What is Statistical Process Control?
Statistical Process Control, or SPC for short, has been around since the 1920s although it didn’t really gain widespread use in industry until the 1980s. Many people are immediately turned off of SPC just because it has “statistical” in its name. However, by simply understanding a few basic concepts of variation (why things are not ALWAYS made exactly the same) you will be able to leverage the concepts of SPC to monitor and control your manufacturing processes.
Variation: The Heart of SPC
- Variation exists in everything
- When we’re manufacturing products with customers that expect and demand high quality and consistency in our goods, variation can become a big problem.
- Too much variation leads to rework, scrap, or customer problems.
- A perfect process would be one with no variation. They don’t exist.
- As the variation in our processes is reduced, the output of our processes will be improved.
- That’s our goal with SPC-to reduce the variation in our processes and then monitor the process to make sure the variation doesn’t increase.
Our Statistical Process Control (SPC) Resource Center has lots of helpful information for people just learning about SPC as well as some interesting information that folks who have been using SPC for years should find interesting.