Blog posts and articles about the Weibull distribution in statistics and how it applies to quality improvement.

by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger.  The old saying “if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck” may be appropriate in bird watching; however, the same idea can’t be applied when observing a statistical distribution. The dedicated ornithologist is often armed with binoculars and a field guide to the local birds and this should be sufficient. A... Continue Reading
With another Halloween almost upon us, here's a look back at some of the posts we've written about this holiday specifically, and about various creepy things in general. I hope that you enjoy this roundup of 13 scary statistics posts...and that they won't keep you up at night! 1. How to Make Minitab Wear a Halloween Costume As Halloween nears, you can customize your Minitab interface to match the... Continue Reading


Smarter Process Improvement

with Companion by Minitab

I thought 3 posts would capture all the thoughts I had about B10 Life. That is, until this question appeared on the Minitab LinkedIn group: In case you missed it, my first post, How to Calculate B10 Life with Statistical Software, explains what B10 life is and how Minitab calculates this value. My second post, How to Calculate BX Life, Part 2, shows how to compute any BX life in Minitab. But... Continue Reading
Reliability and survival analysis is used most frequently in manufacturing. Companies use these methods to estimate the proportion of units that will fail within, or survive beyond, a given period of time. But could these reliability and survival analysis techniques prove useful in a zombie apocalypse, too? Today's blog post explores that chilling scenario.  Think. This is what Zachary is telling... Continue Reading
Since it's the Halloween season, I want to share how a classic horror film helped me get a handle on an extremely useful statistical distribution.  The film is based on John W. Campbell's classic novella "Who Goes There?", but I first became  familiar with it from John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing.   In the film, researchers in the Antarctic encounter a predatory alien with a truly frightening... Continue Reading
To choose the right statistical analysis, you need to know the distribution of your data. Suppose you want to assess the capability of your process. If you conduct an analysis that assumes the data follow a normal distribution when, in fact, the data are nonnormal, your results will be inaccurate. To avoid this costly error, you must determine the distribution of your data. So, how do you determine... Continue Reading
Over the last year or so I’ve heard a lot of people asking, “How can I calculate B10 life in Minitab?” Despite being a statistician and industrial engineer (mind you, one who has never been in the field like the customers asking this question) and having taken a reliability engineering course, I’d never heard of B10 life. So I did some research. The B10 life metric originated in the ball and roller... Continue Reading
Previously, I’ve written about when to choose nonlinear regression and how to model curvature with both linear and nonlinear regression. Since then, I’ve received several comments expressing confusion about what differentiates nonlinear equations from linear equations. This confusion is understandable because both types can model curves. So, if it’s not the ability to model a curve, what isthe... Continue Reading
There is more than just the p value in a probability plot—the overall graphical pattern also provides a great deal of useful information. Probability plots are a powerful tool to better understand your data. In this post, I intend to present the main principles of probability plots and focus on their visual interpretation using some real data. In probability plots, the data density distribution... Continue Reading
We're frequently asked whether Minitab has been validated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Minitab does extensive testing to validate our software internally, but Minitab’s statistical software is not—and cannot be—FDA-validated out-of-the-box. Nobody's can. It is a common misconception that software vendors can go through a... Continue Reading
La validation des logiciels dans l'industrie pharmaceutique est un aspect critique. Le formateur Minitab Bruno Scibilia a traduit l’article " Is Your Statistical Software FDA Validated for Medical Devices or Pharmaceuticals?" publié sur le blog de Minitab, écrit en anglais par le spécialiste Jim Colton. Il répond à une question fréquemment posée, à savoir si Minitab a été validé par la Food and... Continue Reading
When I think about the Central Limit Theorem (CLT), bunnies and dragons are just about the last things that come to mind. However, that’s not the case for Shuyi Chiou, whose playful CreatureCast.org animation explains the CLT using both fluffy and fire-breathing creatures. Per the article that accompanied this video in The New York Times: “Many real-world observations can be approximated by, and... Continue Reading
Minitab Statistical Software offers three tests for Normality: Anderson-Darling (AD), Ryan-Joiner (RJ), and Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS). The AD test is the default, but is it the best test at detecting Non-Normality? Let's compare the ability of each of these normality tests to detect non-normal data under three different scenarios.  We'll use simulated data for each, but they reflect common... Continue Reading
by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger The field of statistics has a long history and many people have made contributions over the years. Many contributors to the field were educated as statisticians, such as Karl Pearson and his son Egon Pearson. Others were people with problems that needed solving, and they developed statistical methods to solve these problems. The Standard Normal Distribution One... 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
Over on the Indium Corporation's blog, Dr. Ron Lasky has been sharing some interesting ideas about using the Weibull distribution in electronics manufacturing. For instance, check out this discussion of how dramatically an early first-failure can affect an analysis of a part or component (in this case, an alloy used to solder components to a circuit board).  This got me thinking again about all the... Continue Reading
  “Shall I compare thee to a standard normal distribution?   Thou art more symmetric and more bell-shaped…”  — Melvin Shakespeare (William’s lesser-known statistician brother) The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that symmetry was one of the primary elements of the universal ideal of beauty. Over 2000 years later, emerging research seems to bear him out.  Studies suggest we tend to be more... Continue Reading
In college I had a friend who could go anywhere and fit right in. He'd have lunch with a group of professors, then play hacky-sack with the hippies in the park, and later that evening he'd hang out with the local bikers at the toughest bar in the city. Next day he'd play pickup football with the jocks before going to an all-night LAN party with his gamer pals. On an average weekend he might catch... 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
Recently I've been refreshing my knowledge of reliability analysis, which is the use of data to assess a product's ability to perform over time. Quality engineers typically use reliability analysis to predict the likelihood that a certain percentage of products will fail over a given amount of time.    Statistical software will do the calculations involved in a reliability analysis, but there's a... Continue Reading