Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a methodology used to measure and control quality during manufacturing.
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SPC is used under the Control phase of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control). The Control phase of DMAIC involves controlling processes with the aim of retaining the process optimization achieved through DMAIC. For controlling processes under Lean Six Sigma, Statistical Process Control is used along with other methodologies.
How Does Statistical Process Control Work
Process measurement is conducted in real-time to control a process. The data collected is used to determine the capacity of the process and for setting up of the control limits of a process. If a process is operating under the control limits, then the optimization achieved through process optimization is being sustained. If not, measures must be taken to detect and eliminate defects causing a process to function less than its capacity.
Benefits of Statistical Process Control
Statistical Process Control is preferred over other methods of quality control because it allows early detection of problems. SPC can detect bottlenecks, areas of waste such as waiting, delays, etc. As SPC identifies errors early and prevents defects from growing larger and causing damage, it leads to the following advantages:
- Lowering of the cost of manufacturing
- Sustaining the optimization achieved in processes
- Improving productivity of processes by identifying and preventing errors
- Reducing variability
- Reducing waste
- Providing real-time data to help decision-making
- Preventing and identifying defects
SPC allows a company to lower costs while sustaining the improvement achieved through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma. This tool is one of the many tools used in Lean Six Sigma to identify and remove errors, enhance process productivity, and sustain the productivity achieved. Along with SPC, other methods such as capability analysis, defect controls, Lean controls, and Six Sigma control plans are also used to sustain the results achieved through Lean Six Sigma.
Control Quality using Statistical Process Control
If your company is suffering from quality issues, then you need to first establish the cause for variation or deterioration in quality. DMAIC methodology for process optimization under Lean Six Sigma helps companies to detect and prevent errors, gather relevant data to establish baselines, implement the planned improvements, and control processes to sustain the improvements made. This leads to drastic enhancement in the productivity of a process, enhancement in quality due to defect removal, and lowering of costs due to the elimination of waste.
The use of Lean Six Sigma is widespread because it is a scientific, data-driven set of methodologies that lead to drastic lowering of variability in processes, reduction in waste, and elimination of errors. Companies have been able to substantially reduce their costs of production while improving the quality of their end product/service by implementing Lean Six Sigma.
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