10 Requirements for Effective Process Control: A Case Study


Little, Thomas A.   (2001, ASQ)   Thomas A. Little Consulting, Brentwood, CA

Quality Progress    Vol. 34    No. 2
QICID: 14351    February 2001    pp. 46-52
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Article Abstract

Failure to control the manufacturing process results in product recalls, product loss or rework, and a decrease in customer confidence. Because the management of READ-RITE Corporation, a manufacturer of magnetic heads for computer disk drive, considered process control improvements an important priority, 10 requirements were established as the basis of internal company policy.

  1. Clear product specifications for the acceptance, rejection, or rework of the product were established.
  2. Valid and capable metrology assured that instruments and measurement processes were fit for use and well controlled.
  3. Characterization of the process determined which process factors affect the product, the magnitude of the factors, and the factors' numerical sensitivity.
  4. A sample plan defined where process measures are taken, how many to take, and how often.
  5. Using data from the sample plan, a control chart was selected that detected out of control conditions.
  6. An out of control action plan provided the process operator with guidelines for process adjustment.
  7. All process, metrology, and process control procedures were documented to assure standardization of the process.
  8. All personnel involved received training that provided theories and practical knowledge for design and implementation of the system.
  9. A database was designed for engineering and customer use that provided an interface to summarize and analyze performance.
  10. Periodic audits sustained continuous improvement in the control system.


Product quality,Sampling,Process control,Implementation,Metrology,Control charts,Case study

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