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7 QC Tools

Cause and Effect Diagram

Pareto Diagrams
Check Sheets
Control Charts
Flowchart

Histograms

Scatter Diagrams

These are 7 QC tools also known as ISHIKAWAS 7QC tools which revolutionised the
Japane & the World in Sixties & Seventies
Histogram
By Kerri Simon

Purpose Of A Histogram
A histogram is used to graphically summarize and display the distribution of a process data set.

Sample Bar Chart Depiction

How To Construct A Histogram


A histogram can be constructed by segmenting the range of the data into equal sized bins (also
called segments, groups or classes). For example, if your data ranges from 1.1 to 1.8, you could
have equal bins of 0.1 consisting of 1 to 1.1, 1.2 to 1.3, 1.3 to 1.4, and so on.

The vertical axis of the histogram is labeled Frequency (the number of counts for each bin), and
the horizontal axis of the histogram is labeled with the range of your response variable.

You then determine the number of data points that reside within each bin and construct the
histogram. The bins size can be defined by the user, by some common rule, or by software
methods (such as Minitab).

What Questions The Histogram Answers

 What is the most common system response?


 What distribution (center, variation and shape) does the data have?
 Does the data look symmetric or is it skewed to the left or right?
 Does the data contain outliers?

Histograms
Purpose: To determine the spread or variation of a set of data points in a
graphical form.

Variation: It is always a desire to produce things that are equal to their design
values. For example if we are producing a number of cylindrical objects
having a certain diameter value, we wish that every part produced will have the
same diameter value. But this is not always the case. We will always have
variation in the values of the diameter between each produced part. Variation is
everywhere. It is found in the output of any process: manufacturing, service, or
administrative. But variation is not all bad. One characteristic of variation is
that it always displays a pattern, a distribution. These patterns can tell us a
great deal about the process itself and the causes of problems found in the
process. Histograms help us identify and interpret these patterns.

Figure 1

Histograms: A histogram is a tool for summarizing, analyzing, and displaying


data. It provides the user with a graphical representation of the amount of
variation found in a set of data. Histograms sort observations or data points,
which are measurable data, into categories and describes the frequency of the
data found in each category.

Constructing a Histogram: The following are the steps followed in the


construction of a histogram: The following are the steps followed in the
construction of a histogram:

Data collection: To ensure good results, a minimum of 50 data points, or


samples, need to be collected
Calculate the range of the sample data: The range is the difference between
the largest and smallest data points. Range = Largest point - smallest point.
Data points need to be divided on the X axis into classes, look at Figure
1above. This is a very important step because how you select the class scale
will determine the effectiveness of the histogram in interpreting the variation
found in the data set. Table 1 below lists some of the rules of thumb for
determining the number of classes to use with respect to the number of
collected data points.

Table 1. Rules of thumb for class selection.

Sample No# of
size classes
0-50 5-7
51-99 8-10
100-250 10-15
over 250 15-20

Calculate the size of the class interval. The class interval is the width of each
class on the X axis. It is calculated by the following formula: Class interval
= Range / Number of classes.
Determine the class boundary. They are the largest and smallest data points
that can be included in each class.
Calculate the number of data points (frequency) that are in each class. A
tally sheet is usually used to find the frequency of data points in each
interval.
Draw the Histogram, as in Figure 1, and plot the data.
An Example: Company X manufactures small resistors with a resistance value
of 100 Ohms. Recently, the company has been receiving numerous complaints
from their customers about these resistors. The value of the resistance has been
deviating from the design value. A team of workers was selected to investigate
this deviation in the resistance values. As a starting point, the team decided to
construct a histogram to see the extent of variation in the resistance value. A
sample of 50 resistors from the production line was taken for the construction
of the histogram. The sample's resistance values are listed in Table 2 below.

Table 2. The resistance value for 50 resistors.

87 90 86 101 83
84 108 89 80 85
100 79 90 92 90
81 94 86 85 100
83 110 90 100 91
91 89 100 81 107
76 74 99 85 85
76 100 74 79 77
90 85 91 84 100
85 82 88 85 99

-The range of the fifty data points = 110 - 74 = 36.


