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Want consistent precision metal stamping quality? Insist on SPC.

Posted by Tim Lynch | 10/5/10 9:11 AM

 SPC.  You’ve heard the acronym.  Some customers, especially in the automotive industry, require it. But do you know why it’s critical for metal stamping manufacturers to incorporate Statistical Process Control (SPC) in all their quality control processes?  In a word: consistency.

The secret’s in the stats.

 With SPC, statistical methods are used to track the metal stamping manufacturing process, allowing you to pick up even the smallest variances before big problems occur down the line.  Important attributes are assigned to the metal stamping with an acceptable range for variances during manufacturing. Then variances from the norm are charted automatically in real time with SPC software.  The desired result: a consistent output for the entire metal stamping process.  If unacceptable variances occur, with SPC, it’s easy to see exactly where the process gets out of whack, allowing a manager to address the causes and resolve the problem as quickly as possible. 

While every attribute can't be measured during the process, focus should be placed on those that have the biggest potential impact on production yields.  After all, problems with quality of the metal stamping affect costs and customer satisfaction alike.

Stop problems before they start.

Perhaps the most significant value of SPC for both the metal stamping manufacturer and the customer is its ability to monitor variation real time during production and make adjustments to the process, thereby avoiding problems before they occur.  Data is collected automatically and charted, allowing engineers to spot problems and make process control decisions to eliminate any hitches before full-scale manufacturing of the metal stamping is underway.

SPC simply shouldn’t be optional.

Of course, for precision metal stamping manufacturers going after Six Sigma and other stringent quality certifications, SPC is simply not optional.  It’s a mandate.  But customers, who expect zero defects and maintain their own high quality standards, need to insist on SPC as well. 

Want to learn more about SPC?

For more about SPC and training options, check out the American Society for Quality’s ASQ Learning Institute, which offers a variety of courses on SPC, including “Charting Process Behavior,” at http://asq.org/training/charting-process-behavior-spc_CPB01MS.html.

The Center for System Reliability at the government’s Sandia National Laboratories works with businesses and government agencies to address reliability related issues, manufacturing statistics, and industrial engineering issues, among others.  Visit http://reliability.sandia.gov/index.html.

This article is the latest in our Precision Metal Stamping Quality Control series.  Be sure to read our previously posted article:


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Topics: Quality Control