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Process Control

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Chap 2:Statistical process control

• Because of its special characteristic of symmetry, it is convenient to visualize the

normal distribution as being divided into units of standard deviation (referred to as z-

values)

• The formula to convert actual values to z-vales:

where :

= 0, = 1

• The area under the normalized curve:

-1 < z < +1 = 68.3% of the total area

-2 < z < +2 = 95.4% of the total area

-3 < z < +3 = 99.7% of the total area

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Normal Distribution

• Control charts are specialized graphs that provide us with

information in two dimensions:

1. the distribution of the process (average and variance)

2. process trending

LCL: a boundary of 3 below CL

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i. Baseline process performance

ii. Monitor and control process performance

iii. Evaluate measurement systems

iv. Compare multiple processes

v. Compare processes before and after a change

How?

Process Process

Process Process

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• Sample data (sub-group data) is plotted on a control

chart to monitor process stability.

• In a stable process, samples will be randomly

distributed around the center line of the control chart.

This random arrangement of data reflects the normal

variation that we would expect in any process (common

cause variation).

• When the data pattern is not random, it’s a signal that

a process shift has occurred and the process is

unstable (special cause variation).

1. Specify the characteristics that you are interested in

control charting.

2. Specify the type of data that will be used:

a. Discrete: counts, proportions, percentages

b. Continuous: all measurement data e.g. length, vol.,

speed, etc.

3. Define the sampling approach:

a. Specify sample size (sub-group)

b. Specify sampling frequency

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4. Select the appropriate control chart.

5. Begin sampling and charting data on a run chart.

6. Plot the data on the control chart when there is a sufficient

number of individual values or subgroups

a. Attribute control charts: 25 or more

b. Variable control charts: 50 or more

7. Monitor the control chart for process stability. If a special

cause signal occurs, take corrective action as required.

8. Upper and lower control limits should be recalculated

whenever a significant change in the process is implemented

that alters the output of process.

• Attribute control charts are used with proportion and

count data.

• Typically, attribute control charts are used to display

and track proportions or counts for some

characteristic of interest e.g. proportions of non-

conforming product, the number of customers served

etc.

• Type of attribute control charts

1.p-chart 3. c-chart

2.np-chart 4. u-chart

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• Variables control charts are used with continuous

(measurement) data and are normally used to monitor

and control the inputs (x variables) that affect process

performance.

• E.g. length, volume, speed, temperature etc

(MR) chart

subgroups in such a way that each sample can

contain only one value.

• It is impossible to compute a sample range or

sample standard deviation for a sample of size 1 so

some other method is needed to construct control

charts.

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(MR) chart

• It is used in conjunction with individuals chart to monitor process

variation stability.

• Moving range values are calculated by taking the difference

between successive pairs of measurements

• The characteristics of the MR chart:

(MR) chart

predecessor, xi-1 , is calculated as .

as

deviation then the expected value of

=

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(MR) chart

1. Subtract the second data point from the first data point

and record this value. As an example take a data set of {1,

4, 4, 2, 7, 3}. Subtracting the second data point from the

first gives us: 1-4 = -3.

2. Take the absolute value of the result. Continuing the

example: abs(-3) = 3. Record the result as the first entry in

a list.

3. Repeat step 1 and 2 for the rest of the data points starting

by subtracting the third from the second. Again from the

example data set, {1, 4, 4, 2, 7, 3} : {(1-4), (4-4), (4-2), (2-

7), (7-3)} = {-3, 0, 2, -5, 4} = {3, 0, 2, 5, 4}. This list is the

moving range for your data set.

chart

Example

An MR control chart for the customer service center is shown in Fig.

below. Is the hold time variability stable?

normal values for MR are expected to fall between 0.0 sec

(LCL) and 174.1 sec (UCL). The one point that is outside the

UCL was caused by malfunction of telephone switching

equipment

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individual (X) chart

• Individual chart works best when used with data that

is normally distributed (non-normal data should be

transformed to normal).

• When process is under control, both the sample

statistic (mean, range/std. dev.) should fall within the

control limits.

• When either of them is found to have shifted

significantly, undesirable changes in the process may

be occur.

individual (X) chart

• The characteristics of the individual chart:

negative number, a LCL is not placed on the control

chart.

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Example

The manager of a customer service center is interested in improving

customer satisfaction by reduction telephone on-hold time. He decides to

use an individuals chart to assess hold time stability and prepares the

individuals chart shown in Fig. below.

average on-hold time is 248.4 sec. The normal range for

hold time is 106.6 sec (LCL) to 390.1 sec (UCL).

Sub-groups

• It is a sample where all items included in the sample

were produced under very similar conditions. Thus,

ONLY common cause of variation within each of the

sample subgroups is included.

• A special cause signal will occur when the variation

between subgroups is significantly greater than

the variation within sub-groups.

• The selection of good rational subgroups is important

in enabling us to distinguish a “signal” (special cause

variation) from the process noise (common cause

variation).

• The size of subgroups is small, i.e. around 2-5 units.

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• R values measure the variation within sample subgroups.

• R-chart is normally used in conjunction with the chart.

• The characteristics of the R chart:

process is out of control.

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Example

A quality engineer for a metal machining company prepared an R chart

(subgroup = 3) to assess process variation stability of electrode diameter

for a product used in the electroplating industry. Comment on her control

chart.

ranges fall outside of the control limits. The average range for

electrode diameter is 0.3169 cm and the normal process width

for diameter range is 0.000cm (LCL) to 0.8157 cm (UCL)

s-chart

• This chart can be used in place of the R chart.

