Statistical process control (SPC) charts are used in quality-focused facilities to monitor process output on a continual basis and alert process operators, managers and the support staff in real-time when the process is shifting towards an undesirable condition. This rapid response provides a cost-effective approach to defect detection, and many cases defect prevention, to keep orders on-time and within cost estimates. SPC charts are essential tools for implementing lean just-in-time, since low or no inventory requires the predictability that a capable, statistically controlled process can reliably deliver.
When disruptions are detected in the process, it’s critical that process operators have the tools available to them to quickly diagnose and correct the issues. Most SPC software has features built-in to accommodate these needs, so it’s not surprising that the paper-based systems of the past have been replaced by modern, almost futuristic systems that can monitor the process with minimal input needed from process operators. Data can be electronically submitted via serial ports or seamlessly linked from coordinate measurement machines (CMM) or other measurement systems.