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Understanding the Hierarchy of Process Control

Understanding the Hierarchy of Process Control

Quality Progress
October 2000
Volume 33 Issue 10
pp. 63-66
Pylipow, Peter E.


Managers often want to implement process control, but may be confused about what constitutes a state of process control, how they want their manufacturing systems to operate, and what the current state of the operating system may be. The current operating environment and target environment can be characterized through a diagram of process control variables. Seven variables are used when describing the process control environment: what is inspected, the type of data being considered, timing of the inspection, type of record kept, action taken as a result, and by whom the action is taken. A combination map that shows these variables and additional associated information reveals 6,048 possible states of process control. Advancing a state of process control means progressing through the columns on the chart. Process control is an ambiguous term, and implementing process control does not involve attaining a universally recognized end point, but moving to a higher level in any of the seven variables identified.

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