Using SPC to Create a Visible Competitive Advantage

Manufacturers wanting to achieve excellence in efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction are recommended to leverage Statistical Process Control to provide real-time visibility into their manufacturing operations. That’s one of the key findings of a comprehensive study by Boston-based Aberdeen Group, a research organization that benchmarks the best practices of leading manufacturers.

According to the report, “Operational Excellence in the Process Industries: Driving Performance through Real-Time Visibility,” SPC is an essential tool for providing real-time information to help management monitor and improve critical manufacturing operations, a key benchmark of best-in-class companies.

The finding of the study does not surprise Stephen A. Arnett, CEO of DataNet Quality Systems.

“With companies facing increasing pressure to manufacture high-quality products and meet complex customer and regulatory requirements, there is no room for error,” Arnett says. “That’s why SPC is used by the most competitive companies.”

That’s also why real-time SPC software like DataNet’s WinSPC is an increasingly important solution for manufacturers.

“The preventative quality control and real-time SPC system built into WinSPC have helped hundreds of companies dramatically improve quality and efficiency in their manufacturing operations. In the process, WinSPC gave these companies an important bonus: a competitive edge.”

A competitive advantage is all the more important, the Aberdeen report says, because “manufacturing companies are aware that if they cannot match prices of global competitors or do not have sufficient differentiation in other capacities they can quickly lose market share.”

According to the report, the top four market pressures facing manufacturers are:

* Reducing operating costs (76%)

* Reducing process operations variability (41%)

* Competing with low-cost global competition (29%)

* Meeting regulatory compliance, such as FDA, EPA, OSHA, PHMSA, and EU (19%)

Not surprisingly, the four key performance metrics that characterized best-in-class manufacturers averaged: 99% manufacturing schedule compliance, 99% perfect orders, 97% overall yield, and 94% Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).

None of the four performance metrics shared by best-in class companies could be possible without deploying SPC, the study notes.

“SPC is used especially in batch operations to monitor and control the physical property values and characteristics of the material produced,” the report notes, “but can also be used as a quality measure to ensure that samples measured throughout a product stream stay on target to the intended design specification.”

The Aberdeen report can be viewed at:

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