May 21, 2013
The Top Benefits of Statistical Process Control: Part One
No matter the line of business you are in—from retail to hospitality to technology to finance—it’s imperative to prevent business-related problems before they occur. That can be something as simple as avoiding the loss of one of your customers to poor customer service to precluding the botched manufacturing job of one of your flagship offerings.
Thankfully, when it comes to the latter, there are enhanced methods that companies can employ to assure manufacturing quality control—such as statistical process control. Statistical process control refers to a scientific, data-driven method for quality analysis and improvement that allows you to prevent problems from occurring. One such example is creating control charts—or visual diagrams that track floor processes and detect when processes fluctuate.
Today, we explore the top benefits of control charts.
1. Reduce the margin of error: Because control charts allow operators to detect manufacturing problems before they occur, this greatly reduces the need for product rework or additional product expenditures to fix an offering. “Control charts serve as the early warning detection system, telling you that now is the time to go in and make a change. That way, you don’t finish the whole run only to find out you should have made some adjustments three hours ago and now have to eat the costs associated with this problem,” Steve Wise, vice president of Statistical Methods for InfinityQS, says.
2. Prevent over-tampering: It is just as important to know when your process is running inefficiently as it is to know when it is running smoothly. Specifically, when trying to detect if problems exist, operators can quite frequently over-tamper with a process that was running correctly, which can lead to more variances. After analyzing a control chart, operators need to determine whether to “do something” (i.e. adjust a behavior in the process) or “do nothing,” (i.e. let the process run as is). Oftentimes, learning that they can do nothing prevents operators from over-tampering with their processes.
Check back next week for Part Two, exploring other benefits associated with statistical process control.
Edited by Gerald Baldino