Quality managers looking to find real insights from pages upon pages of raw quality data might not be successful. But managers with Statistical Process Control (SPC) software will have a leg up.

By stepping back from the individual data logs and using software to aggregate data across all machines, products, lines, shifts, and sites, managers can get high-level visibility that reveals a path to process and quality improvement.

Manufacturers can repurpose that data to see a bigger picture, which helps them identify problematic machines, hours when performance is at its peak, or other variables that stand out and point to underlying factors.

The key isn’t gathering more information but looking at existing information differently. For example: SPC software can translate raw data into raw data in a color-coded chart, which immediately provides visual feedback. Data that falls outside spec shows up as a different color than data within spec, as are measurements that are close to falling out of spec. Looking at your data in a standard control chart alerts quality control managers in real time when their measurements fall out of spec, which leads them to the source of the issue.

Histogram view and box and whisker charts show quality managers raw material levels, for example, and managers can investigate any variations. Similarly, charting multiple key characteristics in a single view shows quality teams the percentage of products that are above target, while an event pareto chart displays aggregated defects and attribute data. These charts each offer users ways to examine potential problem areas and save money.

Scrap and waste are endless challenges in the manufacturing industry, and SPC software helps quality teams reduce both by telling stories with already existing data. Scrap and waste are symptoms of defects, which can be difficult to catch early. However, the alternative — producing faulty products — comes with a high cost: loss of customers, reputation, and money.

To find the source of a defect, manufacturers must ask the right questions of their data. If that data is presented in the right way – through charts that tell a story – it helps users follow a path of helpful questions and answers. Sooner or later, this path will lead to the source of any defects in your production.

Manufacturers turn to statistical process control (SPC) to transform their operations across the enterprise. They start by using SPC where it will make the biggest impact: reducing waste, defects, and rework.