Fu, H.J.; Haggerty, Charles M.; Clairmont, Gary D. (1989, ASQC) Digital Equipment Corp., Shrewsbury, MA
Manufacturing competitiveness depends to a large extent on the ability to make continuous process improvement. An environment of never-ending improvement demands an effective decision making process supported by a mechanism to generate timely and correct information. As decisions are moved to a lower level and a wider range of personnel, the easy access to critical information becomes more important than ever, especially in the production of complex products with a large amount of collected data. This paper presents the development of a statistical analysis and reporting system that expanded the information abstraction capability of a new magnetic recording heads manufacturing facility beyond simply the reporting of raw data. Using the system, raw data can be reduced to process trending patterns via statistical techniques, and, the resulting comprehensive reports can be automatically distributed. This added level of data processing, along with the existing data reporting capability, provide a full range of indicators necessary to control and refine the manufacturing processes. The system was implemented as an integral part of the shop floor quality information system such that all levels of abstracted data are accessible from one place. Since everyone should contribute to quality improvement, the system was intended and designed for use by everybody, most of them non-statisticians. This was accomplished by building a friendly user interface and an automatic quality database interface. The user interface is process-oriented or reflective of the processes, not statistical terms. The system is integrated with the quality database so that users need not know the particulars of data location or query languages.