The Benefits of Statistical Process Control


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Statistical process control (SPC) is a method of quality control which employs statistical methods to monitor and control a process. This helps to ensure that the process operates efficiently, producing more specification-conforming products with less waste [1]

The concepts of statistical process control were initially developed by Dr. Walter Shewhart of Bell Laboratories in the 1920s, and were expanded upon by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who introduced SPC to Japanese industry after WWII. After early successful adoption by Japanese firms, SPC has now been incorporated by organizations around the world as a primary tool to improve product quality by reducing process variation [2].

The use of statistical process control (SPC) was initially ignored in North America for quite some time, but in the 1960s and moving forward, SPC—using control charts to control every step of a process—became an integral part of any manufacturing process. Dr. Robert Deming was the evangelist who advocated the concept of eliminating final inspection requirements if every step in the process was monitored. At the beginning, this program met management head-winds, but over time, the concept, when adopted from senior management down through an organization, has proven to reduce costs and improve quality.

From our experience, and with the development of a host of modern electronic innovations, we have witnessed this program successfully interfaced directly from the machine to an engineer’s computer and stored as history to the cloud.

The Bürkle LFC roller coating machine is another example of how a coating process can be monitored in “real time.” 

To read this entire article, which appeared in the February 2021 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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