by John Compton
Quality improvement, to a large extent, involves the study and reduction of variability. Variability always exists (even in consecutive press sheets, for example), although the variation can be trivial. But as variation increases, quality and consistency decrease. The magnitude and pattern of variation can be discovered through the collection of data and the use of simple statistical methods to interpret the results. Our course looks at the different causes of variation, how to measure it, and strategies to combat it. Understanding the variation of a particular process characteristic is also critical for knowing whether you can comfortably meet customer specifications.
- The fundamental nature of variation
- Common cause vs. special cause variation
- Use of control charts to determine if a process is stable
- Indications that special cause variation is causing a process to be “out of control”
- Strategies for reducing the different types of variation
- How to determine whether customer specifications can be met without excessive waste and rework