Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Great stories others want to hear. Common challenges we have all faced before (or might even be facing right now). Discovering new tools in Minitab software as shared by peers. Engaging walkthroughs of finding insights in your data, and recommendations on how to act on them. All packed into a few days of learning and fun.

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It’s usually not a good idea to rely solely on a single statistic to draw conclusions about your process. Do that, and you could fall into the clutches of the “duck-rabbit” illusion shown here:

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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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You run a capability analysis and your Cpk is bad. Now what?

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by Kevin Clay, guest blogger

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In my last post on DMAIC tools for the Define phase, we reviewed various graphs and stats typically used to define project goals and customer deliverables. Let’s now move along to the tools you can use in Minitab Statistical Software to conduct the Measure phase.

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by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger

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Every day, thousands of people withdraw extra cash for daily expenses. Each transaction may be small, but the total amount of cash dispersed over hundreds or thousands of daily transactions can be very high. But every bank branch has a fixed cash flow, which must be set without knowing what each customer will need on a given day. This creates a challenge for financial entities. Customers expect their local bank office...

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To assess if a process is stable and in statistical control, you can use a control chart. It lets you answer the question "is the process that you see today going to be similar to the process that you see tomorrow?" To assess and quantify how well your process falls within specification limits, you can use capability analysis.

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Back when I used to work in Minitab Tech Support, customers often asked me, “What’s the difference between Cpk and Ppk?” It’s a good question, especially since many practitioners default to using Cpk while overlooking Ppk altogether. It’s like the '80s pop duo Wham!, where Cpk is George Michael and Ppk is that other guy.

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