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Ledolter, J. and Hogg, R. V. Applied Statistics for Engineers and Physical Scientists, Third Edition Prentice Hall, 2009

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Chapter

5
5

STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL

5.1 Shewhart Control Charts

All processes have some variation. When we manufacture a product, measurements on the final product inevitably show variation from unintentional changes to the process as well as random variation. Many different factors enter into a production process, and a change in each will cause some variation in the final product.This vari- ation may come from differences among machines, lot-to-lot variation, differences in suppliers and incoming raw materials, changes in the plant environment, and so on. Despite the fact that considerable effort is expended in attempting to control the variability in each of these factors, there will still be variability in the final product. In the end, this variability has to be controlled. Statistical control charts or, more generally, statistical process control methods are procedures for monitoring process variation and for generating information on the stability of a process. It is important to check the stability of processes, because unstable processes will result in lost production, defective products, poor quality, and, in general, loss of consumer confidence. For example, in the production of integrated-circuit boards, which involves several welding procedures, it may be the weld strength that is of importance. Selecting a small sample of such boards at regu- lar intervals and measuring the weld strength by a certain pull test to destruction will provide valuable information on the stability of the welding process. In the produc- tion of concrete blocks, it is the compressive strength that is of importance and that needs to be controlled. Measurements on a small number of concrete blocks—say, twice during each production shift—can give us valuable information on the stability of the production process. In the production of thin wafers for integrated-circuit devices by high-temperature furnace oxide growth processes, it is the thickness of the wafers that needs to be controlled. Measurements on the thickness of a few selected wafers from every other furnace run can indicate whether the thickness of the product is stable. Here we have given only three examples. Many others can be found, and we encourage the reader to think of still others.

293

Average x

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294 Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control

90

UCL

86

Centerline

82

78

2

LCL

4 6

8

Sampling period

10

12

Figure 5.1-1 x-chart for the sample means in Table 5.1-1 (see p. 297)

5.1-1

x -Charts and R-Charts

A control chart is a plot of a summary statistic from samples that are taken

sequentially. Usually, the sample mean and a measure of the sample variability, such

as the standard deviation or the range, are plotted on control charts. Figures 5.1-1

and 5.1-2 are two examples. Figure 5.1-1 shows the average compressive strengths of

=

blocks are taken from the production line, their compressive strengths are deter- mined, and the average is entered on the chart. Since we plot averages, we call this an

x -chart 1where “x-bar” stands for average2. In Figure 5.1-2, we display the variability within the samples over time and plot the ranges from successive samples; we call such a plot an R-chart 1where R stands for range2.

. Twice during each shift, five concrete

concrete blocks from samples of size

n

5

20 UCL 16 12 Centerline 8 4 2 4 6 8 10 12 Range R
20
UCL
16
12
Centerline
8
4
2
4
6
8
10
12
Range R

Sampling period

Figure 5.1-2 R-chart for the sample ranges in Table 5.1-1 (see p. 297)

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Control charts also include bands, or control limits, that help us determine whether a particular average 1or range2 is “within acceptable limits” of random vari- ation. Through these limits, control charts try to distinguish between variation that can normally be expected 1variation due to common causes2 and variation that is caused by unexpected changes 1variation due to special causes2. One should not tamper with the process if the measurements on these charts fall within the control

limits. However, if one notices shifts in the process level on the -chart, and if plotted averages are outside the control limits, one must conclude that something has hap- pened to the process. Similarly, if the process variation, as measured on the R-chart, changes by more than what could be expected under usual circumstances, one must conclude that the process variability is no longer stable. In these circumstances, steps have to be taken to uncover the special causes and keep them from recurring.

The theoretical explanation of the control limits in the -chart is as follows: Let

us suppose that our observations are from a stable distribution with mean and

x

x

m

variance .Then the mean of a random sample of size n from this distribution has

an approximate normal distribution with mean and variance

X falls within the bounds

m - 3 s > 1n

the lower control limit 1LCL2 and the upper control limit 1UCL2,

X falling between the

LCL and the UCL is very large. Consequently, it is rare that a sample average X from such a stable process would fall outside the control limits. Unfortunately, we usually do not know whether our process is stable, nor do we

respectively. Thus, with a stable process, the probability of

plotted on a chart, the probability that a sample average

>n . If averages are

s

2

X

m

s

2

and

m + 3 s > 1n

is 0.9974. If

m

and

s

2

are known, we call

m - 3 s> 1n

and m + 3 s> 1n

know the values of

m and s 2

.Thus, we begin by taking several samples, each of size n.

