Quality Progress - January 2016 - (Page 55)
BACK TO BASICS
BY SCOTT A. LAMAN
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Six obstacles threaten statistical process control success
STATISTICAL PROCESS control (SPC)
processes selected for SPC should be up-
mination: Once the process is demonstrat-
has provided significant cost savings for
wardly traceable to an important company
ed to be stable, the data can be compared
companies that are fortunate enough to
metric, such as overall cost of quality,
to a specification. Capability indexes are
implement it fully. Implementation chal-
customer complaints or yield. Processes
calculated, and the results should meet
lenges, however, can waylay the best of
can be chosen based on whether they
company requirements. If the process is not
produce high percentage of sales or profit
capable, several options exist:
margin, or exhibit a gap between current
* Improve the process.
and expected performance.
* Change the specification.
When you consider the steps needed
to begin using productive control charts,
certain critical hurdles become apparent.
Hurdle 3-Variable selection:
These hurdles apply to all SPC programs,
Critical process outputs need to be first
whether pencil and paper or automated,
identified, because SPC can be applied
and whether simple or complex analytical
techniques are employed.
Hurdle 1-Adequate training: After
management support for the overall SPC
program is obtained and the program's
* Make a business decision to accept the
* Do not make the product.
Implementation challenges can
overcome the best of intentions.
purpose is publicized, training must be
done. At least three levels of training are
to these outputs to protect the customer.
* Comprehension training for upper
Hurdle 6-Benefits demonstration:
Typically, outputs are product characteris-
In cost-of-quality terms, SPC is a prevention
management, so the reasons for SPC
tics, such as tensile strength, appearance
cost. Implementing the program is an invest-
can be defended, supported and tied to
or dimensions. Critical process inputs are
ment that will pay dividends later. The cost
the bottom line.
then identified, often through an analytical
savings created by SPC should be calculated
tool or matrix that quantitatively allows
and publicized, stating reductions in:
who are responsible for the processes
prioritization by defining the importance
* External failure cost of customer
and products that require the control
and strength of the relationships between
inputs and outputs.
* Competency training for engineers
Hurdle 4-Process stability veri-
* Awareness training for operators who
* Internal failure costs of rework and process yield, including material and labor.
* Appraisal cost of final inspection.
are responsible for the day-to-day main-
fication: Process instability will create
tenance of the charts. Operators need
out-of-control points, leading to numer-
Ultimately, a better understanding of a
to be able to collect the required data
ous corrective actions. If the process is
company's processes through SPC should
and react to what the resulting control
not stable, an investigation should be
lead to higher profits, better job security
chart data indicates.
performed to determine and correct the
and more opportunity for all employees.
The participants' comprehension of the
assignable cause. Careful data collection
By identifying and clearing these hurdles,
training should be verified, and rewards
is of the utmost importance, as is expert
the chance of long-term success is much
can be given to all who demonstrate an
analysis to ensure the absence of unusual
understanding of the techniques.
trends and unexplainable data points.
Hurdle 2-Process definition: The
READ MORE ABOUT THE BASICS
Hurdle 5-Process capability deter-
Visit www.qualityprogress.com to read more Back to Basics articles on topics
such as root cause analysis, data collection and fishbone diagrams.
SCOTT A. LAMAN is a global quality
systems senior manager for Teleflex
Medical Inc. in Reading, PA. He
earned a master's degree in chemical
engineering from Syracuse University.
He is a senior member of ASQ and is
a certified quality engineer, reliability
engineer, quality manager, Six Sigma
Black Belt and quality auditor.
January 2016 * QP 55
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016
According to Plan
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Quality Progress - January 2016