Statistical Process Control (SPC) Software, like the Synergy Product Suite, that includes statistical methods to help a company prevent errors before they occur, to monitor and control processes so they run efficiently.


Why SPC Software Matters Part 3

Each and every important decision we are faced with needs to be based on a true and accurate representation of the facts. If decisions are based on questionable interpretation, the consequences can be significant. Choosing an SPC software solution, as a partner in your business, should be no different. Don’t fall victim to a solution that contains outdated technology or has been over promised. Your decision should be based on choosing a current solution that is rooted in strong SPC fundamentals, methodologies and applies SPC rules correctly.

While it may be easy to say the cost of a poor choice may be “cost” itself, it goes far beyond the economic impact. Yes, everything does eventually lead back to financial loss, but the impact can also be felt in five critical aspects of your business if the SPC methodology and rules are incorrectly applied. We will outline those areas of your business.

1. Product/Process

Defects, scrap, and rework are unfortunately often dismissed as a “cost of doing business” and measured in relative terms. These costs are real and can easily multiply due to the time it may take to rework and/or start over. By utilizing a sound SPC methodology, continuous improvement would naturally lead to a steady improvement in this most obvious vacuum of resources.

2. Time and Productivity

Another major consequence of using SPC incorrectly can be the affect it has on time management and productivity. This can be seen in terms of being “reactive vs. proactive”, time spent on making unnecessary adjustments, problem solving, production being shut down, decreased efficiency, incorrect identification of root cause, focusing on the wrong area of the process, or over-adjustment to production.

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Why SPC Software Matters Part 2

Statistical methods are employed to continually improve process performance and efficiency. Statistical Process Control is applied when analyzing a process to correctly identify special cause from common cause variations. When identified incorrectly, one is either over adjusting by correcting for common causes or not taking action for special cause which leads to an unpredictable process and decreased efficiency. An effective means of detection must be employed that follows the standard SPC methodologies and rules.

When looking at SPC software it is critical to look below the surface. Care should be taken to ensure that the software adheres to the fundamentals of SPC. Assuming that a software employs correct methods of detection and calculations can be a very costly mistake. Key questions should be asked when looking at different SPC software vendors regarding the standards followed, statistical methods employed, as well as other capabilities of the software.

Control and Specification Limits

When monitoring SPC variable data there are two sets of limits defined, specification limits and control limits. Specification and control limits are distinct values that should not be viewed as one and the same. Specification limits are determined by customer requirements and determines if the product is acceptable to ship. A run chart is used to compare each individual observation value with the specification limits.

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Why SPC Software Matters Part 1

Zontec began and has continued to work with customers in live production environments to develop SPC software that not only meets their customers’ needs but also serves as a competitive advantage. We have a proven history and track record that our methodologies and rules are correct. Fundamental to our philosophy is that we enable our customers to build superior products, minimize the impact of production errors on consumers to benefit the society as a whole.

  1. Zontec started by training manufacturers on the production floor the correct SPC methodologies and rules. Zontec immediately recognized that what manufacturers needed was SPC software engineered in a logical, consistent and easy-to-use manner that enabled all levels of the organization (operators, engineers, managers as well as mid and upper management) to immediately view the status of production.
  2. Zontec also recognized that all user levels needed to understand the fundamentals of Statistical Process Control (SPC) to see how it could help them identify problems before they affect the production process. When detecting incorrectly these conditions could have dire consequences for the business. That is why Zontec wrote The Book of SPC.
  3. Recognizing that different sized companies have different needs, Zontec developed the Synergy SPC Software Product Suite.
  4. As industry needs and technology changed, Zontec has consistently kept pace and in some cases predicted what would be needed. Zontec has rewritten its software numerous times over the years to take advantage of new technology to enable its customers to integrate new equipment, new measurement devices and new automation tools into the production process easily.
  5. This has resulted in Zontec being the leading-edge SPC software provider that accommodates the ever-changing production environment. For example, when an out-of-specification and/or out-of-control condition occurs, automatic emails are sent to appropriate personnel immediately.
  6. Because we recognize that technology and production environments are ever-changing, Zontec is committed to an aggressive product development schedule for each of its products. The Synergy software is created, tested, documented and totally supported within the company. This gives Zontec complete control over the product development of our products.
  7. Under the annual service agreement, if the customer decides to upgrade to the next level of the Synergy Product Suite, they can do so at minimal cost through our 100% Investment Retention program. They will be able to access all their previous data in the new product, minimizing production interruptions.

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Can SPC Software Do More Than Just Meet AIAG Requirements for Suppliers in the Automotive Industry?

Quality in the automotive industry has made big news over the last few years. With an average of 200 recalls a year, the automotive industry has a challenge when it comes to quality. Now more than ever, the credibility of the industry is on the line.

That is why the auto industry developed the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in 1982 as a not-for-profit association where professionals from a diverse group of stakeholders work collaboratively to streamline industry processes via global standards and harmonize business practices. AIAG standards are involved in the production of virtually every car in the United States, as well as the international production of American automotive companies. With 750 member companies covering every step of the supply chain, AIAG standards define the industry.

AIAG has made Statistical Process Control (SPC) a requirement for supplying the US automotive companies. Implemented well, SPC software can enable suppliers to profitably meet their automotive customers requirements.

Putting in place a high quality SPC software product will not only meet these AIAG requirements, but also enable your company to eliminate scrap, reduce rework, maximize employee productivity, and proactively look at areas for improvement. Through:

  • Maintaining your desired Sigma level
  • Monitoring more closely the lifecycle of your equipment
  • Reducing your customer defects to zero
  • Using your SPC data to test out the viability of improvements to the production line
  • Working closely with your suppliers to prevent rejects before they occur

Here is one example. Grakon LLC is a global leader in the design and development of advanced lighting systems and engineered trim components for premier Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) vehicle manufacturers. Don Bartlett, Director of Quality and Customer Service for Grakon LLC uses Synergy 3000 to meet their AIAG capability requirements.

“Typically, the standard is a Cpk of 1.67, however, our internal goal is to be greater than 2,” Barlett said. ”Synergy 3000 has really helped us with quality system compliance, and continuous improvement.”

United Gear and Assembly Interviewed in Gear Technology for Using SPC Software to Increase Productivity

A photo of an operator at United Gear & Assembly using Synergy 2000 SPC software.

United Gear and Assembly using Synergy 2000 SPC software on the shop floor.

United Gear and Assembly and Zontec were highlighted in the in the March/April issue of Gear Technology. The article talks about how United Gear and Assembly is using Synergy to generate new business!

In the article Douglas Winfrey, Director of Quality for United Gear and Assembly, says that with the Synergy Statistical Process Control (SPC) software you can talk to customers about new business. “I have been in meetings at the customer’s location where we are discussing a new product. Synergy SPC software gives us the ability to log into our server, show them the exact machine that would be used to produce the new product, what tolerance the machine is currently running and the capability history of that machine,” Winfrey said. “This type of information shows the customer what they need to see before moving forward. Synergy provides us that edge to win the business.”

See the attached PDF!
Zontec and United Gear and Assembly

Or see the article below in the magazine online! The article begins the product news section of the magazine!
Quality Assurance Gains on the Manufacturing Floor: Zontec’s SPC Software Increases Productivity for Gear Manufacturer