Quality Exclusives

Off Topic Quality: Working Toward Six Sigma Goals

Kraft Foods is working toward Six Sigma goals with new software that makes it easy to analyze Zarpac Performance Index (ZPI) data. By creating a direct link between ZPI manufacturing performance data and projects, the system eliminates the time-consuming process of manually collecting and transferring data.

Kraft Foods is quickly and effectively working toward Six Sigma goals with a new software that enables it to analyze Zarpac Performance Index (ZPI) data with Minitab Statistical Software. The ZPI-Minitab Link blends the data collection and analysis capabilities of Zarpac Performance Index with the statistical capabilities of Minitab, a data analysis software used for quality improvement.

Zarpac Performance Index Inc. is an internationally recognized solution provider bringing innovative process performance improvement and manufacturing intelligence software to packaging, manufacturing and processing companies. The company’s flagship software suite provides data collection and analysis tools that Minitab says have helped customers around the globe save millions of dollars.

The ZPI-Minitab Link was developed in response to a request from Zarpac customer Kraft Foods, who wanted an easier way to take the data collected in ZPI and analyze it in Minitab.

By creating a direct link between ZPI manufacturing performance data and any Minitab project, the system eliminates the time-consuming process of manually collecting and transferring data. “This effectively ends the days of cumbersome tabular data manipulation, saving time, money, and enabling Six Sigma projects to get off the ground in record time,” says Paul Mancini, director of marketing and innovation at ZPI.

Using ZPI’s Minitab Link wizard, users are able to create new Minitab projects by selecting the required data and options. As a project progresses, the wizard can automatically update and maintain the project with the most recent production data, saving even more time in the control stage of the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) process.

“Minitab already gives users the power they need to understand their data,” says Michelle Paret, product marketing manager at Minitab Inc. “The ZPI-Minitab Link combines that power with ZPI’s formidable capabilities in a way that will make life easier for quality improvement professionals at Kraft and many other organizations.”

The time saved by the Minitab Link can be effectively applied back into Six Sigma activities, increasing the effectiveness of continuous improvement teams and speeding the entire project process significantly.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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