In week 6, you learned about many tools that can be used in the quality control process to evaluate and analyze processes and procedures. This week we continue to look at tools that are beneficial in the quality process. There are many tools that can be used throughout the process as you have learned through the course learning over the past six weeks. There are hand-written methods, templates, and software that can be used. One software that you should make a point to learn as a quality manager is statistical process control software or SPC as it is known by. Statistical process control software involves statistical data in order to determine what is working and what is not. Sower (2011) states that “those who use SPC to assure quality of conformance can answer the question ‘‘How are things going?’’ very simply and precisely.” Those that do not use SPC are not always able to answer this question with the same ease.
Walter Shewhart has been credited with the creation of the control chart and statistical process control concept that came about in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. This is one of the earlier concept creations that is still being used today which shows that the concepts have proven to be successful for decades. Shewhart determined that variation can be a drawback to quality overall because variation means change. When variation occurs, something is changing and it is important to understand that change is not always good where quality is concerned. This is not to say that change isn’t a necessity, but it is important to understand when and where change should occur. This brings us to our next discussion – control charts.
Control charts are used to determine change over time. We have established that change is both good and bad where quality is concerned. The control charts will help you to determine what a good change is and what is not. Control charts consist of data that is plotted in a chronological order. The chart will have a central line for the average, an upper line for the upper control limit, and a lower line for the lower control limit. The lines use data that has been obtained from historical information. Can you see where history plays another important role in the process now? When developing a control chart, it is important to understand the type of data that can be included. Variables and attributes are the data types you will find when creating a control chart. Variable data can be measured on a continuous scale and attribute data is a number that can change based on the experiment being conducted.
Determining a process that will lead to quality is a very involved procedure. There are tools and methods that can be used to ensure that standards are being met. Though, these methods are not always agreed upon be other statisticians and quality control pioneers. Acceptance sampling is a concept that has not always obtained a positive welcome, however, some might argue that it is an efficient process that is needed in determining quality standards. Sower (2011) states that “Deming criticized acceptance sampling plans as techniques that ‘‘guarantee that some customers will get defective product.’’ He recommended an ‘‘all or nothing’’ policy. If the process is in statistical control, no inspection is necessary.
If the process is not in statistical control, 100 percent inspection should be implemented. Most, however, concede that acceptance sampling has a legitimate and useful role to play in a quality system.” In other words, there is room for error when there should not be. Look at the FDA, for example. They set standards to our food products that assume there will be room for error. Their policy states “Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110.110 allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard (FDA, 2015).” Now, imagine that level of variation with every product completed. Surely you can see where quality may fail.
Chapters 10 and 11 will provide you with the information necessary to understand statistical tools and methods used in controlling product quality. Your main objective in finishing the weekly learning is to debate the appropriate control chart for speciﬁc applications and data types. Upon completing your chapter reading, be sure to review the presentation and video that are found in your learning material.
Sower, V.E. (2011). Essentials of Quality. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sampling This week you have learned about sampling and its importance throughout the process of quality assurance. Considering what you have learned, review recent articles in the media to find a current event that you feel the company could have used acceptance sampling for. The article should be no older than six months of age. You may use your local media, CNN, MSN, the Grantham University library, or any other media source of your choosing. Be sure to explain in your analysis why acceptance sampling would have been important for this company and how it would have changed the outcome. Use your course materials and outside research to generate a solid analysis on why these methods would be helpful. Your analysis should be supported by research.
The requirements below must be met for your paper to be accepted and graded:
Write between 750 – 1,250 words (approximately 3 – 5 pages) using Microsoft Word in APA style, see example below. Use font size 12 and 1” margins. Include cover page and reference page. At least 80% of your paper must be original content/writing. No more than 20% of your content/information may come from references. Use at least three references from outside the course material, one reference must be from EBSCOhost. Text book, lectures, and other materials in the course may be used, but are not counted toward the three reference requirement. Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased words, values, etc.) in the paper and list on a reference page in APA style. References must come from sources such as, scholarly journals found in EBSCOhost, CNN, online newspapers such as, The Wall Street Journal, government websites, etc. Sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. are not acceptable for academic writing.
A detailed explanation of how to cite a source using APA can be found here (link).
Download an example here.
Grading Criteria Assignments Maximum Points Meets or exceeds established assignment criteria 40 Demonstrates an understanding of lesson concepts 20 Clearly presents well-reasoned ideas and concepts 30 Uses proper mechanics, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling 10 Total 100