1985-02-01

A Systems Discipline for S.P.C. 850194

This paper addresses two major concerns of those considering the implementation of S.P.C. The labor intensive effort to maintain in process control charts and the lost productivity due to down time when assignable causes for lack of control are investigated and corrected. Computer Aided Electronic Gaging minimizes the first concern as well as providing a number of other benefits at no cost. The Systems Discipline approach anticipates and prevents many of the problems that can cause out of control down time.
BEYOND S.P.C., what an interesting topic. Like Total Quality Control, Zero Defects, Quality Circles etc., S.P.C. means different things to different people. Automotive Industries Magazine's October 1984 articles, pertaining to an 18 man panel discussion on S.P.C. state “It was interesting to see the differences of opinion that existed between suppliers, and even differences between people in the same company.”
Regardless of interpretation, S.P.C. has generated widespread interest and activity on both sides of the Atlantic over the past half dozen years as means to significantly improve quality at reduced cost. Some companies have made considerable progress in implementing it, others are moving ahead at a steady pace but many, although anxious to get involved, appear to be having problems getting started. For this last group, getting beyond initiating S.P.C. is a major hurdle. This paper is intended to ease the way for these companies.
The general concern about implementing S.P.C. is essentially the same as it was 35 years ago. viz: - All that charting etc by the machine operator has got to cause an increase in direct labor costs. Then when the job goes down because the charts indicate an out of control condition, further condition, further direct labor costs are incurred with no productivity. Too frequently this concern is not addressed during the various seminars and training sessions on S.P.C. They only concentrate on the statistical techniques and their validity. Too frequently we rush back from these seminars, anxious to put these new ideas into an existing operating structure.
It needs to be clearly understood that Statistics is a tool that can significantly improve our ability to produce high levels of quality at lower costs if and only if good management practises are in operation.
The approach which we found effective did not call for a total upheaval of our management approach. We simply term it a “Systems Discipline” and built it around Dr Juran's three criteria for “Operator Self Control.”
For a person to be held responsible:
  1. I.
    He must know what he is supposed to do.
  2. II.
    He must know what he is actually doing.
  3. III.
    He must be able to rectify the condition when necessary.

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