Differentiating Between Cpk and Ppk Values

SPC 101: Differentiating Between Cpk and Ppk Values

Let's take the confusion out of Cpk and Ppk. (more…)
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How should the subgroup size be selected for an X-bar chart? – Part 1

How should the subgroup size be selected for an X-bar chart? – Part 1

The key is to specify a subgroup size so that significant shifts are detected with high probability and that insignificant shifts are unlikely to produce a signal. (more…)
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How should the subgroup size be selected for an X-bar chart? – Part 2

How should the subgroup size be selected for an X-bar chart? – Part 2

The sample size formula and application are discussed in the conclusion of this two-part topic. (more…)
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What does an out-of-control process indicate?

What does an out-of-control process indicate?

Many believe that an out of control process produces defective parts. That's not always true. (more…)
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How do I know what process characteristics to control?

How do I know what process characteristics to control?

While the construction of control charts is relatively straightforward, often a more difficult question is: how do I know what process characteristics to control in the first place? (more…)
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Seven Steps to Improving Your SPC Program

Seven Steps to Improving Your SPC Program

Highly effective SPC programs combine technical competencies, such as using the right chart and sample size for the application, with good management principles such as ensuring operator involvement. (more…)
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Beyond the Usual Benefits of SPC

Beyond the Usual Benefits of SPC

When Statistical Process Control is applied properly, tremendous benefits in profitability and process understanding are achieved. (more…)
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Resolving a Complex Manufacturing Problem with Statistical Methods

Resolving a Complex Manufacturing Problem with Statistical Methods

In this case, we address $1.2 million worth of annual process variation. (more…)
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How Undetected Process Changes Can Ruin Product Reliability

How Undetected Process Changes Can Ruin Product Reliability

By systematically detecting (and rectifying) sources of special cause variation upstream in the process, the important process outcomes become predictable. (more…)
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How does SPC complement my automatic inspection system?

How does SPC complement my automatic inspection system?

More companies are leveraging high speed vision systems to inspect multiple quality characteristics on their products. (more…)
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Optimizing Product Target Weights of Foods and Beverages

Optimizing Product Target Weights of Foods and Beverages

In order to maximize profitability while complying with government regulations regarding net package contents, food manufacturers and packagers must achieve an optimal balance. (more…)
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Prioritizing Prevention

Prioritizing Prevention

While enormous dollars are spent reacting to problems, Quality teams can excel to new heights by focusing on prevention: of product failures, of scrap, and of other inefficiencies. (more…)
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How do I implement SPC for short production runs? – Part 1

How do I implement SPC for short production runs? – Part 1

An approach to deploying control charts with short production runs is to utilize charts of common characteristics across different products. (more…)
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How do I implement SPC for short production runs? – Part 2

How do I implement SPC for short production runs? – Part 2

Characteristics with larger nominal values tend to have more variation than characteristics with smaller nominal values. (more…)
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How to Reduce Warranty Costs Using Tools That Predict Product and Process Performance

How to Reduce Warranty Costs Using Tools That Predict Product and Process Performance

Looking just at the auto industry, GM has recalled roughly 3 million vehicles this year in the U.S. alone. In 2009, GM recalled roughly 2.2 million vehicles. (more…)
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Pre-Control: No Substitute for Statistical Process Control

Pre-Control: No Substitute for Statistical Process Control

Unfortunately, applying "simple" tools at the expense of tools with considerably more value (and really not much more complexity or difficulty) doesn't cut it. (more…)
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Where do the typical control chart signals come from?

Where do the typical control chart signals come from?

The purpose of control charting is to regularly monitor a process so that significant process changes may be detected. (more…)
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Misapplications of SPC…and the Consequences

Misapplications of SPC…and the Consequences

Many manufacturing leaders believe that their production personnel use SPC properly, but the evidence suggests otherwise. (more…)
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How Can an OC Curve Be Used to Manage Risk of Undetected Special Causes?

How Can an OC Curve Be Used to Manage Risk of Undetected Special Causes?

An OC curve allows practitioners to determine a sample size that will result in the detection of those process changes that are of practical significance while minimizing the occurrence of false alarm. (more…)
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Can I chart deviation-from-target, and when would it make sense to do this?

Can I chart deviation-from-target, and when would it make sense to do this?

