Vol. 8, No. 7

July 2006

PQ Systems

SQCpack real-time charting

Quality Quiz: With a video!

Six Sigma

Data in everyday life

Bytes and pieces

FYI: Current releases


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Quality Quiz:

Click here for a more complete video explanation

Kohl Minor has been assistant quality manager at the Blackern Dirt Coal Mine for nearly ten years. His supervisor, Hal Zangels, has earned a knock-off Black Belt from an Internet school that he found as he was scrolling through the web on a late shift one night. Since Hal did not want to get his Harley dirty by riding it to another state for certified training, this shortcut served him quite well. It has impressed Kohl suitably as well.

With Hal on the verge of promotion now that he has Black Belt status, Kohl Minor is likewise inspired to get ahead. Finding a printout of one of Hal's Black Belt lessons, he is determined to learn what he can, short of actually enrolling in a training program.

The data on Hal's printout reflects coal output and cost from the prior year.

Although the data means little to Kohl when he glances at it, he understands how to use run charts, so he applies this technique to the data, creating a run chart of output and a run chart of costs, then sharing these proudly with Hal Zangels.

"Why in the h-- did you do two charts?" Hal bellowed. Hal was not one to hold back. "There are a thousand better ways to do this!"

Kohl sticks to his guns, insisting that run charts provide the best analysis of the available data, since they reflect a process over time.

Is Kohl Minor right, or is his analysis (like his shoes) perhaps a little too narrow?

a) Yes. I'd give it to Kohl Minor. His heart's in the right place, and he's guessed right on this one.

b) No. These two run charts do not give enough information about the relationship between costs and output.

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