Let us say that there are k such samples. Let

x

1 , x 2 , Á , x k

and

s 1 , s 2 , Á , s k

be the

means and standard deviations of these samples. Then we can estimate

s

by the

average of the standard deviations, namely,

we are reasonably satisfied with the overall average of the nk observations in these k

samples, we can use chart; that is, we use

are given by

xp

is a

depends on the sample size n and is given

is beyond the scope of this

book. Note, however, that

because we use an estimate

are quite similar; for

and

3> 1n = 0.95 ; for larger n, the difference disappears almost completely. However, the calculation of the standard deviations involves a considerable amount of computation. An alternative, and simpler, procedure for estimating

3 s> 1n proceeds as follows: Let

is a

be the ranges of the k samples. Calcu-

late the average range

good estimate of 3 s> 1n

depends on the sample size n and is also given in Table C.1. With this modi-

when one is sampling from a normal distribution. The con-

in Table C.1.The development behind the selection of

; this is

instead of the unknown standard deviation s . Note

also that, for moderately large sample sizes,

good estimate of

as the centerline in our control

. Moreover, if

s = 1s 1 + s 2 + Á + s k 2>k

xp = 1x 1 + x 2 + Á + x k 2>k

xp

as an estimate of

m

. With these estimates, the control limits around the centerline

- A

3

s

and

example, for

xp

+ A

3

s

, where the constant

3

s > 1n

. The constant

A

3

A

3

n

=

5

,

A

3

A

3

A

3

xp

is chosen in such a way that

A

A 3

3> 1n

3

s

= 0.98

,

in Table C.l is always slightly larger than

s

,

and

A

3

and

3> 1n = 1.34

;

3> 1n

for

n

=

10

,

= 1.43

R 1 , R 2 , Á , R k

R

=

1R

1 + R 2 + Á + R k 2>k . It can be shown that

A

2

R

stant

A 2

fication, the

control limits

x

-chart consists of a centerline at

xp

- A

2

R

and xp + A

2

R

.

xp

, which is an estimate of

m

, and

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There are several control charts for measures of variability. Either the range R or the standard deviation s of samples of size n can be used to measure variability, and R- and s-charts can be constructed. In this book, we concentrate on R-charts, on which we plot ranges of successive samples. We approximate the centerline of the R-chart with the average of the k values of

R,

UCL = D 4 R , respectively. The constants and , and thus the limits, are chosen

so that, for a stable process, the probability of an individual R falling between the

LCL and the UCL is extremely large. The constants

Table C.1. In sum, the construction of the control charts is very simple. We take samples of

a few observations 1usually, the sample size n is 4 or 52 at various times. It is often

to 20 such samples be obtained before constructing

the control limits. Depending on the application, these samples can be taken every four hours 1see the weld strength example2, twice a shift 1compressive strength2, from every other furnace run 1wafer example2, every hour, from every tenth batch, and so on. The frequency of the sampling depends on the stability of the process; the more stable the process, the longer is the time between samples. The frequency

also depends on the potential loss that is caused when deteriorations of the

process are not recognized on time and, of course, on the cost of the sampling inspec-

tion. From each sample, we calculate the average

-chart

R = max1x

and the range

recommended that

and

namely,

R

. The lower and upper control limits are taken to be

D

3

D

4

D

3

and

D

4

LCL = D

3

R

are also given in

k

=

10

x

= g n = 1 x i >n

i

1

, Á , x n 2 - min1x 1 , Á , x n 2 , and we enter these quantities on the

x

and R-chart. From the k sample averages and ranges, we compute the grand average 1the average of the averages2,

xp

=

1

k

k

a

j = 1

x

j ,

and the average of the ranges,

R

=

1

k

k

a

j = 1

R

j .

These quantities form the respective centerlines in the

The control limits in the

x -chart are given by

x -chart and the R-chart.

LCL = xp

- A 2 R

and

UCL = xp + A 2 R.

The control limits in the R-chart are given by

LCL = D 3 R

and

UCL = D 4 R.

, depend on the sample size n. These constants are chosen such that almost all future

averages and ranges R will fall within the respective control limits, provided that the process has remained under control 1which means that the level has not shifted and the variability has not changed2. If the process is stable, it is rare that a sample average or sample range will fall outside the control limits. However, if there are shifts and drifts in the process, then the averages or the ranges 1or both2 are likely to exceed the limits and generate an alarm. We should also point to a limitation of the R-chart.Table C.1 shows that the con-

, are zero for sample sizes smaller

stant

can be found in Table C.1 in Appendix C; they

The constants

x

A

2

D

3

, and

D

4

D

3

, and thus also the lower control limit D

3

R

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Table 5.1-1 Compressive Strength of Concrete 1kg>cm 2 2

 
 

