Process Control Methods (SPC)

Programme overview

Implementing APQP and PPAP requires an in-depth knowledge of process control methods. TEC’s 2-day course covers the requirements of Process Control Methods using practical exercises, workshops and quizzes. The objective is to qualify practitioners who will be ‘subject experts’ capable of implementing applicable methods and training operators.

This course meets in full the requirements of the now superseded AS13006 standard and the requirements of AS13100 (Chapter C 21.8) and RM13006 Process Control Methods.

In addition to covering AS13006 requirements, particular attention is given to the selection and use of practical SPC (Statistical Process Control) in the aerospace and defence sectors in which low volumes, complex products and high product mixes are the norm!

The relationship between the AS9145, AS9103, AS13003, AS13004 and SAE J1739 standards are identified and explained – with particular reference to Control plans, PFMEAs and Measurement Systems Analysis (GR&R).

Programme details

The requirements of AS13006 are covered in a systematic and practical manner using quizzes, team and individual exercises –

AESQ and IAQG – standards

  • AS13006 requirements (clauses)

Variability – the irrefutable facts!

  • Process variation – the irrefutable facts!
  • Process variation – product characteristics

Identifying types of variation and understanding sources of variation

  • Workshop-1
  • Differentiating sources of process variation
  • Identifying all sources of process variation
  • Judging a process in a state of statistical control
  • Stable and controlled ‘operating environment’
  • Common causes of variation
  • Team exercise – examples of common causes
  • Special causes of variation
  • Team exercise – examples of special causes

4.1 Process control methods requirements overview

  • Process control methods overview
  • Foundational activities
  • Individual exercise – unfamiliar acronyms
  • Pre-operation process checklist
  • First piece check (aka ISIR)
  • AS13006 interfaces with IAQG/SAE standards
  • Process control activities overview – AS13006
  • Mandated AS13006 activities

Introduction to basic statistical analysis

  • Workshop-2
  • Creating the shaft diameter on a CNC lathe
  • The first 10 subgroups (diameter measurements)
  • Visualizing the ‘voice of the data’ (Run Chart & Histogram)
  • Class quiz – visualizing the ‘trends’ (Run Char
  • Class quiz – does the data look ‘bell-shaped’? (Histogram)
  • Class quiz – is the data normally distributed? (Anderson-Darling)
  • Team exercise – what did you make of the data?
  • Understanding the ‘pattern’ of variation
  • Properties of the normal distribution
  • Class quiz – central tendency and dispersion

Calculating mean (Xbar) and standard deviation (σ)

  • Calculating the mean (Xbar)
  • Calculating the standard deviation (σ)
  • Understanding the StDev (σ) formula
  • Individual exercise – calculating Xbar and StDev

Understanding process capability

  • Workshop-3
  • Visualizing process capability
  • Illustration – ‘non-capable’ process (centred)
  • Illustration – ‘capable’ process (centred)
  • Process capability – Cp (best case)
  • Individual exercise – Cp calculation
  • Process capability – Cpk (worse case)
  • Individual exercise – Cpk calculation
  • Team exercise – Cp and Cpk of shaft diameters
  • Minitab® – Cp and Cpk calculations
  • Process capability – AS9145 requirements
  • Benefits of centring a process (Cpk – Cp)
  • Cp & Cpk and Pp & Ppk differences explained
  • Subgroup size = 50 (Cmk index)
  • Performance levels – process capability/yield

Understanding how statistical control limits (LCL & UCL) are determined

  • Workshop-4
  • Control charts – the basic principles
  • Understanding the reasons for taking samples
  • Representation of the ‘population’ parameters and ‘sample’ statistics
  • Using samples – the ‘central limit theorem’
  • Minitab® simulation – population/sample statistics
  • It’s easier to work with ‘averages’ and ‘ranges’
  • Relationship – population σ – mean range (Rbar)
  • Relationship – population σ – StDev range (σR)
  • Minitab® simulation to establish d2 and d3 (n = 5)
  • Histogram of our ‘population’ data values
  • Histogram of the ‘range statistics’
  • What are the implications?
  • Calculating σXbar from Rbar data
  • Creating Xbar control charts
  • Creating Rbar control charts
  • Table of constants for Xbar and R control charts (AS13006 TABLE 8-4)

