What is SPC?
In today’s competitive environment, the quality of the products you produce affect your global competitiveness. To efficiently manage the quality of products they deliver, companies apply methods of Statistical Process Control (SPC).
Manufacturing is not precise. During production, variations occur anytime and are often hard to accurately predict. Statisticians have developed statistical methods that monitor and control a process. SPC is used to help uncover and minimize variations in the production process. Your set parameters, or specification limits, are used to determine the quality of the product you manufacture. These set parameters are boundaries set by your customer that allow you to distinguish an acceptable product from a nonacceptable product. As you are manufacturing products, taking samples and recording the data, each data point is compared with your specification limits on a run chart.
As you collect sample data at each step in the production process, you will be able to recognize common cause and special cause variations. You can view control charts with upper and lower control limits based on the production process. From this data, you can determine if a characteristic is in statistical control, spot when a characteristic is trending towards being out-of-control, and immediately take corrective action without affecting the end product. This easily allows you to determine and improve the stability of your process.
Comparing a set of specifications to the natural operating range of our production process shows us how well an in-control process meets the customer requirements. The Cp and Cpk are capabililty indices which make this comparison easy. Both indices are ratios of the natural operating range of your process compared to the set specifications. The Cp index shows you if your measurements are conforming to a normal distribution. The Cpk index shows you whether or not your process is on target. Cp and Cpk together tell you how capable your production process is of consistently producing a product according to your customer specifications.
What is SPC Software?
Manually gathering data can be time consuming. However, using real-time SPC software, you can automate the data collection process. “With Synergy 2000, operators take the measurements and push a button and the data is saved and available for review instantly,” said Bob Hyland, Process Engineer, for Acme Aerospace.
SPC software also benefits quality personnel, engineering and management staff by providing them instant insight into production. “Using the Synergy 1000 SPC software is a lot more user friendly, because you can run SPC in real-time. Now if anything goes out-of-specification, I get an email notification at my desk instead of having to physically be on the shop floor. In the past, we wouldn’t know if we were trending towards being out-of-control or not,” said Brian Brooks, VP of Operations for Domestic Fastener & Forge, Inc. (DFFI).
The quality of the products your suppliers deliver to you affects your overall quality as well. With the Synergy 2000 SPC software you can manage the quality of your suppliers’ products. “We now have the ability to give a supplier a screen shot and tell them that they need to adjust the chemicals in their plating tanks in real-time,” said Dan Heimann Quality Manager for MASS Precision.
Using the SPC software also means you can provide documentation immediately for the customer. “Sometimes we are asked to send materials directly to the ship yards. These are usually orders with a fast turnaround. Because the data is readily available in the Synergy 2000 SPC software, we can provide all the documentation quickly along with the products we are shipping out,” said Bob Batsche, Quality Manager for Carlisle & Finch Co.
SPC software enables a company to prevent defects before they occur. SPC software results in savings for the company by:
- Reducing scrap
- Reducing rework
- Increasing user productivity
- Efficiently managing the lifecycle of your machines
- Developing new products with existing equipment
Sounds interesting? Check out the Synergy Product Suite for the product that would fit your business.