Sample

Compressive Strength

x

R

 

i

1

91

88

88

90

83

88.0

8

2

84

89

80

79

87

83.8

10

3

93

90

87

89

85

88.8

8

4

76

84

82

79

82

80.6

8

Samples used

5

83

85

81

80

86

83.0

6

to determine

6

84

84

90

79

83

84.0

11

the control

7

83

89

80

82

91

85.0

11

limits

8

78

79

90

81

85

82.6

12

9

82

81

87

86

79

83.0

8

10

88

90

83

84

87

86.4

7

Mean

 

x = 84.52

R

=

8.9

 

11 79

87

82

85

83

83.2

8

12 72

79

76

77

78

76.4

7

than 7. This implies that, for small n, the R-chart can warn about increases in vari- ability, but not about reductions. That is unfortunate, because, in quality improve- ment applications, one would also like to know whether certain actions have led to a reduction in variability. Consider the data in Table 5.1-1, which lists the compressive strength measure-

ments on concrete blocks from

. The process was

sampled twice during each production shift, and the observations were taken while the process was under control, or at least thought to be under control. With n = 5 observations in each sample, we find from Table C.1 that the constants are

A

k

=

10

samples of size

n

=

5

2

= 0.577 ,

D

3

=

0

, and

D

4

= 2.115

.Thus, the control limits for the

x

-chart are

LCL = xp - A 2 R = 84.52 - 10.577218.92 = 79.38

and

UCL = xp + A 2 R = 84.52 + 10.577218.92 = 89.66.

=

= 18.82 , which are the limits shown in Figures 5.1-1 and 5.1-2. We see

that the averages and ranges of all 10 samples are within these limits. We could have expected this, because we were told that the process was in control when the obser- vations were taken. But let us plot the results of the next two samples, also given in

Table 5.1-1, on these charts. In that table, we find that the twelfth average

smaller than the lower control limit on the -chart. This fact should alert the user to

12.115218.92

The limits on the R-chart are

LCL = D

3

R

=

10218.92

= 0 and UCL

=

D

4

R

x

= 76.4 is

x

the possibility that this particular sample represents the result of an unusual event, called a special cause. Such a finding should lead to an investigation 1i.e., discussions with workers on the production line, checking whether there were changes in raw materials, looking for any other unusual condition2 that will identify a cause that can

be assigned to this event. Finally, any causes found should be eliminated.

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Control charts are useful methods that help us assess whether a process is stable. They alert the user to situations in which something has shifted. A point outside the control limits forces us to find an assignable cause of this unusual event and, more important, to make certain changes in the process that prevent such conditions from happening again. Control charts will uncover many external sources that lead to shifts in the mean level and in the variability of the process. Their graphical simplic- ity makes them a very valuable instrument for process control. The requirement to identify assignable causes and eliminate them forces management and workers to take an aggressive attitude toward maintaining the quality of the work.

Remarks: The use of control charts and a strategy of investigating and eliminating special causes will lead to stable processes. However, we want to make it clear at this point that control limits and specification limits are not the same. That we have a stable process 1or, to say it differently, a process that is under control2 implies that we have been successful in eliminating special, unusual causes.The variability that is due to common causes, however, is still present and may lead to products that are outside the specification limits. The first step in improving processes is to bring them under control. Once we have eliminated special causes and have made a process stable, we can check whether the process also satisfies the required specification limits. This can be done in the following way:

, where n is the size of each sample, it follows

. If the

that

underlying distribution is approximately normal 1unimodal and fairly symmetric with-

. If

these two bounds are within the specifications, most items must be within specifica-

out long tails2, almost all items should be between

Because

1nA

2

R

A

2

R

is an estimate of

is an estimate of

3 s

3 s> 1n

. Thus,

xp ; 1nA

2

R

is an estimate of

xp - 1nA

2

R

and

m ; 3 s

xp + 1nA

2

R

tions too. However, if one or both of the bounds are outside the specifi-

cation limits, it is highly likely that some of the items will be outside the specification

limits.The situation should be reviewed carefully, with questions such as “How many items are outside the specifications?” and “Were the specifications determined cor- rectly?” addressed. If a stable process is not capable of producing items within the specification lim- its, we must think about making changes to our process. In later chapters on the design of experiments, we will learn how to decide which changes are most promising.

xp ; 1nA 2 R

5.1-2 p-Charts and c -Charts

Control charts are useful not only for averages and ranges, but also for proportions, such as proportions of defectives. Control charts are also useful not just in manufac- turing applications, but in other areas as well, such as the service industry. In fact, they can be applied to virtually all situations in which data are taken sequentially in time. Suppose, for example, that we simply need to judge whether a manufactured item is satisfactory.That is, although we prefer to take more accurate measurements, here we just check an item on a pass–fail basis: that it is within or outside the specifi- cations. Assume that an inspector on the production line checks a sample of n items at certain stated periods 1every hour, half-day, day, etc., depending on the numbers of items produced each day2 and observes the number of defectives, say, d, among

