Seven Tools for Quality Control

To make rational decisions using data obtained on the product, or process, or from the consumer, organizations use certain graphical tools. These methods help us learn about the characteristics ofa process, its operating state of affairs and the kind of output we may
expect from it. Graphical methods are easy to understand and provide comprehensive information; they are a viable tool for the analysis of product and process data. These tools are effect on quality improvement. The seven quality control tools are:

1. Pareto charts
Pareto charts help prioritize by arranging them in decreasing order of importance. In an environment of limited resources these diagrams help companies to decide on the order in which they should address problems. The Pareto analysis can be used to identify the problem in a number of forms.

• Analysis of losses by material (number or past number).
• Analysis of losses by process i.e., classification of defects or lot rejections in terms of the process.
• Analysis of losses by product family.
• Analysis by supplier across the entire spectrum of purchases.
• Analysis by cost of the parts.

2. Check sheets
Check sheets facilitate systematic record keeping or data collection observations are recorded as they happen which reveals patterns or trends. Data collection through the use of a checklist is often the first step in analysis of quality problem. A checklist is a form used to record the frequency of occurrence of certain product or service characteristics related to quality. The characteristics may be measurable on a continuous scale such as weight, diameter, time or length.

3. Cause and effect diagram
It is sometimes called as Fish-bone diagram. It is first developed by Kaorv Ishikawa in 1943 and is sometimes called as Ishikawa diagram. The diameter helps the management trace customer complaints directly to the operations involved. The main quality problem is referred to Fish-head; the major categories of potential cause structural bones and the likely specific causes to ribs. It explores possible causes of problems, with the intention being to discover the root causes. This diagram helps identify possible reasons for a process to go out of control as well as possible effects on the process.

4. Scatter diagrams
It often indicates the relationship between two variables. They are often used as follow-ups to a cause and effect analysis to determine whether a stated cause truly does impact the quality characteristics.

5. Histogram/bar charts
It displays the large amounts of data that are difficult to interpret in their raw form. A histogram summarizes data measured on a continuous scale showing the frequency distribution of some quality characteristics (in statistical terms the central

6. Graphs or flow charts
It shows the sequence of events in a process. They are used for manufacturing and service operations. Flow charts are often used to diagram operational procedures to simplify the system. They can identify bottlenecks, redundant steps and non-value added activities. A realistic flow chart can be constructed by using the knowledge of the person who are directly involved in the particular process. The flow chart can be identifies where delays can occur.

7. Control charts
It distinguishes special causes of variations from common causes of variation. They are used to monitor and control process on an on-going basis. A typical control chart plots a selected quality characteristic found from sub-group of observations as a function of sample number. Characteristics such as sample average, sample range and sample proportion of nonconforming units are plotted.

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