At its core, manufacturing success is all about quality. Consistently adhering to quality standards ultimately delights your customers and takes you far beyond the benefits of brand loyalty. Determining the cost of quality (COQ) is a complex but essential endeavor; there’s the cost of poor quality to consider and the cost of good quality or preventing issues from happening in the first place. In plants producing hundreds of separate items, tracking the many variables that influence quality can feel like a massive undertaking. And of course, it’s not just tracking this information that facilitates change; the goal is to derive meaningful insights from the data to inform future decisions.
Both SPC and SQC help to drive smooth operations to promote efficient output and optimal results. They both play a role in overall success in operations, but those two roles are different. Here’s what to know about SPC and SQC to determine which is right for your Food & Beverage or CPG manufacturing facility.
What Is Statistical Process Control?
Simply put, SPC uses statistical methods and sampling programs to help plant and operations managers understand and control variability in their manufacturing processes. Process variations are displayed in real-time charts and trigger alerts as processes begin to trend out of expected, standard limits. The main objective of statistical process control (SPC) is to better manage operations and reduce waste and the need for rework. Plant and Ops managers like SPC because it gives them the concrete information they need to stop a line and fix problems before they spin out of control.
Statistical Process Control (SPC) is a type of quality control practice which uses statistical methods to monitor and control a process. It allows manufacturing facilities to observe and manage behaviors, uncover bottlenecks, and discover solutions for production problems.
In challenging times, every little bit of continuous improvement adds to the bottom line. In 2020, we're seeing more and more F&B companies doubling down on data and leveraging SPC and OEE to boost margins and profits.
Originally developed by Bell Laboratories about a century ago, Statistical Process Control (SPC for short) is a quality control method which employs statistical methods that monitor and control a process to ensure it can meet specifications. We created a quick video for those in the food & beverage industry that want a high-level overview of SPC. In particular, it covers what SPC is, and how using specific metrics like Ppk, SPC, Cpk, Control Limits, Spec Limits, and Run Rules can help users understand and manage variability in a process.