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the n items. If this is done for k periods, we obtain the number of defectives d 1 , d 2 , Á , d k .The average fraction of defectives is

Example

5.1-1

1d 1

+ d 2 + Á + d k 2

p

=

nk

Statistical theory implies that, in a stable process 1i.e., a process that produces

p 2, almost all of the future fractions of defectives, d>n, will be

.

defectives at the rate

between the lower and upper control limits:

LCL

= p - 3 B p11

- p2

n

and

UCL

= p + 3 B p11

- p2

n

.

limits are obtained from the sampling distribution of a proportion

which has variance

centerline at , are plotted on a chart; because we are plotting fractions of defectives,

or percentages, we call it a p-chart. Fractions outside these limits suggest that the process has gone out of control and that the fraction of defectives has changed. In particular, a point exceeding the upper control limit indicates that the process has deteriorated. In such a situation, we should look for possible reasons for the sudden increase in the number of defectives.

. The control limits LCL and UCL, together with the

These

3

s

p

p11 - p2>n

Each hour,

number of defectives:

n

= 50

fuses are tested. For the first

k

= 20

hours, we find the following

1

1

3

0

2

4

0

0

1

2

3

2

0

1

1

1

3

0

0

2.

Thus, given that

p = 27>1000 = 0.027

is the average fraction of defectives.We must first decide whether this fraction is rep- resentative for our particular process. If it is, then

nk = 1,000

, it follows that

LCL = 0.027 -

3 B 10.027210.9732

50

= - 0.042

and

UCL = 0.027 +

3 B 10.027210.9732

50

= 0.096.

, and because the fraction defective, d>n, can never be less

than zero, we plot the LCL at zero or omit it entirely. In Figure 5.1-3, we have plotted

the preceding 20 values of the fraction defective, together with 6 more recent ones

1those with d values of 1, 2, 2, 2, 4, and 5, and fraction of defectives

2>50 = 0.04, 2>50 = 0.04, 2>50 = 0.04, 4>50 = 0.08

values would also be plotted as long as the process is under control. However, we find that the sixth additional fraction defective is above the UCL. This suggests that the process has become unstable and that corrective action should be taken. In this example, we have assumed that 2.7 percent defective is acceptable and that we are willing to produce at that level; this may not be the case for other items.

Additional

1>50 = 0.02,

Because

LCL 6 0

, and

5>50 = 0.10

2.

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Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control
0.12
UCL
0.08
0.04
Centerline
0.00
5
10
15
20
25
Fraction defectives, p

Hour

Figure 5.1-3 p-chart for the data in Example 5.1-1

The c-chart is similar to the p-chart, except that now we count the number of flaws or defectives on a certain unit 1a bolt of fabric, a length of wire, and so on2, rather than the number of defectives among n items. Suppose that we determine the

number c of blemishes in 50 feet of a continuous strip of tin plate. This is done each

hour for k hours, resulting in

c 1 , c 2 , Á , c k

, with an average of

c

=

1c 1

+

c 2

+

Á + c k 2>k.

The c-chart is a time-sequence plot of the number of defectives,

1, 2, Á , k .

c , and the respective lower and upper control limits for the

c j , j

=

Its centerline is given by c-chart are

 

LCL

=

c

-

3 1c

and

 

UCL

=

c

+

3 1c.

s

These are approximations to the The Poisson distribution with parameter

approximates the distribution of the number of defectives. The control limits are

l 1which is the mean, as well as the variance,

of the Poisson distribution2 with the sample mean.

l is appropriate in this context, because it

of a Poisson distribution.

3

limits

l ; 3 1l

obtained after replacing the parameter

Example

We observe

k

=

15

50-foot tin strips and obtain the following numbers of blemishes:

5.1-2

2

1

1

0

5

2

3

1

1

2

0

0

4

3

1.

The average is

c = 26>15 = 1.73

, and we also have

LCL = 1.73 - 3 2 1.73 = - 2.22 1 = 02

and

UCL = 1.73 + 3 2 1.73 = 5.68.

These 15 points, together with the 10 additional observations

3

1

1

0

2

2

5

0

1

2,

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6 UCL 4 Centerline 2 5 10 15 20 25 Number of blemishes, c
6
UCL
4
Centerline
2
5
10
15
20
25
Number of blemishes, c

Sampling period

Figure 5.1-4 c-chart for the data in Example 5.1-2

are plotted on the c-chart in Figure 5.1-4. Of course, as long as the process is under control, as it is with these 10 additional points, future points are plotted on this c-chart. Occasionally, new control limits are calculated if the points continue to fall within the control limits; thus, the control limits may change slightly. Points outside the control limits, however, indicate that the process has become unstable. Causes of these unusual events must be found and eliminated.