Yes, you can chart deviation-from-target. You do this by creating a Target chart, a chart that plots the deviation of subgroup values from a target value. (more…)
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Why is Cpk data important, and how can my company benefit from tracking it?

Why is Cpk data important, and how can my company benefit from tracking it?

To answer that, we need to start off with what these capability indices represent. (more…)
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What is the Cpm index and how does it relate to Cpk?

What is the Cpm index and how does it relate to Cpk?

As the bumper sticker says, "Shifts Happen" and so we generally want to use the slightly more liberal process capability of Cpk ≥ 1.33. (more…)
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Hypothesis and Equivalence Testing

Hypothesis and Equivalence Testing

This article will review statistical hypothesis testing in general and then introduce equivalence testing and its application. (more…)
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My company is instituting Lean systems – Part 1

My company is instituting Lean systems – Part 1

"Lean Manufacturing" (a.k.a. the Toyota Production System) is a toolbox of techniques to improve operational efficiency and eliminate waste. (more…)
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My company is instituting Lean systems – Part 2

My company is instituting Lean systems – Part 2

Last month I began to answer this question by examining some of the 14 Principles of Lean Manufacturing according to Jeffery Liker. Let's continue that examination. (more…)
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What is the philosophy of Process Control (rather than Product Control)?

What is the philosophy of Process Control (rather than Product Control)?

Process Control is proactive rather than reactive. The key elements of process control are outlined in this article. (more…)
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Can control charts detect small process shifts?

Can control charts detect small process shifts?

EWMA or Cusum charts are the best charts for detecting process shifts less than 1σ. (more…)
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DataNet News

SPC Fundamentals | Video

SPC Fundamentals | Video

September 5, 2019 Statistical Process Control, commonly referred to as SPC, is a method for monitoring, controlling and, ideally, improving a process through statistical analysis. This video contains an introduction to SPC strategies you can use to improve your processes....
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How Do I Set Up WinSPC to Get Data on a Timed Basis? | WinSPC Tips & Tricks

How Do I Set Up WinSPC to Get Data on a Timed Basis? | WinSPC Tips & Tricks

August 22, 2019 WinSPC timed data collection can reduce labor time associated with collecting data. (more…)
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Prioritizing Prevention | Ask the Expert

Prioritizing Prevention | Ask the Expert

August 8, 2019 While enormous dollars are spent reacting to problems, taking a top-down view of the production system can reveal sources of scrap, rework and other inefficiencies. (more…)
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Flexible WinSPC Configurations: What Works Best For You? | WinSPC Tips & Tricks

Flexible WinSPC Configurations: What Works Best For You? | WinSPC Tips & Tricks

July 25, 2019 WinSPC can be configured for optimal use in practically any production or inspection set up. (more…)
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Vision Systems with Integrated Real-Time SPC | WinSPC News

Vision Systems with Integrated Real-Time SPC | WinSPC News

July 12, 2019 100% inspection of your products is much easier to implement than you might expect. (more…)
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What is a Standard Deviation and How Do I Compute It? | Ask the Expert

What is a Standard Deviation and How Do I Compute It? | Ask the Expert

July 11, 2019 It’s not subjective: Because it’s an objective measure of variation, standard deviation is an essential statistical tool for increasing quality. (more…)
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Quality at Any Cost? | Quality Insight

Quality at Any Cost? | Quality Insight

June 27, 2019 In an ever-competitive global marketplace, it's more important than ever to develop systematic means to measure and manage costs of quality, which reflect business improvement opportunities. (more…)
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Spectrometer Producer Applies SPC to Processes | WinSPC News

Spectrometer Producer Applies SPC to Processes | WinSPC News

June 13, 2019 A spectrometer producer installed WinSPC to leverage existing data collection systems, achieve quality improvements, and improve cross-company understanding of production. (more…)
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Setting Up to Capture Data in WinSPC: The Basics | WinSPC Video

Setting Up to Capture Data in WinSPC: The Basics | WinSPC Video

May 30, 2019 Setting up a live digital Quality system to collect data may not be as hard as you think. (more…)
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How Do I Test My Data for Normality? | Ask the Expert

How Do I Test My Data for Normality? | Ask the Expert

May 16, 2019 Before applying statistical methods that assume normality, it is necessary to perform a normality test on the data. (more…)
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