-The Number of classes is 6 ( from Table 1).
-The class interval = range/number of classes= 36/6 = 6
-The class boundary and the frequency of each class are listed in Table 3
below.
Figure 2

Table 3.

Class Boundaries Tally Total


1 71-77 ///// 5
2 78-83 //////// 8
3 84-90 ////////////////// 18
4 91-97 ///////// 9
5 98-104 /////// 7
6 105-111 /// 3

-Figure 2 above shows the histogram of the 50 resistor sample taken from the
production line. It is clear that the majority of resistors, about half, have a
resistance value between 78 and 90 Ohms. This makes us conclude that
company X's original assumption that the resistors have a resistance value of
100 Ohms is incorrect. The nest step is to look at the manufacturing process
and determine the cause or causes of this deviation.

Conclusion: Histogram are simple tools that allow the user to identify and
interpret the variation found in a set of data points. They are used to
summarize and display data in a simple but clear manner. It is important to
remember that histograms do not give solutions to problems. They only
provide a starting point for the improvement process. Also, the results obtained
from any histogram will depend on the date which the histogram is made. If
the data is inaccurate then any result obtained from the histogram is also
inaccurate.

Pareto Chart
By Kerri Simon

Purpose Of A Pareto Chart


A pareto chart is used to graphically summarize and display the relative importance of the
differences between groups of data.

Sample Pareto Chart Depiction

How To Construct A Pareto Chart


A pareto chart can be constructed by segmenting the range of the data into groups (also called
segments, bins or categories). For example, if your business was investigating the delay
associated with processing credit card applications, you could group the data into the following
categories:

 No signature
 Residential address not valid
 Non-legible handwriting
 Already a customer
 Other
The left-side vertical axis of the pareto chart is labeled Frequency (the number of counts for each
category), the right-side vertical axis of the pareto chart is the cumulative percentage, and the
horizontal axis of the pareto chart is labeled with the group names of your response variables.

You then determine the number of data points that reside within each group and construct the
pareto chart, but unlike the bar chart, the pareto chart is ordered in descending frequency
magnitude. The groups are defined by the user.

What Questions The Pareto Chart Answers


 What are the largest issues facing our team or business?
 What 20% of sources are causing 80% of the problems (80/20 Rule)?
 Where should we focus our efforts to achieve the greatest improvements?

Check Sheets
Purpose:

Check sheets allow the user to collect data from a process in an easy,
systematic, and organized manner.

Data Collection:

Before we can talk about check sheets we need to understand what we mean by
data collection. Process improvement actions are always based on information
obtained from data collected from the actual process. This collected data needs
to be accurate and relevant to the quality problem being analyzed if we wish for
our information about this problem to also be accurate. Information is based on
data. There are three primary steps that need to be taken before any data can be
collected. The first is to establish a purpose for collecting this data. This is
based on the quality problem that is going to be investigated. Second, we need
to define the type of data that is going to be collected. Data can be collected in
two ways: Measurable data such as length, size, weight, time,...etc., and
countable data such as the number of defects. Which type of data to use again
depends on the quality problem being investigated. The third step is to
determine who is going to collect that data and when it should be collected.
Usually one can use statistical guides on when to take samples, or data points,
from a process. As for who is going to collect the data, what is important is
that the person collecting the data understands the purpose of collecting this
data and his role in the data collecting process.

Check Sheets:

Check sheets are some of the most common tools used for collecting data.
They allow the data to be collected in an easy, systematic, and organized
manner. Also, data collected using check sheets can be used as input data for
other quality tools such as Pareto diagrams. There are four main types of check
sheets used for data collection (custom check sheets can also be designed to fit
specific needs):

1.Defective Item Check Sheet:

This type of check sheet is used to identify what types of problems or defects
are occurring in the process. Usually these check sheets will have a list of the
defects or problems that may occur in the process. When each sample is taken,
a mark is placed in the appropriate column whenever a defect or a problem has
been identified. The type of data used in the defective item check sheets is
countable data. Table 1 below shows an example of a defective item check
sheet for the wave solder manufacturing process.

Table 1. Wave Solder Defect Count.