Remarks: The control charts that we have been discussing in this section were developed in the late 1920s by Shewhart in the United States and by Dudding and

Jennet in Great Britain. In the United States, they are usually referred to as She- whart control charts.

Charts for Sub-

x - and

Stat 7 Control Charts 7 Attribute

Charts” construct control charts for attribute data, such as p- and c-charts. When viewing time-sequence plots such as Shewhart charts, you should guard against reading too much into short sequences of points. For example, in the desire to improve, a supervisor may believe that three successive points below the center- line of a p-chart are an indication that the process has improved. Of course, we rec- ognize that the probability of getting three points below the centerline is fairly large, even if the process has stayed unchanged. Indeed, this probability is 1>8, as there is

R-charts, or - and s-charts. The commands in “

groups,” Minitab constructs control charts for measurement variables, such as

Through the commands in “

x

Stat 7 Control Charts 7 Variables

only one arrangement with all three points below the current level among 2 3 = 8 equally likely ones. Sales managers, especially, are known to misinterpret their graphs. Two consecutive sales periods with sales above the stable level are often taken as evidence of improvement. Is that enough, however, to claim improvement

when, with no actual changes, the probability of such an arrangement is 1>4? Cer- tainly not. Perhaps five observations above the stable level in succession would be more reason for celebration.The probability of such an event is 1>32, as there is only

2 5 = 32

one arrangement with all five points above the stable level among the

equally likely ones. Because this probability is rather small, it seems more likely that

some significant improvement has taken place.

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302 Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control

5.1-3 Other Control Charts

Shewhart control charts provide a useful display of the data and give us a simple rule for making decisions as to whether a process has started to become unstable. Such charts require that measurements on the process be taken on a regular basis and that the results be prominently displayed. They create an atmosphere in which the qual- ity of the process is checked on a regular basis. They enhance our awareness of the present state of the process and make us “listen to” the process. A disadvantage of these charts, however, is their relative insensitivity to small or moderate changes in the mean value. Cumulative sum 1cusum2 charts, by contrast, are more responsive to small changes in the mean level. In cusum charts, we consider -

deviations

of the observations 1or sample averages2 from a reference value g

x

i

g

and calculate the cumulative sums

r

S r = a 1x i - g2 = 1x r - g2 + S r - 1 .

i = 1

The mean of the in-control process is usually taken as the reference value g; that

is, g = xp.

ted against r. A rising cusum path is an indication that the level of the process may have increased. Statisticians have developed rules that help us decide whether a trend in the cusum path comes from a change in the level or whether it is due to random fluc- tuations in the process. [Interested readers may consult books on process control, such as D. Montgomery, Introduction to Statistical Quality Control, 5th ed. 1New York:

The cumulative sums, or cusums as they are often abbreviated, are then plot-

Wiley, 20042].

Exercises 5.1

5.1-1 E. L. Grant notes that a particular dimension determines the fit of a molded plastic rheostat knob in its assembly. The dimension was specified by the engi-

inch.A special gauge was designed to per-

mit quick measurement of the actual value of this dimension. Five knobs from

each hour’s production were selected and measured. The averages and the ranges 1in units of 0.001 inch2 for the first 20 hours were as follows:

neering department as

0.140 ; 0.003

Hour

Average, x

Range, R

Hour

Average, x

Range, R

1

137.8

9

11

139.6

12

2

143.0

8

12

141.4

9

3

141.2

15

13

141.2

3

4

139.8

6

14

140.6

8

5

140.0

10

15

141.6

9

6

139.2

8

16

140.4

13

7

141.2

10

17

140.0

6

8

140.0

8

18

141.8

8

9

142.0

7

19

140.4

8

10

139.2

13

20

138.8

6

Construct an

satisfy the specification limits?

x -chart and an R-chart. Is this process under control? If so, does it

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Shewhart Control Charts

303

* Astro Electronics, an RCA division, uses statistical quality control tools to ensure proper weld strength in several of their welding procedures.Weld strength is mea- sured by a pull test to destruction. A sample of a small number of items 1in this case, five2 is taken periodically throughout the production process, usually at the beginning, the middle, and the end of each shift.The averages and the ranges of 22 such samples, taken from an article by Shecter, are listed as follows:

