Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

Blog posts and articles about using Minitab software in quality improvement projects, research, and more.

Adam Russell is a Global Operations Master Black Belt, Tate & Lyle.

Tate & Lyle deploys Continuous Improvement (CI) tools, including Minitab and Salford Predictive Modeler (SPM), to address challenging engineering and manufacturing problems. Our company operates large-scale, continuous flow processes serving the Food & Beverage industry.

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The potential benefit of the data stored on servers is huge. Banks, insurance companies, telecom companies, manufacturers — in fact organizations from across all industries need to make good use of the data they own to improve their operations, better understand their customers and find competitive advantage.

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Rafael Villa is a chemical engineer working as a Research and Development leader in the home care division of a company in Peru. His company that manufactures a vast range of consumer package goods and B2B products ranging from food items, such as cereal and candies, to cleaning supplies and home good items. Focusing on the design, formulation and optimization of consumer products, his R&D career has spanned multiple...

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The convergence of the widespread deployment of low-cost sensors, cloud and greater compute power has brought together a multitude of connected devices which can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze and deliver insight like never before. Industry 4.0 (or Industrial Internet of Things) is transforming industries. This is especially true within manufacturing where many organizations are making investments into ‘smart...

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Dramatic cost savings. Lead time and inventory reductions. Improved transactional processes.

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Suppose that you plan to source a substantial amount of parts or subcomponents from a new supplier. To ensure that their quality level is acceptable to you, you might want to assess the capability levels (Ppk and Cpk indices) of their manufacturing processes and check whether their critical process parameters are fully under control (using control charts). If you are not sure about the efficiency of the supplier...

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Last week I was fielding questions on social media about Minitab 18, the latest version of our statistical software. Almost as soon as the new release was announced, we received a question that comes up often from people in pharmaceutical and medical device companies:

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by Dan Wolfe, guest blogger

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In the mid 1940s, Taiichi Ohno established the Toyota Production System, which is primarily based on eliminating non-value-added waste. He discovered that by reducing waste and inventory levels, problems get exposed and that forces employees to address these problems. To engage the workers and therefore improve processes, Ohno developed many exercises.

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Choosing the right type of subgroup in a control chart is crucial. In a rational subgroup, the variability within a subgroup should encompass common causes, random, short-term variability and represent “normal,” “typical,” natural process variations, whereas differences between subgroups are useful to detect drifts in variability over time (due to “special” or “assignable” causes). Variation within subgroup is...

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