In every area of manufacturing, quality and time are valuable commodities. Perhaps that’s one reason statistical process control (SPC) solutions have been essential to manufacturers across industries for decades. SPC analysis offers the ability to ensure not just improved product quality but also better process efficiency—which is something that every manufacturing organization needs.
The problem is that many SPC software products struggle to move beyond just data collection and charting to offer truly insightful data analysis.
What does it take to move beyond these basics? To reveal trends and enable proactive, strategic analysis, quality pros in many organizations are forced to export data into spreadsheets and run manual comparisons. Or they purchase expensive add-on modules or external analysis programs for their legacy systems and export data into those.
It’s a clunky way to do business. It’s outdated. And it doesn’t address the needs of today’s fast-paced manufacturers.
Additionally, those workarounds add up to extra time and work for quality managers, plant managers, IT staff, and executives. There’s a better way to take SPC to the next level and:
- Fully utilize the data you already collect
- Provide thoughtful analysis that leads to valuable insights
- Illuminate ways to improve your operations
- Utilize your valuable resources to achieve transformational results
Better SPC Analysis for Proactive Quality Control
The foundational benefit of statistical methods is predicting future behavior from historical data. That’s why control charts, box and whisker plots, Pareto charts, and the like are so valuable—they indicate that if processes are not changed, then performance (positive or negative) will continue as-is.
The importance of analysis of manufacturing operations can’t be overstated. Over the years, manufacturers have used statistical tools to study historical data to reveal information regarding unique differences between comparable items: shifts, products, machines, processes, plants, lot codes, and more.
Historical information forms the foundation for specifying performance differences between comparable items and determining whether those differences are consistent over time. Control charts are brilliant tools for assessing performance over time, and their related “control limits” are predictions of normal future behavior.
But SPC data holds so much more. It can deliver quality intelligence.
Using SPC to Address Business Needs
To get a real grip on quality data, it’s time to consider what you really need from analysis:
- The ability to quickly identify and solve issues that crop up on the production line
- The means to head off issues as soon as possible—ideally before they cause wasted product
- A way to quickly access, analyze, and communicate data in response to executive, customer, or auditor requests
- Insight to determine how to make production run as smoothly and efficiently as possible—as close to full capacity as possible
To meet these requirements, your quality intelligence solution should enable you to easily find exactly the data you want, from any time period you specify. The solution should let you view your data in multiple ways, comparing products, production lines, or even sites or the entire enterprise. Most important, you should be able to make these comparisons without manually juggling multiple spreadsheets.
The key to this level of analysis is centralized and standardized data. The problem is that although many systems claim to use a “centralized database,” their underlying database technology isn’t up to the task of truly unifying your data in a way that enables extensive and complex comparisons.
Modern SPC Analysis for Modern Manufacturing
In contrast, InfinityQS Enact® and ProFicient™ quality intelligence solutions are built on a database—a unified, centralized data repository—that enables the following:
- both real-time and historical analysis
- comparisons across products, lines, sites, and more
- big-picture analysis, with the ability to dive into details
- complex data analysis in response to almost any query, from directly within the software
See Only What You Need
In fact, Enact goes so as far as to filter dashboard data according to role and responsibilities, so you are automatically alerted to the information that matters most to you at any given moment. Want to see more details? No problem: You can drill in for a more granular view at any time. There’s no need to export data or manually flip through charts or spreadsheets.
This increased flexibility in the way you view quality data can return valuable time to your operations and quality teams:
- Say goodbye to digging through data or walking the shop floor to find the information you need.
- Run analyses and comparisons of any data, right from within Enact or ProFicient.
- Gain the ability to catch out-of-spec processes immediately and pinpoint variances that occur even when processes are in-spec.
Turn to InfinityQS
Our software products are here for exactly what manufacturers need: to analyze data, identify differences in performance, and share that information with users so that corrective actions can be put in place to improve overall performance and quality. In short, our solutions offer manufacturers the ability to transform quality performance across shifts, production lines, plants, regions, and across the enterprise.
Want to learn more about the benefits of strategic, automated data analysis? The free white paper Moving Away from Manual Processes provides tips for modernizing your quality data approach. Read it today.