5.1-2

Date

Time

Average

Range

1>3

7:30

5.48

1.4

11:25

5.42

1.6

16:20

5.42

1.4

20:00

5.40

0.5

23:30

5.52

1.7

1>4

7:20

5.32

0.7

11:25

5.34

1.6

16:20

5.58

1.2

20:20

4.54

0.6

23:00

5.42

1.6

1>7

7:40

5.58

0.5

10:20

5.06

1.4

14:00

4.82

1.9

20:20

4.86

1.3

23:00

4.68

0.9

1>8

8:00

5.28

1.6

11:20

4.68

1.1

14:00

4.94

0.6

1>9

9:00

4.90

1.0

1>10

7:40

4.96

0.7

11:00

5.06

1.8

14:00

5.22

0.8

Construct the - and R-charts. Interpret your results and comment on the stabil- ity of the process. Note that the frequency of sampling should depend on the sta- bility of the process. Actually, Shecter reports that initially the samples were taken every hour, but the data showed a relatively stable process; thus, sampling about every 4 hours 1or less2 was thought appropriate.

x

[E. Shecter, “Process Control for High Yields,” RCA Engineer, 30132: 38–43 119852.]

* A one-month record of daily 100 percent inspection of a single critical quality characteristic of a part of an electrical device led to an average fraction defec-

5.1-3

tive of

p = 0.0145

.After this one month of 100 percent inspection, the company

switched to a sampling plan under which a sample of 500 units was selected each day. During the first 10 days, the inspector found 8, 10, 7, 20, 13, 15, 8, 12, 45, and

30 defectives. Using as a centerline, plot this information on a

p-chart and interpret your findings.

p = 0.0145

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304 Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control

the number of defective bolts.With average proportion , calculate the

lower and upper control limits of the appropriate control chart. Now suppose that the numbers of defectives in the last six samples were 3, 0, 2, 1, 7, and 8. What conclusions would you draw from this information?

p = 0.025

5.1-5

* Past experience has shown that the number of defects per yard of material fol-

lows a Poisson distribution with

l =

1.2

. This information was used to establish

the control limits of the associated c-chart. If the average number of defects shifts to 2.0, what is the probability that it will be detected by the c-chart on the

first observation following the shift? What is the probability that this shift is not recognized for the next 10 1202 observations?

5.1-6

In the production of stainless steel pipes the number of defects per 100 feet should be controlled. From 15 randomly selected pipes of length 100 feet, we obtained the following data on the number of defects: 6, 10, 8, 1, 7, 9, 7, 4, 5, 10, 3, 4, 9, 8, 5. Construct the appropriate control chart. Is this process under control?

5.1-7

* The following data give the results of an inspection of 100-yard pieces of woolen textile:The numbers of defects among the last 12 samples are 3, 6, 3, 0, 5, 2, 4, 0, 1, 0, 3, and 4. Calculate the control limits of the c-chart. Is this process under control?

5.1-8

A company that produces electronic components considers their quality ade- quate as long as the proportion of defectives is not larger than 2 percent. To monitor the quality, the company takes a random sample of 80 components each hour and counts the number of defective items.

, calculate the centerline and the lower and upper control

limits of the appropriate control chart. 1b2 Suppose that the numbers of defectives in the last six samples were 2, 0, 4, 1, 3, and 7.What conclusions would you draw from this information?

5.1-9 We are concerned that the level of a process might increase from a specified

. Assume that successive observations of X are independent

s . Suppose that one uses the Shewhart chart for individual

.

Define the run length T as the time at which the process exceeds the control limit

The

Á . expectation of this random variable, E1T2, is called the average run length 1ARL2.

1a2 Show that the ARL for the one-sided Shewhart chart 1i.e., our only concern is whether we exceed the upper control limit2 is given by

1a2 Using

p

=

0.02

acceptable level

m 0

with standard deviation

observations

1n = 12

with centerline at

m

0

and upper control limit of

h = m

0

+ ks

for the first time. T is a random variable that can take on integer values 1,2,

ARL =

1

P1X 7 h2 .

1b2 Assume that the observations X come from a normal distribution. Calculate

the average run length for

k = 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 .

1c2 Calculate the average run lengths in part 1b2 for a two-sided chart with

, where one is

lower control limit

concerned about increases as well as decreases in the level.

m

0

- ks

and upper control limit

m

0

+ ks

Hint: The average run length in (a) is given by

ARL = 112P1T = 12 + 122P1T = 22 + 132P1T

= 32 + Á

=

112P1X 1

+

7 h2 + 122P1X 2

7

h

and

X 2

6

132P1X 3

7

h

h

and

X 1

6 h2

and

X 1 6 h2 + Á

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305

You can show the result in 1a2 by using the independence assumption 1which implies that the probability of an intersection of events is the product of the individual probabilities2 and properties of geometric sums.

5.1-10 A company manufactures paper containers for a detergent, and the dimension of the containers 1in centimeters, from front to back2 is of interest. Each hour, four cartons are selected from the production run and their dimensions are measured. Measurements for the last 25 hours are listed as follows:

Time

Measurements

6:30 A.M.

