January 2, 2018
The Top Benefits of Statistical Process Control: Part Two
When it comes to manufacturing operations, too much information is never a bad thing. After all, gaining real-time insight into your manufacturing quality control processes is paramount as it can be just the thing to prevent you from incurring unexpected costs that result from process breakdowns and product quality issues.
In Top Benefits of Statistical Process Control: Part One, we explored some of the chief benefits that operators on the shop floor can get from statistical process control. SPC is the scientific, data-driven method for quality analysis and continuous improvement that allows you to catch manufacturing process issues early and prevent them from turning into serious problems.
In Part Two, we explore additional benefits of modern SPC software solutions, which produce visual information in the form of control charts to reveal abnormalities in manufacturing processes.
In addition to providing actionable information for correcting issues in real-time, SPC-based control charts also reveal information that supports better, data-driven decision making across all levels of the manufacturing organization.
1. Control charts provide operational insight for critical stakeholders
From operators to engineers to managers to executives, control charts offer a variety of information for all the key stakeholders involved in the creation of a manufactured good.
When control charts draw SPC-based data from a central, unified data repository, they can bring together data in ways that provides actionable insight into whether a process needs to be amended. Aggregated data can help an engineer improve a process at a later date. And more sophisticated box and whisker and Pareto charts offer managers a holistic view of the entire plant floor—or even across multiple plants.
Control charts solve a critical need for a variety of groups tasked with manufacturing quality control, enabling them to make decisions based on concrete numbers rather than assumptions.
2. Data accessibility and visibility levels the playing field
Without access to data, operators, engineers, and managers may evolve their skills and methods based on opinions and “instinct.” Although many experienced manufacturing workers have good instincts, control charts will likely validate what they have always known to be the truth.
However, not everyone is “an expert at reading the tea leaves of their processes,” says Steve Wise, vice president of Statistical Methods for InfinityQS. Therefore, he says, control charts “give the novices and the new people access to the same information and skills instantaneously.”
Control charts not only level the playing field but also validate the truth of what people have known and dispel myths about processes. When everyone has access to the same data and is on the same page, decision making is better across the organization.