October 11, 2013
Real-Time SPC delivers efficiency and productivity gains by eliminating manual data collection efforts, but its real power lies in the ability promote continuous improvement and identify out-of-control process parameters.
Manufacturers will forever face two competing challenges: improving quality and lowering costs. Together, these areas can be quantified by measuring the cost of quality metric. Although there are a number of ways to either improve quality or lower costs, some of today’s most innovative market leaders are doing both with investments in cutting-edge technology like Real-Time SPC.
Real-Time SPC delivers efficiency and productivity gains by eliminating manual data collection efforts, but its real power lies in the ability promote continuous improvement and identify out-of-control process parameters. Below, we’ll examine 5 ways market leaders are using Real-Time SPC to enable continuous quality improvement and lower the cost of quality.
- Provides Visibility into Supplier Activities: The lines between in-house and upstream operations are blurring with the rising adoption of Cloud-based supplier quality portals for sharing Real-Time SPC data. The technology enables two-way communication and collaboration, which is driving down costs associated with non-conformances and improving first-time quality.
- Improves Successful New Product Introductions (NPI): By monitoring production in Real-Time with SPC, new products and the processes used to make them can be tested and ramped to volume more effectively. Manufacturing, engineering, and procurement can all benefit from this data, transforming NPI cycle times into a competitive advantage.
- Empowers Shop-Floor Workers: Shop-floor productivity, engaging operators, and reducing variability in production processes have traditionally been reliant on supervisors and manual line checks to identify and resolve quality issues. With Real-Time SPC, operators and other shop-floor personnel can be trained to make on-the-spot improvements to processes based on automated data collection and real-time analytics.
- Puts a Dollar Figure to Out-of-Control Processes: Nothing gets more executive and operator attention than being able to see an impact to the bottom line in manufacturing operations. By integrating Real-Time SPC with ERP financial data, a non-conformance or out-of-control process can be quantified with actual material costs. Reducing instances of process deviations over time can validate such investments in the cost of good quality and be the catalyst for increasing budgets to fund similar investments in the future.
- Drives Enterprise-Wide Continuous Improvement Efforts: Combining Real-Time data collection with the analytics found within most of today’s SPC solutions helps to analyze and compare performance of facilities and end-to-end processes across the global manufacturing footprint. It’s also a critical tool for continuous improvement professionals, providing them with the ability to mine data and identify trends over periods of time as well as throughout geographies. Many continuous improvement programs fall short with a lack of trust in the data and the ability to make comparisons across lines, products, or facilities. Real-Time SPC can add confidence to the “Assess” and “Evaluate” portions of continuous improvement, ensuring long-term sustainability of those programs.
If you’re searching for strategic ways to cut costs and improve quality, an investment in Real-Time SPC may just be your answer. Our recent report, Reducing the Cost of Quality With Real-Time SPC, dives deeper into this topic, sharing recent benchmark data and putting the use of Real-Time SPC in the context of LNS Research’s Model of Operational Excellence. By reading the report, technology decision makers will have a roadmap for quantifying and capturing the value of Real-Time SPC and getting the most out of shop floor data.
By Matthew Littlefield, President & Principal Analyst at LNS Research
About DataNet Quality Systems
DataNet Quality Systems empowers manufacturers to improve products, processes, and profitability through real-time statistical software solutions. The company’s vision is to deliver trusted and capable technology solutions that allow manufacturers to create the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost. DataNet’s flagship product, WinSPC, provides statistical decision-making at the point of production and delivers real-time, actionable information to where it is needed most. With over 2500 customers worldwide and distributors across the globe, DataNet is dedicated to delivering a high level of customer service and support, shop-floor expertise, and training in the areas of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing services.