25.1

25.5

25.0

25.1

7:30

24.8

25.2

25.1

24.9

8:30

25.1

25.2

25.2

25.2

9:30

25.1

25.4

24.8

25.0

10:30

25.2

24.7

24.9

25.3

11:30

25.2

25.2

25.0

25.1

12:30 P.M.

25.2

25.2

25.2

25.3

1:30

25.2

25.1

25.3

25.0

2:30

24.9

25.1

25.2

24.8

3:30

25.1

25.1

25.3

25.4

4:30

25.4

25.0

25.1

24.9

5:30

25.3

25.2

25.1

25.5

6:30

25.2

25.1

25.5

25.2

7:30

25.0

24.9

25.6

25.2

8:30

25.1

25.2

25.1

25.1

9:30

25.0

25.0

24.9

25.0

10:30

25.3

25.1

25.3

24.9

11:30

25.2

25.1

25.2

25.1

12:30 A.M.

25.1

25.1

25.4

24.8

1:30

25.4

25.0

25.2

25.0

2:30

24.8

25.2

25.0

25.0

3:30

25.3

25.4

25.2

25.3

4:30

25.1

24.8

25.2

25.1

5:30

25.0

25.4

25.1

25.1

6:30

25.1

25.3

25.3

25.2

Construct

x

- and R-charts, and check whether the level and the variability of the

process are under statistical control.

5.2 Process Capability Indices

5.2-1 Introduction

One must check whether processes are capable of producing products that satisfy required specifications. Typically, the customer requires that certain product

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306 Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control

2,

a lower specification limit 1LSL2, and an upper specification limit 1USL2; they are also called the tolerances of the product.The specifications are determined by trans- lating customer requirements into suitable product requirements. Engineering con- siderations and the intended use of the product play important roles in setting the specifications. Once specifications are set, the production process must be monitored

to ensure that products meet the specifications. If they do, then we say that the pro- cess is capable of producing to the required specifications. In this section, we introduce several process capability indices, examine their importance as well as their shortcomings, and discuss their implementation. The capability measures we examine are expressed in terms of the specifications 1the tar- get value and the lower and upper specification limits2 and the process characteris-

s 2. Estimates of

tics 1the process mean m and the process standard deviation

specifications be met. Specifications are usually given in terms of a target value 1

T g

capability indices are obtained by taking samples from the process under study and replacing the process characteristics by their sample estimates. A simple approach in checking conformance is to construct a dot diagram of the measurements 1or a histogram if the data set is large2, adding the target value and the specification limits to this graph and calculating the proportion of values that are

outside these limits. Of course, no 1or very few2 values should be outside the limits. We illustrate this approach with data on the width and gauge 1i.e., thickness2 of steel flats. For the width, the target is 4 inches, with specification limits LSL = 3.97 in.

For the gauge, it is 0.25 inch, with lower and upper specification

and USL = 4.03 in.

limits

width and gauge measurements in Table 5.2-1 are shown in Figure 5.2-1.We notice 2 of the 95 width measurements 1or 2.1 percent2 outside the specification limits, while 1 of the 95 gauge measurements 1or 1 percent2 is outside the specification limits.The figures also show that the process is slightly off target, with process means for both width and gauge below their target values.

, respectively. Dot diagrams for the 95

LSL = 0.235 in.

and USL = 0.265 in.

Table 5.2-1 Width and Gauge Measurements on 95 Steel Flats

 

