Two new guides to the use of statistical process control charts

Press release - 1 August 2008

All tasks encountered at work involve a process, some more complex than others. The output of many processes is dependent on, often multiple, inputs.

  • Are you sure that the output is the best that your process can achieve? 
  • Could the output be improved by adjusting some of the input parameters of the process? 
  • How do you know whether the process is stable or unstable, "in" or "out" of control?
  • How do you know that the output from a process continues at its best level? 

Two new publications from BSI British Standards provide guidance on how statistical process control charts can be used in different scenarios where only a limited amount of data is available or processes have short duration. The standards help organizations ensure consistent, predictable, capable and reliable processes.

When people think about processes they often think about product manufacture but processes are used by many organizations in order to deliver a service. Process control charts are therefore equally applicable to service and manufacturing organizations. They are an essential tool for quality improvement and form part of the toolset of Six Sigma practitioners.

Two new parts of the BS 5702 series have recently been published:

  • BS 5702-2:2008 - Guide to statistical process control (SPC) charts for variables – Part 2: Charts for individual values
  • BS 5702-3:2008 - Guide to statistical process control (SPC) charts for variables – Part 3: Charting techniques for short runs and small mixed batches

The standards demonstrate the benefits, versatility and usefulness of a simple but powerful pictorial method for monitoring, audit and surveillance with the objectives to control and improve many types of processes. They also explain which type of control chart is most applicable to a particular process and they complement BS 5702-1:2001 - Guide to statistical process control (SPC) charts for variables. Part 1: Charts for mean, median, range and standard deviation.

The standards are relevant to all people who need to ensure that the processes that they control are delivering the best and continue to do so. They can be applied across industry, commerce, public service, health care, environment, food, information technology and finance. Case studies are included to illustrate this adaptability.

Please go to the on-line BSI Shop to buy the standards and also see standards in the BS 5701 and BS 5703 series, each comprising four parts and which are also available from BSI.