Defect Insufficient Solder Excessive


Cold Solder Blow Holes
Type Solder Bridge Solder
Frequency xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx
Total 7 2 3 14 2

2. Defective Location Check Sheet:

These type of check sheets are used to identify the location of the defect on the
product. They are used when the external appearance of the product is
important. Usually this type of check sheet consists of a picture of the product.
On this picture, marks can be made to indicate were defects are occurring on
the surface of the product.

3. Defective Cause Check Sheet:

This type of check sheet tries to identify causes of a problem or a defect. More
than one variable is monitored when collecting data for this type of check
sheets. For example, we could be collecting data about the type of machine,
operator, date, and time on the same check sheet. Table 2 below is an example
of this type of check sheets. As we can see most of the error is occurring at
machine 2 and at the afternoon shift. This could suggest that machine 2 has
problems when it is run in the afternoon shift.

Table 2. Defect cause check sheet.

Machine 1 Machine 2
Operator A Morning X X
Afternoon XX XXXXXX
Operator B Morning X XX
Afternoon XX XXXXXXXXX
X= Number of times the supervisor is called per day.

4. Checkup Confirmation Check Sheet:

This type of check sheet is used to ensure that proper procedures are being
followed. These check sheets usually will have a list of tasks that need to be
accomplished before the action can be taken. Examples of checkup
confirmation check sheets are final inspection, machine maintenance, operation
checks, and service performance check sheets.

Conclusion:

Check sheets are helpful tools for proper data collection. They are easy to use
and allow the user to collect data in a systematic and organized manner. Many
types of check sheets are available. The most common are the defective item,
defective location, defective cause, and checkup confirmation check sheets.
Scatter Diagrams
Purpose: To identify correlations that might exist between a quality
characteristic and a factor that might be driving it.

Scatter Diagrams: A scatter diagram is a nonmathematical or graphical


approach for identifying relationships between a performance measure and
factors that might be driving it. This graphical approach is quick, easy to
communicate to others, and generally easy to interpret. Figure 1 below shows a
commonly used structure for a scatter diagram. The data needed to construct
the scatter diagram must be collected in pairs (X,Y). Almost always the
performance characteristic, Y, is plotted on the vertical axis, while the
suspected correlated factor, X, is plotted on the horizontal axis. The point of
intersection between the two axes is the average of each of the sets of data (i.e.
the average of all the X's and the average of all the Y's). The collected data is
not for only observing the quality characteristic under investigation but also
observing other factors or causes that might have an impact on the quality
characteristic. For example if we are taking measurements of the surface finish
of a machined part, we will want to take measurements of other factors such as
feed rate and tool condition that could have an effect on our surface finish
quality characteristic.

Constructing the Scatter Diagram:

Step 1: Select the two items you wish to study. The results of the cause-and-
effect diagram could be very helpful in determining which items to select.
For example the two items could be an effect and a related cause.
Step 2: Collect the data. The more data you have more accurate your
conclusions will be. Always remember that the type of data needed to
construct the scatter diagram is paired.
Step 3: Draw the axis of the scatter diagram. Remember that the
performance characteristic in on the Y axis, and the suspected correlated
factor on the X axis. The point of intersection of the two axes is the average
of each of the sets of data. You can also make the origin point (0,0) your
intersection point.
Step 4: Plot each set of paired data onto the graph (i.e. (Xo,Yo), (X1,Y1),
(X2,Y2),......,(Xn,Yn), where n is the number of samples taken.

Interpreting the Results: Once all the data points have been plotted onto the
scatter diagram, you are ready to determine whether their exists a relation
between the two selected items or not. When a strong relationship is present,
the change in one item will automatically cause a change in the other. If no
relationship can be detected, the change in one item will not effect the other
item. Their are three basic types of relationships that can be detected to on a
scatter diagram:

Figure 1

1. Positive relationship; As the item on the X axis increases, the item on the Y
axis also increases, and vice versa, look at Figure 1.
Figure 2

2. Negative relationship; As the item on the X axis increases, the item on the Y
axis decreases, look at Figure 2.

Figure 3

3. No relationship; Changing the values of item X does not have any effect on
the value of item Y, look at Figure 3.

Conclusion: Scatter diagrams allow the user to graphically identify


correlations that could exist between a quality characteristic and a factor that
might be driving it. It is a quality tool that is simple, easy to communicate to
others, and generally easy to interpret.