Statistical Process Control (SPC)

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Assembly Line

The Science of Production

Date:

Author: Brian Potter

Topics: Statistical Process Control

Vertical: Construction

Getting to this state of control was an iterative process - each time something was fixed, more data was collected, revealing new causes that the previous issues had masked. Each iteration proceeded the same way - plot the data on a control chart, look for patterns, locate the issue and make any necessary process adjustments.

Construction, once again, is a world that pushes production optimization difficulties to 11. All the things that make science hard to do in a manufacturing environment are even harder in construction. For one thing, construction has a much higher rate of process changes - every new project means new workers, new environmental conditions, new materials, new construction details, etc. Not only does this introduce new causes to the process, but it changes (if only slightly) what the basic process is. As we’ve seen with learning curves, it only takes very small disruptions to ‘reset’ what workers know about a process, and these disruptions occur much more frequently in construction.

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