Quality quiz (July 2016): A classic quiz from Professor Cleary—and June’s quiz winners!

Mike ClearyWinners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1 are Beverly Angus (Charleston Area Medical Center, WV); Cindy Chronister (Sam Dong, OH); and Brian Gordon (Touchstone Research Lab, WV). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1, submit your response by July 29.

To celebrate the life and work of Professor Cleary, we are featuring a classic quiz from our archives.

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Quick tips and tricks: Printing labels from GAGEpack

Eric GasperWrestling with the ability to trace specific devices back to her gage management system, a customer called to ask about the best way to manage this process.

Gages require identification, of course, in order to be traced. The details of this identification include the gage number or ID, last calibration date, and next due date. Having this information and rendering it easy to access can be vital to maintaining a healthy measurement system. Applying labels that can then be scanned and information recorded offers the most efficient and accurate approach to managing this kind of accountability. GAGEpack can print these labels.

Barcodes, as well as both temporary and permanent labels, may be among preferred label choices, and GAGEpack can print these labels from a variety of label tape printers, including Brothers Pt, Dymo, and Zebra.

Some tips to get the most out of GAGEpack in producing labels:

  1. Determine what type of label you require: These may be temporary or permanent, or may be barcode ID.
  2. Identify printer capability: Printers that will work with GAGEpack include Brothers PT, Dymo, Zebra, and others.
  3. Getting the most out of GAGEpack in producing labels: Selection of ad hoc labels, system labels (after calibration event, inventory label).

In the end, accurate labels on gages can save users and technicians valuable time by rendering critical information to them at a glance.

Keeping track: Dashboard gives quick overview

Eric GasperWith countless numbers of processes and interminable amounts of data to consider, managers can often lose sight of critical information, including management of measurement devices and the records of calibration and maintenance. A Dashboard feature in GAGEpack by PQ Systems puts this essential information at their fingertips, offering a quick overview of the ways in which the process is being managed.

Poring over lists of data related to records of calibration events, gage replacements, and maintenance records is enough to have a soporific effect on the most diligent manager. On the other hand, a quick look at a Dashboard will provide genuine information rather than simply individual data points. For example, examine the following list of calibration equipment:

Calibrations due today: 8
Calibrations due this week: 29
Calibrations due this month: 58
14 Calibrations are overdue at the moment
From now till June 19th there are 132 calibrations, 39 maintenance events, and 9 MSA studies.

This is a great deal of information to wade through to determine your overall workload, and requires further research to determine which calibrations apply to each category:

Contrast the accessibility of this list with the following Dashboard that summarizes the data in an easy-to-access and highly understandable form:

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Data in everyday life: Out-of-the-box SPC

Derek BensonIn the age of advanced data analytics, sports statistics abound. Take professional sports, for example. It may be common knowledge that basketball player Michael Jordan is revered as the greatest scorer of all time – averaging a record 30.12 points per career NBA game. We know, by virtue of statistics, that Drew Brees is the most accurate quarterback of all time sporting the highest career completion percentage on pass attempts in the NFL. What about Baseball hitting metrics? A great hitter scores high on per-season statistics such as batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage (total bases achieved divided by number of at-bats). Regardless of sport, tradition suggests that statistics are best consumed as a summation of effort over a season or career, and rarely do we compare year-over-year or game-to-game statistics with any value. Further, results analysis is generally Pass/Fail in nature. Did the athlete succeed? Is this number successful? Why or why not? By the time these questions are answered, it’s too late to do anything about it!

In the world of quality, we know better! We understand that any process – even sports – can and should be considered as a process over time if we want to continuously improve. After all, professional athletes are surely striving for their numbers to go up over time. It would be interesting to focus less on “athletic doing” and more on “athletic learning.” What’s important in Statistical Process Control is that we ask the right questions and understand the variation in the process actually being monitored.

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Are fakes better quality? Many Chinese-made counterfeit products are now of “better quality” than the genuine article, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba has said.

American car quality: Domestic automotive manufacturers have won more Total Quality Awards than their foreign competitors.

Keys to selecting gage software: See Steve Daum’s article listing keys to selecting the right gage management product in the June issue of Quality.

Uses of charts: Donald J. Wheeler discusses the ways in which process behavior charts are used as “report cards.”

Teacher salaries: Asking the right question about statistics

Barb ClearyApproaching the end of the school year means focusing on graduation rates, dropout rates, and other data suggesting trends for students.

Opportunities for considering statistics abound; but one must continue to examine the way that these statistics are actually used, by asking the right questions about the data.

For example: As teachers finish state testing regimens and head into final exams, it may be useful to see data related to average pay for teachers. Is it going up?

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Quality quiz (June 2016): A classic quiz from Professor Cleary—and May’s quiz winners!

Mike ClearyWinners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1 are Cheri Schillinger (Metal Powder Products, PA); Ward Monn (Fenner Dunlop, OH); and Johnnie Abbott (Concote Corp., TX). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1, submit your response by June 30.

To celebrate the life and work of Professor Cleary, we are featuring a classic quiz from our archives.

Continue reading