• In an S chart, the center line and the 3 upper and

lower control limits are given by

3 upper limit = B 4 s

Center line = s

3 lower limit = B3 s

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Example of s-chart

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estimate the process standard deviation and to

determine whether it is in control.

• It seems more natural to estimate the process

standard deviation s than with the range, R. (n < 9)

• In fact, when the population is normal, s is a more

precise estimate of the process standard deviation

than R, because it has smaller uncertainty.

• It follows that the s-chart is a better choice, especially

for larger sample sizes. (n 9)

together with R chart

• It is used to monitor the stability of the process mean.

• Averages of sample subgroups are plotted on the control chart to

provide a display of subgroup-to-subgroup variation.

• It is typically used in moderate high volume production

environments where it makes sense to use sample subgroups

• The characteristics of the chart:

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together with s chart

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Example:

After accessing the within subgroup variation using an R chart,

the quality engineer produced an chart to check the sub-group

to sub-group variability.

The chart shows the

process average fall

outside of the control

limits. The average of

the subgroup averages

for electrode diameter

is 9.6681 cm (x) and the

normal range for

average diameter is

between 9.6681 cm

(LCL) and 9.9923 cm

(UCL)

What type of data do you have?

Variable Attributes

Subgroup size

Defective Defects

P chart C chart

U chart

n>1 n=1 nP chart

I-MR chart

n < 9* n9

X bar chart X bar chart

R chart s chart

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• If a special cause variation occurs, the process should

be studied to determine the cause of the signal.

• If an assignable cause for the problem is identified,

appropriate action should be taken to correct it.

• The following graphs signal a POTENTIAL special cause

signal.

(note: all eight events apply to variable control charts.

Only 1, 4, 7 and 8 are applied to attributed control

charts).

1. An observation occurring more

than 3 units of std. dev. From the

center line, i.e. any points

occurring outside of the lower or

upper control limits.

observations (all on the same side

of the center line) occurring

more than 2 units of standard

deviation away from the center

line.

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3. Four out of five consecutive

observations (all on the same side

of the center line) occurring

more than 1 unit of standard

deviation away from the center

line.

occurring within 3 unit of

standard deviation from the

center line.

5. Fifteen consecutive

observations occurring within 1

unit of standard deviation from

the center line.

occurring that are more than 1

unit of standard deviation from

the center line.

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7. Fourteen consecutive

observations that alternate up

and down.

that trend downward or upward.

Case study 1

E.g. The QC engineer in charge of a salt packaging

process is concerned about the moisture content in the

packages of salt. The primary concern is that variation in

the ambient humidity in the plant may be causing variation

in the mean moisture content in the packages over time.

Table below shows the data taken over a period of time.

Based on these data, establish appropriate control charts

of moisture content in this salt packaging process.

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plotted outside of the control limits. This indicates that there is a

special cause operating and that the process variation is not in

control.

The appropriate action is to determine the nature of the special

cause, and then delete the out-of-control sample and re-compute

the control limits.

Special cause

A technician neglected to close a vent, causing greater than usual

variation in moisture content during the time period when the

sample was chosen.

Then, delete the data point due to special cause

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X is 2.658 .

The sample size, n = 5.

To re-plot X chart, from table A2 = 0.577.

UCL = 2.658 + (0.577)(0.5836) = 2.995;

LCL = 2.658 –(0.577)(0.5836) = 2.321

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• When there is an out of control signal, the process must be stopped and

the special causes remedied.

• Even when a process is in control, the process must be continually

monitored, since new special causes are bound to crop up from time to

time and will need to be detected and corrected.

Note that while control charts can detect the presence of a special cause,

they cannot determine its nature, nor how to correct it.

It is necessary for the process engineer to have a good understanding of

the process, so that special causes detected by control charts can be

diagnosed and corrected.

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humidity and determines that the fluctuations in moisture

content are caused by fluctuations in ambient humidity.

and a new R-chart and X chart are constructed.

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The steps in using the R (s) chart and X chart are

1. Choose rational subgroups.

2. Compute the R (s) chart.

3. Determine the special causes for any out-of-control

points.

4. Recompute the R (s) chart, omitting samples that

resulted in out-of-control points.

5. Once the R (s) chart indicates a state of control,

compute the X chart.

6. If the X chart indicates that the process is not in

control, identify and correct any special causes.

7. Continue to monitor X and R (s).

Remove

sample #

6, then re-

calculate

and re-plot

the s-chart

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933 911 889 882 903 890 892 908 895 916

897 898 915 913 930 940 912 920 920 890

885 900 905 930 890 895 895 896 922 891

900 905 902 900 890 909 896 894 928 920

879 862 873 871 900 915 902 906 926 915

Max 933 911 915 930 930 940 912 920 928 920

Min 879 862 873 871 890 890 892 894 895 890

Range 54 49 42 59 40 50 20 26 33 30 R-bar 40.3

X-double

X-bar 898.8 895.2 896.8 899.2 902.6 909.8 899.4 904.8 918.2 906.4 bar 903.12

R-chart X bar-chart

out IF sample #9 is outlier.

(10%)

out-of-control points.

2. Recompute the R (s)/X bar- chart,

omitting samples that resulted in out-

of-control points.

26

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