Unless you live under a black
country rock, you’ve no doubt heard that the world recently lost
one of the greatest artists of our time, David Bowie. My memories
of the Thin White Duke go all the way back to my formative years. I
recall his music echoing through the halls of our house as I
crooned along whilst doing the chores. Then as now, Bowie’s
creativity and energy inspired me and helped me do... Continue Reading
If you're just getting started in the world of quality
improvement, or if you find yourself in a position where you
suddenly need to evaluate the quality of incoming or outgoing
products from your company, you may have encountered the term
"acceptance sampling." It's a statistical method for evaluating the
quality of a large batch of materials from a small sample of items,
‘Statistics’ is a rising star. Everywhere I
turn, people are talking about data and the value of being able to
analyze and act on it. As someone who’s been writing about that for
years, I say it’s about time.
Statistics is like a talented
actress whose decades of appearing off Broadway have finally paid
For years, her work has been enriching our lives without us
knowing it. Statistics helps... Continue Reading
Having delivered training courses on
capability analyses with Minitab, several times, I have noticed
that one question you can be absolutely sure will be asked, during
the course, is: What is the difference between the Cpk
and the Ppk indices?
Ppk vs. Cpk indices
The terms Cpk and Ppk are often confused,
so that when quality or process engineers refer to the
Cpk index, they often actually intend to... Continue Reading
to this article published on Food Tank,
over 22 million pounds of food is wasted on college campuses each
year. Now that’s a lot of food waste!
Students all over the country are noticing excessive food waste
at their schools and are starting programs to bring awareness and
improve the problem. Naturally, many of these programs have roots
in Lean Six Sigma. In one example, a group of... Continue Reading
Control charts are a fantastic tool. These charts plot your
process data to identify common cause and special cause variation.
By identifying the different causes of variation, you can take
action on your process without over-controlling it.
Assessing the stability of a process can help you determine
whether there is a problem and identify the source of the problem.
Is the mean too high, too low,... Continue Reading
Don't be a grumpy cat when something on your capability report
doesn't smell right. After
pressing that OK button to run your analysis, allow your inner cat to
understand how and why certain statistics are being used. To help
you along, here are some capability issues that customers have
brought up recently.
Cp is missing
You’ve generated a capability analysis report with the Johnson
transformation... Continue Reading
By Matthew Barsalou, guest
A problem must be understood before it can be properly
addressed. A thorough understanding of the problem is critical when
root cause analysis (RCA) and an RCA is necessary if an
organization wants to implement corrective actions that truly
address the root cause of the problem. An RCA may also be necessary
for process improvement projects; it is... Continue Reading
you know that November is World Quality Month? The American Society
for Quality is once again heading up this year’s festivities.
Throughout the month of November, ASQ will be promoting the use
of quality tools in businesses, communities, and institutions all
over the world. You can check it out at http://asq.org/world-quality-month/.
Here at Minitab, we’re also pretty excited about World... Continue Reading
In Part 5 of our series, we began the analysis of
the experiment data by reviewing analysis of covariance and
blocking variables, two key concepts in the design and
interpretation of your results.
250-yard marker at the Tussey Mountain Driving Range, one of the
locations where we conducted our golf experiment. Some of the
golfers drove their balls well beyond this 250-yard maker during a
few of... Continue Reading
By Matthew Barsalou, guest
Teaching process performance and capability studies is easier
when actual process data is available for the student or trainee to
practice with. As I have previously
discussed at the Minitab Blog, a catapult can be used to
generate data for a capability study. My last blog on using a
catapult for this purspose was several years ago, so I would like
to revisit... Continue Reading
People who are ill frequently need medication. But if they miss
a dose, or receive the wrong medication—or even get the wrong dose
of the right medication—the results can be disastrous.
So medical professionals have a lot at stake in making sure
patients get the right medicine, in the right amount, at the right
time. But hospitals and other medical facilities are complex
systems, and mistakes do... Continue Reading
week is National Healthcare Quality Week, started by the National
Association for Healthcare Quality to increase awareness of
healthcare quality programs and to highlight the work of healthcare
quality professionals and their influence on improved patient care
In honor of the celebration, I wanted to point you to a few case
studies featuring Minitab customers in the healthcare field... Continue Reading
Part 3 of our series, we decided to test our 4
experimental factors, Club Face Tilt, Ball Characteristics, Club
Shaft Flexibility, and Tee Height in a full factorial design
because of the many advantages of that data collection plan.
In Part 4 we concluded that each golfer
should replicate their half fraction of the full factorial 5 times
in order to have a high enough power to detect... Continue Reading
I read trade publications that cover everything from banking to
biotech, looking for interesting perspectives on data analysis and
statistics, especially where it pertains to quality
Recently I read a great blog post from Tony Taylor, an analytical
chemist with a background in pharmaceuticals. In it, he discusses
the implications of the FDA's updated guidance for industry analytical...Continue Reading
You run a capability analysis
and your Cpk is bad. Now what?
First, let’s start by defining
what “bad” is. In simple terms, the smaller the Cpk, the more
defects you have. So the larger your Cpk is, the
practitioners use a Cpk of 1.33 as the gold standard, so we’ll
treat that as the gold standard here, too.
Suppose we collect some data and run a capability analysis using
I recently guest lectured for an
applied regression analysis course at Penn State. Now, before you
begin making certain assumptions—because as any statistician will
tell you, assumptions are important in regression—you should know
that I have no teaching experience whatsoever, and I’m not much
older than the students I addressed.
I’m just 5 years removed from my undergraduate days at Virginia
Tech,... Continue Reading
we broke for lunch, two participants in the training class began to
discuss, debate, and finally fight over a fundamental task in
golf—how to drive the ball the farthest off the tee. Both were avid
golfers and had spent a great deal of time and money on
professional instruction and equipment, so the argument continued
through the lunch hour, with neither arguer stopping to eat.
Several other... Continue Reading
Whatever industry you're in, you're going to need to buy
supplies. If you're a printer, you'll need to purchase inks,
various types of printing equipment, and paper. If you're in
manufacturing, you'll need to obtain parts that you don't make
But how do you know you're making the right choice when you have
multiple suppliers vying to fulfill your orders? How can you
be sure you're... Continue Reading
In 2007, the Crayola crayon company encountered a problem.
Labels were coming off of their crayons. Up to that point, Crayola
had done little to implement data-driven methodology into the
process of manufacturing their crayons. But that was about to
change. An elementary data analysis showed that the adhesive didn’t
consistently set properly when the labels were dry. Misting crayons
as they went... Continue Reading
Minitab is the leading provider of software and services for quality
improvement and statistics education. More than 90% of Fortune 100 companies
use Minitab Statistical Software, our flagship product, and more students
worldwide have used Minitab to learn statistics than any other package.
Minitab Inc. is a privately owned company headquartered in State College,
Pennsylvania, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, and
Australia. Our global network of representatives serves more than 40
countries around the world.