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Process Capability

Blog posts and articles about tools for assessing the capability of a process in manufacturing and service situations.

by Jeff Parks, guest blogger Being a Cincinnati Bengals fan is tough. It's true that Bengals fans don't have it as bad as, say, long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans...nevertheless, the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since January 1991. That's currently the longest streak in the NFL. In the 1990s they were voted the worst sports franchise by ESPN. Not the worst football team, mind you, but the worst... Continue Reading
To promote ethical and moral responsibility in shaping its graduates, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology created a sustainability initiative to reduce its own environmental footprint. As part of that team's efforts, Six Sigma students at Rose-Hulman conducted a project to reduce food waste at the campus dining center. We got the opportunity to learn more about the project by talking with Dr. Diane... Continue Reading
The DMAIC methodology for completing quality improvement projects divides project work into five phases: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It’s also probably the most well-known and most used project methodology for projects that focus on improving an existing process. (Many other methodologies exist, such as DMADV, which focuses on using quality improvement techniques to create a... Continue Reading
A while back my colleague Jim Frost wrote about applying statistics to decisions typically left to expert judgment; I was reminded of his post this week when I came across a new research study that takes a statistical technique commonly used in one discipline, and applies it in a new way.  The study, by paleontologist Zhijie Jack Tseng, looked at how the skulls of... Continue Reading
When you learned statistics, most of what you learned was centered around the Normal distribution.  Maybe you became close friends and you later found out his birth name was Gaussian, but either way you probably just call him Normal. You might know Normal’s a pretty popular guy with plenty of relationships with other distributions.  There are some obvious connections, like how eNormal is Lognormal,... Continue Reading
Unless you’re 3 years old, you probably can’t have things just the way you want them all the time.   You can’t always have peanut butter and ranch dressing on your toast. Or ketchup on your pineapple. Or sugar sprinkles on your peas. But there is one small arena in life over which you can still exert your control.  Tools > Options in Minitab's statistical softwareallows you to change selected default... Continue Reading
by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger Process capability analysis using Minitab Statistical Software’s Capability SixpackTM can be taught using a catapult. A process capability analysis is performed to determine if a process is statistically capable. In my last blog post, I collected data from a first run of catapult results and found that the run not only had a large amount of variability, it also... Continue Reading
by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger We can use a simple catapult to teach process capability analysis using Minitab Statistical Software’s Capability SixpackTM. Here's how. A process capability analysis is performed to determine if a process is statistically capable. Based on the results of the capability study, we can estimate the amount of defective components the process would produce. However, a pr... Continue Reading
Here at the lightsaber factory, we've completed several steps in doing a capability analysis: We made sure our data was collected and entered correctly in Minitab We identified the distribution of the data We made sure all of our assumptions checked out We’re getting close to our deadline, and it’s finally time to carry out our Capability Analysis and see if we are manufacturing our lightsabers to... Continue Reading
I had the privilege of talking with Sue Schlegel, Lean Six Sigma black belt and quality improvement mentor at White Sands Missile Range, which is located just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Schlegel and an improvement team at White Sands recently conducted a Lean Six Sigma project to streamline surveillance processes and they used Minitab to analyze the data. We found Sue’s story... Continue Reading
In my last post, we talked about using statistical tools to identify the right distribution of our lightsaber manufacturing data. Now that we have our data in Minitab along with a specific distribution picked out, we can find out if we are dealing with an in-control process. If the process is not in control, the capability estimates will be incorrect. Thus, an extremely important (and often... Continue Reading
Have you ever been a victim of a statistical misconception that’s affected how you’ve interpreted your analysis? Like any field of study, statistics has some common misconceptions that can trip up even experienced statisticians. Here are a few common misconceptions to watch out for as you complete your analyses and interpret the results. Mistake #1: Misinterpreting Overlapping Confidence Intervals Wh... Continue Reading
Want to learn more about analyzing data? Try taking a page from Aesop's book.  Well...really, I'm suggesting taking multiple pages from Minitab's book, but my suggestion stems from an idea that Aesop epitomizes.   Aesop was no fool. When he wanted to convey even the heaviest of lessons, he didn't waste time detailing the intellectual and philosophical arguments behind them. He didn't argue, cajole,... Continue Reading
New to confidence intervals?  Here are some important things to keep in mind! Confidence Intervals: are used to estimate population parameters (commonly the process mean, standard deviation, % of defective units, or even capability indices).  provide more meaningful information than any random sample statistic for characterizing the population. MINI-TIP:See “Tip 1: Every sample statistic is a little... Continue Reading
In my previous post, you learned how to prepare your data for capability analysis in Minitab. Now let's see where we need to go in the statistical software to run the correct Capability Analysis. When it comes to capability analysis, Minitab offers a few different choices. We offer Normal Capability Analysis for when your data follow a normal distribution. If your data follow a different... Continue Reading
In the past couple of years, I've noticed a new acronym popping up across the Web. In case you've not yet encountered it, "FML" typically appears in social media updates about something gone awry.  As in, "The cat ate my homework. FML!"  Or, "My production line just broke down, and now the company is going to be short on a major order. FML!"  This acronym reminds me of an abbreviation used in... Continue Reading
It's your first day at the Jedi Temple, working as a lightsaber manufacturer. Your first task on the job is to run a Capability Analysis on the length of lightsabers being produced. Your main concern is to see if the lightsabers fit within the required length specifications set forth by the Jedi Council. You aren’t quite sure where to start. Thankfully, Minitab Statistical Softwareis there to help... Continue Reading
It's no secret that in the world of control charts, I- and Xbar- are pretty much the popular kids in school.  But have you ever met their cousin EWMA? That's him in the middle of the class, wearing the clothes that look nice but aren't very flashy. You know, when Xbar- and I- were leading the championship football team last month, EWMA won the state tennis championship?  I didn't go either --... Continue Reading
The Minitab Fan section of the Minitab blog is your chance to share with our readers! We always love to hear how you are using Minitab products for quality improvement projects, Lean Six Sigma initiatives, research and data analysis, and more. If our software has helped you, please share your Minitab story, too! Throughout my 15 years as a Six Sigma Initiative Leader, Consultant, Trainer, Black... Continue Reading
In my last post, I discussed how quality professional Bill Howell chose to manage his diabetes diagnosis by treating it as a Six Sigma project. Since a key metric in controlling his disease was keeping his blood glucose levels below 125 mg/dL, he tested his blood using a meter three times per day and then charted his data to see how his levels changed over time. He ensured his measurement systems... Continue Reading