Statistical Process Control and Quality Improvement

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What is Statistical Process Control? The control process detects and takes action on sporadic quality problems; the improvement process identifies and takes action on chronic quality problems. In the control process, statistical control charts detect the existence of special causes of variation that result in sporadic problems. The charts show sample data falling beyond statistical control limits, i.e., the process is “out of statistical …

5 Things You Need To Know About Lean Six Sigma

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Many of you reading this blog are undoubtedly recognized experts regarding Lean Six Sigma methodologies, tools, and applications. I, however, continue to receive requests both nationally and internationally to explain the origins of these improvement methodologies; their differences and similarities; which to use for success; and the strategic advantages of each. For practical matters, Lean Six Sigma can be traced …

Guide to Statistical Control Charts

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What is a Statistical Control Chart? A statistical control chart compares process performance data to computed “statistical control limits,” drawn as limit lines on the chart. The process performance data usually consist of groups of measurements (rational subgroups) from the regular sequence of production while preserving the order of the data. A prime objective of a control chart is detecting special (or assignable) …

Lean Manufacturing

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What is lean manufacturing? Lean manufacturing is the process of designing manufacturing systems to reduce costs by eliminating product and process waste. The emphasis is on eliminating nonvalue-added activities such as producing a defective product, excess inventory charges due to work-in-process and finished goods inventory, excess internal and external transportation of product, excessive inspection, and idle time of equipment or workers due to poor …

The Ultimate Guide to Cause and Effect Diagrams

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What is a “Cause and Effect Diagram”? A cause-effect diagram is a visual tool used to logically organize possible causes for a specific problem or effect by graphically displaying them in increasing detail, suggesting causal relationships among theories. A popular type is also referred to as a fishbone or Ishikawa diagram. Cause-Effect can also be diagrammed using a tree diagram. …

Pareto Analysis Examples

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What is a Pareto Analysis? Pareto analysis is a ranked comparison of factors related to a quality problem. It helps identify and focus on the vital few factors. Historical Evolution of the Pareto Analysis Pareto analysis gets its name from the Italian-born economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), who observed that a relative few people held the majority of the wealth. Pareto …

Guide to Failure Mode and Effect Analysis – FMEA

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What is a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)? Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic method for identifying possible failures that pose the greatest overall risk for the process, product, or service. It depends on identifying: Failure mode: One of the ways in which a product can fail; one of its possible deficiencies or defects Effect of failure: The consequences …

What is a Kanban?

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What is a Kanban? In a value stream, a Kanban is a signal; usually a ‘card’ authorizing production or delivery of required products or services, which is initiated by consumption from down-stream operations. Kanbans are used most often in the ordering of supplies because they keep costs low. How to Create a Kanban Card Create a Kanban card for a product or service …

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

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History of Total Productive Maintenance The origins of TPM are in the expansion of maintenance into a more comprehensive view with increased employee involvement. Equipment maintenance was formerly carried out by the operation. After work became more organized and specialized, preventive maintenance was turned over to specialists. This was typically a small group of highly trained individuals who could fix nearly any problem with …

Process Capability: Formulas & Implementation

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How do you find process capability? Identify the process subjects for measurement. Establish units of measure, sensors, and upper and lower specification limits for the selected subjects. Operate the process through a number of cycles. (A minimum of 40 observations without any assignable causes are usually needed.) Identify and remove any observations that are out of control as the result of assignable causes. Construct …