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Why Do We Need Statistics Anyway? Capable and Stable Processes

Summary: Why are statistics so important? Zontec explains the uses and how it relates to SPC Software.

November 17, 2017 | Articles

This is an picture of a capability chart showing how close to Six Sigma the data is.

Why statistics? Because they are possibly the most useful tool we have to understand what might happen.

Statistics make it possible for us to make fairly accurate predictions with small groups of data. It is not possible to predict individual events but statistics will give insight to the overall results. But let’s dig deeper on why do we need statistics anyway?

Predicting the future?

For example, no one can predict how long a person will live. An accident or illness could happen tomorrow, or the person may live to be 100 years old. Life insurance companies, however, can accurately predict what percent of the population will live to be 50, 60, 70 and beyond. This is the type of information that we need about our production process.

“To measure is to know.”

James Clerk Maxwell

Statistics let us make estimates about the future without knowing all the possible results. For example, no one has measured all the people in the United States, but we know the average height. We predict the average by sampling a small part of the population and applying what we learn from it to the whole population.

Statistics deals with two areas: the past and the future. We use statistics to summarize past events so we can understand them. We then use this summary to make predictions about the future. Statistical process control (SPC) applies this to process control allowing us to predict the future course of the process and its output based on what has happened in the past.

How can manufacturers predict the quality of the products they produce?

Statistics are beneficial to manufacturers because variation is present in all processes. If you apply statistics to quality data, you will better understand your manufacturing process and the common and special cause variations that occur. If you work hard at this every day and manually collect quality data, you will have a very basic understanding of your process because quality sampling and SPC charting is not occurring in real-time. This method causes rework and scrap. Figuring out that you have an out-of-control process after products are made doesn’t help your bottom line. In fact, it costs you money and increases the risk that “bad parts” might make it into a customer shipment or even to an end-user, creating the possibility of a recall.

Automate with SPC Software to Reduce Cost and Recall Risk and Predict Non-Conformance Before It Occurs

If you believe quality is not negotiable, then take your quality initiative to the next level with SynergySPC software. This real-time SPC software from Zontec provides an advanced look at the stability and capability of your process so you can remove uncertainty at the point of production. This powerful, fast and easy-to-use software signals shop floor operators about sources of process variation before the non-conforming product can be produced. Automated, real-time feedback lets you create a proactive quality program that reduces cost and risk with SPC tools that are easy for shop floor operators, managers, and quality engineers.

SynergySPC from Zontec is Your Powerful, Easy, and Accurate SPC Solution

SynergySPC software stays steadfast to the empirical rules and methodology of statistical process control. The Synergy SPC vision: To easily present the stability and capability of your processes so you can improve them.

This content is adapted from Zontec’s The Book of Statistical Process Control. You can download a free copy here (PDF).