7 tools used in quality control

7 tools used in quality control

7 tools used in quality control

Organizations all over the world use different tools in their day to day business. However, seven main tools are used explicitly in quality control. These tools are essential for your problem-solving arsenal and can place you at the top of your quality control in real-time. Let’s explore:

  1. Check sheet/Tally sheet

A check sheet is a basic sheet, used to collect data. It enables the organization to know the number of times a particular event occurred. The data collected can be quantitative or qualitative.  When it is quantitative, it’s called a tally sheet. Here, data is recorded in the check sheet by adding marks or notes that record the frequency of events. This enables the organization to react to defects and errors quickly. A check sheet is also used as a base tool for other quality control tools such as histograms.

2. Stratification

This is a quality control tool used to separate data, objects, and people into distinctive groups. Separating them makes it easier to reveal patterns that may not be obvious when these groups are jumbled up.

A stratification analysis offers a much clearer view of data, be it looking at equipment, days of the week, shifts or materials.

3. Histogram

A histogram is a tool that quality professionals use to document the behaviour of data and people in order to better understand and manage quality.

It may be particularly useful when trying to break down the frequency of data into age, measurements, days of the week or any category that has a numerical or chronological value.

4. Cause and effect diagram (fishbone)

This diagram is used to show the numerous possible cause of a problem and is usually listed in six main groups. These include:

  • Measurement
  • Materials
  • Personnel
  • Environment
  • Methods 
  • Machines

To use the fishbone diagram:

  • Write the head of the problem you seek to solve in the head of the fish on the right
  • List the significant cause of the issue on the spine of the fish

You will notice that these causes are separated into categories of people, processes and materials and will often need a group brainstorming session to identify and resolve the problem.

5. Pareto chart

This is a line-bar graph that stipulates the largest to the smallest number of frequencies. It works on the 80-20% principle, which states that 80% of a system’s problems are caused by 20% of the major factors and that the remaining 20% is caused by 80% of the minor factors. When you look at this way, it becomes easy to understand where to prioritize improvement efforts.

6. Control chart

These charts are used to plot the movement of data over a duration of time. It shows when data points are consistent, and whether they are high or low, due to external reasons. A good example is the Dow Jones.

7. Scatter diagram

A scatter diagram is used to depict the relationship of two variables so that we can understand the cause and effect relationship. A good example is when quality professionals try to understand the relationship between the defects and their relationship towards the environment, personnel or activity.

Parting shot

Understanding these quality control tools, and utilizing them should effectively guide your organization towards an even more successful future. So get down to it.

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