The next time you are walking through a store, take a moment to stop and look around. It can be any store, really, as long as there are products that line the shelves or showroom. Think about the level of care that went into inspecting each product that is for sale.
Companies ensure the quality and safety of the products that they release to consumers through the use of statistical quality control—that is, quality that's measured and improved through the methodical use of statistical analysis. More commonly known as statistical process control (SPC), this methodology was in use long before computers; however, today most companies use SPC software to inspect their products.
Advantages of Statistical Quality Control
According to an article written by Matthew Littlefield of LNS Research and published by AutomationWorld, SPC software provides the collection, analysis, visualization, and workflow capabilities of data. This data helps to minimize variability during production. As the article states, the primary users of SPC today are machine operators, manufacturing supervisors, Six Sigma project managers and continuous improvement professionals.
Here are some reasons why every manufacturing facility should use SPC software to oversee the production of the goods that they create:
1. Prevent recalls from happening.
When a faulty product escapes out of the factory and into a consumer’s hand, it’s bad enough. But when it happens on a large scale and it goes unnoticed, the results can be catastrophic for your organization. InfinityQS ProFicient™ software can detect production errors as they occur, halt the manufacturing process and alert you before it is too late.
2. Re-evaluate set production processes to increase efficiency.
ProFicient software allows data to stream in real-time to a central quality control hub. Armed with real-time data, you will be able to alter specific aspects of your production as you need to. This will increase efficiency and grant you maximum control over your process. Production efficiency cannot be maximized until you completely understand your process—and SPC software is the tool that will allow this understanding to take place.
3. Generate complete confidence in your product.
Thanks to the advantages of statistical process control, executives will no longer have to wait for monthly reports to understand their production value. ProFicient software provides fast and accurate comfort so that you and your stakeholders can confidently move forward with your organization’s plans without having to ever question the quality of what you are producing.
Of course, these advantages of statistical quality control are the goals of all manufacturing organizations. How does SPC software support these benefits?
Uses of SPC run through every level of the organization, into the very minute-by-minute processes on every production line—and extend to the 30,000-foot view required by C-level executives.
At its most basic, SPC software enables the collection of relevant, meaningful quality data in real time at specific points along the production or assembly line. Line operators and plant floor managers can also access this detailed data in real time to make instant adjustments to the quality of products. In this way, they can identify issues as they happen and prevent them from escalatng so that end customers never receive a sub-par product.
All the data that are collected in real time don't cease to be useful after those products leave the shop floor. In fact, data collected over time can be rolled up and accessed through a centralized unified data repository, enabling quality professionals and facility supervisors to meet some of the most important objectives of statistical quality control: supporting continuous improvement over time and revealing opportunities for cost savings, reduced waste, improved workflow, and greater efficiencies.
At the top level, Six Sigma professionals and executives can use historical SPC data for predictive analytics, comparing quality control data across lines, products, processes, and sites to determine where performance is highest--and where improvements can yield dramatic improvements in profitability.
The advantages of statistical quality control are far reaching, touching nearly every part of a manufacturing organization--and making possible the products we trust and buy every day.