Introduction to Production Process
Follow these 4 steps to ensure efficient use of resources
The primary activity of a PPC is to collect and
analyze data so that we may draw conclusions about and ultimately
improve our production processes. In many industrial applications,
access to production facilities for the purposes of conducting experiments
is very limited. Thus we must be very careful in how we go about
these activities so that we can be sure of doing them in a cost-effective
|Step 1: Plan
The most important step by far is the planning step.
By faithfully executing this step, we will ensure that we only collect
data in the most efficient manner possible and still support the goals
of the PPC. Planning should generate the following:
All decisions that affect how the characterization will be conducted should
be made during the planning phase. The process characterization should
be conducted according to this plan, with all exceptions noted.
- a statement of the goals
- a descriptive process model (a list of process inputs and
- a description of the sampling plan (including a description of
the procedure and settings to be used to run the process during
the study with clear assignments for each person involved)
- a description of the method of data collection, tasks and
responsibilities, formatting, and storage
- an outline of the data analysis
|Step 2: Collect
Data collection is essentially just the execution
of the sampling plan part of the previous step. If a good job were
done in the planning step, then this step should be pretty straightforward.
It is important to execute to the plan as closely as possible and to note
|Step 3: Analyze
||This is the combination of quantitative (regression,
ANOVA, correlation, etc.) and graphical (histograms, scatter plots, box
plots, etc.) analysis techniques that are applied to the collected data
in order to accomplish the goals of the PPC.
|Step 4: Report
Reporting is an important step that should not be
overlooked. By creating an informative report and archiving it in
an accessible place, we can ensure that others have access to the information
generated by the PPC. Often, the work involved in a PPC can
be minimized by using the results of other, similar studies. Examples of
PPC reports can be found in the Case Studies
The planning and data collection steps are described
in detail in the data collection section.
The analysis and interpretation steps are covered in detail in the analysis
section. Examples of the reporting step can be seen in
the Case Studies.