The perennial question: which chart is best?

Barb ClearyThe perennial answer is, of course, “It depends.”

For decades of users, Shewhart control charts have provided information about process stability. Like all Shewhart charts, data is plotted over time and in order from oldest to most current. The traditional control chart, an old standby, is not the only possibility when it comes to garnering information from process data. In monitoring processes with small drifts or changes, for example, the exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) chart may offer an improvement over traditional Shewhart control charts.

But again, that depends. Certain processes—for example, in the chemical industry—benefit from understanding small shifts or drifts in a process. For other industries, Shewhart control charts do the job quite effectively.

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Data in everyday life: Riding statistical ups and downs for your favorite amusement parks

Matt WellmanNothing says summer quite like amusement parks. The roller coasters, water rides, food, and shows: there is really nothing better. I have my personal favorite parks, but I have always wondered how they rank against other amusement parks in the United States in terms of attendance. I am excluding parks run by Disney and Universal–who can really compete with them?–and they are more theme parks than they are amusement parks.

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Quality quiz (May 2017)—and April’s quiz winners!

Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1 are Barbara Dockery (Ulbrich Precision Flat Wire of Westminster, SC); Ola Okikiolu (Oratech Inc. of South Jordan, UT); and Tim Bumgarner (UPS of Atlanta, GA). 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 May 31.

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Older and fatter: Crash-test dummies need to look like real people to measure injuries in auto accidents — and for Americans these days that means looking older and fatter.

Medical 3-D manufacturing: CT Inspection aids production of 3D-printed medical implants.

British diesel cars: Diesel drivers in England will receive compensation to encourage them to scrap or “retrofit” polluting vehicles under a proposed bill designed to reduce emissions.

More cars and quality: Tesla is struggling with issues related to the quality of its cars.

Data in everyday life: Baby steps with quality improvement

Derek BensonHow early is too early to introduce quality into your everyday life? Have we missed out on improvement opportunities in our personal lives along our paths to achieving our career goals as quality professionals? These questions have me pondering about how life could have been different for me growing up with a little more emphasis on data analysis for improvement.

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Bytes and pieces: News you can use

Risk management: Liability insurance for directors and officers may be something that companies need (pg. 14).

PQ at conference: Stop by PQ Systems’ booth #212 in the exhibit area to say hello to Jim and Scott, and try out new product releases at ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement May 1-3 in Charlotte, NC.

Food safety and culture: Communications, company vision, and emergency preparedness help to establish a culture of food safety.

Great design: The five best-designed products of all time are reviewed.