Setting up and monitoring statistical control methods

  • Workshop-5
  • Steps in setting up statistical process control
  • Address common causes
  • (1) Collect data at the shop-floor
  • (2) Graphical assessment (i.e. Run Chart)
  • (3) Confirm ‘normality’ from data – histogram
  • (4) Confirm ‘normality’ from data – by analysis
  • (5) Determine process capability index (Cpk)
  • If non-capable determine/fix all causes
  • The first 10 subgroups (diameter measurements)
  • (1) If non-capable improve the process
  • (2) Again, confirm ‘normality’ – by analysis
  • (3) Select control method – Xbar & R (Variables)
  • WARNING – Xbar & R (for noncapable process)
  • Select control method – I-MR Chart (variables)
  • Monitor using the 8 industry standard tests
  • Team exercise – using the 8-tests with I-MR Chart
  • Select control method – P Chart (attributes)
  • Select control method – NP Chart (attributes)
  • Cp & Cpk and Pp & Ppk differences explained

4.2 Applicability

  • Process control methods and their usage
  • Process and product characteristics
  • Understanding characteristic (data) ‘types’
  • Data collection essentials
  • Manually maintained Xbar & R chart (circa 1983)
  • Individual exercise – process/product characteristics
  • Proactive vs. Reactive process control
  • Benefits of proactive process control and SPC
  • Excuses for not implementing SPC
  • Team exercise – ‘counter-responses’ to excuses
  • Identification of characteristics – APQP ‘roadmap’
  • Control plan – the ‘pivotal’ document
  • Characteristics and their control methods
  • Individual exercise – use of APQP and the ‘tools’
  • Products within families (components/assemblies)

4.3 Organizational quality system requirements

  • QMS conformity with AS9100 and AS9145
  • QMS additional AS13006 requirements (audit checklist – Appendix B)

4.4 Training and competency

  • Knowledge/Skills of tools and methodologies
  • Individual exercise – Knowledge/Skills competency (practitioner & APQP teams)

4.5 Process control prerequisites

  • Definition of a measurement system
  • Factors affecting measurement systems (SWIPE)
  • Components of measurement variation
  • Understanding measurement system analysis
  • Individual exercise – use of MSA methodologies?
  • Identification of product/process characteristics
  • Individual exercise – determination of KCs & Cis

4.6 Process control method selection

  • Relating control charts to data types
  • Determining the appropriate control chart
  • Team exercise – selecting appropriate control chart
  • Alternatives to AS13006 control activities
  • Risk mitigation using multiple control methods
  • Indirect control activities
  • Process control methods using automation
  • Work instructions to operate the controls

4.7 Process analysis and improvement

  • Follow the Deming cycle (P-D-C-A)

4.7.1 Plan data collection

  • Data collection forms – data types
  • Planning data collection (apply to all KCs and CIs)
  • Reminder: characteristic (data) categories
  • Steps in setting up statistical process control

4.7.2 Generate process data

  • Process control methods using automation
  • Data collection – 25 subgroups (size 5)
  • Data graphical analysis – 25 subgroups
  • Run chart – data collected in time sequence
  • Team quiz – what would be your decision?
  • Pre-control chart
  • Pre-control charts – operational rule variants
  • Class quiz – what would be your decision?

4.7.3 Analyze data

  • Basic checks for statistical control
  • Process capability analysis (focus on Cpk)
  • Process capability ‘Sixpack Report’ for process
  • Class quiz – standard tests (special cause variation)
  • Team exercise – chamber diameters (I-M Chart)

4.7.4 Conduct improvement

  • Process condition – unstable, stable and capable
  • Process condition – unstable, stable and capable
  • Data graphical analysis – 25 subgroups
  • Process capability analysis (focus on Cpk)
  • Process capability ‘Sixpack Report’ for process

4.8 Process monitoring and control

  • Control plan finalized – including reaction plans
  • Record all evidence on the shop floor (Event Log)

4.9 Process change management

  • Changes to manufacturing process

Who should attend

This course is designed for Quality Engineers, Continual Improvement Practitioners, Six Sigma ‘Belts’, QMS Internal Auditors and others involved in process control implementation and/or AAs/AEAs conducting third-party audits involving process control selection and usage.


Students attending this course, and successfully passing the written examination, will receive a training certificate containing the TEC logo.

TEC's course will quality and empower personnel to implement and use powerful process control tools to the benefit or their organizations.

The course includes capability analysis, setting up/operating control charts, problem solving, process improvement, and error/mistake proofing.


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