Time

Width

Gauge

Date

Time

Width

Gauge

Date

16.10

3.990

.256

May 19, 1990

12.00

3.988

.242

16.21

3.993

.252

1.15

4.000

.262

16.27

3.968

.257

1.20

4.004

.252

16.32

3.993

.250

1.25

3.998

.247

17.00

3.998

.248

1.35

3.992

.248

17.30

4.002

.247

2.00

3.992

.250

18.00

3.994

.247

2.35

3.989

.248

18.51

3.990

.273

15.00

3.992

.244

18.57

3.989

.257

15.15

3.995

.247

19.00

3.990

.252

15.30

3.992

.249

19.35

3.988

.257

16.00

3.992

.247

20.00

3.985

.254

16.30

3.989

.247

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Process Capability Indices

307

20.30

3.996

.253

17.00

3.998

.246

21.00

3.994

.245

17.30

3.997

.246

21.30

3.988

.250

18.00

3.991

.246

22.00

3.987

.249

18.30

3.993

.246

22.30

3.988

.249

19.12

4.002

.251

23.00

3.988

.249

19.50

3.994

.248

23.30

3.986

.251

20.00

3.997

.245

24.00

3.984

.250

20.30

3.994

.246

0.30

3.984

.239

May 20, 1990

21.00

3.991

.248

1.00

4.000

.246

21.30

3.988

.250

1.15

4.012

.249

22.00

3.987

.248

1.30

4.012

.246

22.30

3.989

.245

2.00

4.003

.248

23.00

3.997

.245

2.30

3.994

.252

23.40

3.990

.250

3.00

3.994

.250

24.00

3.991

.248

3.30

3.990

.247

0.45

4.006

.248

May 21, 1990

4.00

3.994

.249

1.00

4.006

.249

4.30

3.989

.249

1.40

4.000

.251

5.00

4.000

.249

2.00

4.021

.246

5.30

3.994

.246

2.30

3.998

.250

7.05

3.969

.253

3.10

3.990

.254

7.10

3.997

.250

3.30

3.990

.246

7.15

3.996

.249

4.00

3.990

.245

7.20

3.992

.250

4.30

3.994

.250

7.30

4.002

.250

5.00

3.993

.249

8.00

3.999

.250

5.30

3.990

.246

8.05

4.000

.249

6.00

4.006

.249

8.20

4.005

.248

6.30

4.009

.249

8.30

4.003

.251

7.00

4.009

.249

9.20

4.009

.250

7.30

4.005

.250

9.30

3.995

.244

8.30

4.006

.252

9.50

3.989

.249

8.35

4.000

.249

10.00

3.990

.244

8.40

3.998

.247

10.30

3.990

.243

9.00

3.996

.247

11.00

3.991

.245

9.30

3.995

.246

11.30

3.987

.245

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308 Chapter 5 Statistical Process Control

LSL USL (a) LSL USL
LSL
USL
(a)
LSL
USL

Figure 5.2-1 Dot diagrams of width and gauge measurements

5.2-2 Process Capability Indices

Dot diagrams and histograms are effective graphical summaries of process capabil- ity, and we recommend their use. However, it is common practice to calculate capability indices, and many companies require their suppliers to document the capability of their processes through such calculations. Capability indices quantify the capability of a process—in other words, the conformance of the process to the required specifications.

The

C p

Capability Index A commonly used capability index is

C p = USL - LSL

6

s

= Allowable Spread

Process Spread

,

where LSL and USL are, respectively, the lower and upper specification limits and s is the process standard deviation.

covers virtually all of the

distribution—in fact, 99.73 percent if the distribution is normal.An interval of length

6 s measures the extent of the process variability and it expresses the process spread.

C p

cesses, we expect that the process spread is smaller than the allowable spread and

C p 7 1 . A large

the specification interval.The larger this index is, the better. For normal distributions

corresponds to 0.27 percent defectives, or 2,700 defec-

tive parts per million. 1The specification limits are three standard deviations from the target value, and we learned in Section 3.2 that, for a normal distribution, the probability beyond three sigma limits is 0.0027.2 Many companies require that

centered at the target,

indicates small process variability compared with the width of

relates the allowable spread, USL – LSL, to the process spread. For capable pro-

For many distributions, the interval

1m

-

3 s, m

+

3 s2

C p

C p

=

1

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309

C p 7 1.33

tions with the normal distribution show2 or

1which implies no more than 63 defective parts per million, as calcula-

1no more than 7 defective

be at

C p 7 1.5

parts per million2. Some companies 1for example, Motorola2 require that

least 2.0 1implying no more than 0.1 defective part per million2.

C p

We estimate

C

p

by replacing the process standard deviation

s

by its estimate s,

which we obtain from past process data.The estimated

C p

is given by

N USL - LSL

C p =

6s

.

As an illustration, we use the width and gauge measurements in Table 5.2-1.The mean and standard deviation for the width are 3.9947 and 0.0080, respectively. For the gauge, they are 0.24894 and 0.00421. Hence,

N 4.03 - 3.97

C p 1Width2

=

610.00802

= 1.25

and

N 0.265 - 0.235

p 1Gauge2

C

=

= 1.19.
610.004212

These values are somewhat smaller than what we would like to see. We would have preferred values at least as large as 1.33.

makes no reference to the target value. It provides a good description

of capability only when the process is on target and the process mean and the target value are the same. However, it is misleading when the process is off target, as illus-

trated in Figure 5.2-2. In the second illustration, the process is off target, causing a

s ,

is small in comparison to the allowable spread,

in this case, even though the process is not capable of meeting the specifications. Because C makes no reference to the target value, we do not recommend its use.

considerable fraction of defectives, despite the fact that the actual process spread,

is deceptively large

Caution:

C p

6

USL - LSL .

C

p

p

Case 3

3 s 3 s Case 2 3 s 3 s Case 1 3 s 3
3
s
3
s
Case 2
3
s