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Process Capability

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Process Capability
What We're Going To Talk About
Concept of Process Capability
(Short-Term and Long-Term)
Improvement Methodology
Process Variation
Types of Limits
Capability Index
Process Capability Indices (Normal Distribution Data)
Process Performance Indices (Normal Distribution Data)
MINITAB Software capability data analysis out-put
Five key assumptions
Steps to study process capability & Process Controls
Process Understanding

Quality planning & analysis McGraw-Hill 4th edition

Process Capability
What is process?
Process consists of a combination of Machine, Method,
Material, Man, Environment and Gauge measurement
(optional) engaged in production. (i.e. 4 Ms and 1E)

There is a need to separately identify the related

variables and quantify the effect of them into the
measurement. (e.g, temp. setting 40-50C, work
instructions, material tensile strength, calipers)
Capability of the process refers to an ability, based on
test performance results , to achieve the desired
specification of the process. (e.g. Specs =4 0.3mm)

Quality planning & analysis McGraw-Hill 4th edition

Improvement Methodology

Quality planning & analysis McGraw-Hill 4th edition

Improvement methodology
Controllable Inputs ( machine setting, flow rate, feed quantity, cutting speed, feed rate)
X1 X2 X3
Input Variables: Characteristics:
Raw materials, Output Variables (mm , psi, colouring)
The Process
Y1, Y2, etc.
N1 N2 N3
methods, etc.
Uncontrollable Inputs ( humidity, temperature , skills, wear & tear)
Centering The Process
Process Is On Target Input

On target, Spread Variation

minimum process variation Reduce
Process Capability
Concept of Process Capability!
In quality planning, it is ensured that the process should
be stable and capable to produce parts that meets the
specifications, customers requirements.
Process capability is a concept that provides a
quantified prediction of process effectiveness and
Quantitative prediction ability resulted in a widespread
adoption of the concept as a major element of quality
It is the measurement of variation on the product turned
out by a process.
This a machine accuracy study.
Process Capability Overview
Key point :-

Every process has inputs:

Man, Method, Material, Machine
(i.e. 4Ms) and Environment (1E)
uncontrolled inputs

These variables combined to give an output (i.e.

Customers requirement.)

By controlling the key inputs the output can achieve a

more stable process with lesser variation and that is what
the customers demand every time.
Why Process Capability Study
Process capability provides a basic understanding for the
production personnel on how the process behaves in
relative to the process specifications.

This gives an initial feel on how variability can affect the

process and gives us some measurement metrics for
quantifying that variability.

Such studies provide information on what the process

could do under its best operating conditions, by making
improvement to the process to aim for its desired target .
Process Variation
Process variation is the differences among individual
measurement or units produced by a process
Types of variation in a manufacturing process

(1)Within the unit-(Positional variation) e.g. readings taken on the

diameter at various positions along the shaft.

(2) Between units-(Cyclical variation) e.g. readings taken on

different shafts diameters.

(3) Time to time- (Temporal variation) e.g. readings taken by

operators working on different shifts (i.e. Day, afternoon and
night shifts)

(4) Measurement error- readings taken on some characteristics by

different operators (i.e reproducibility) with the same measuring
equipment (i.e. repeatability) on the same identified parts.
Understanding of Process Variation
Variation exists in everywhere even the best machine cannot make
every unit exactly the same.
In many processes, nonconforming product can be produced due
to excessive variability cause by human errors. (e.g. missing parts,
wrong information , processing errors, inaccurate gauges, tool
wear) measuring instruments).
Improved process capability becomes a necessity due to;
Design changes for improvement.

Costs reduction on material.

Customers demand on better quality products

All of this leads to the need for tighter control of tolerances with
lower variation.
This means the ability to operate within tight specification limits,
without producing defects becomes a competitive advantage.
Causes of Variation
1. Natural cause/ Common Cause of variation
Due to the cumulative effect of some unavoidable
e.g. wear and tear of a cutting tool due to long usage
A process operating within natural or chance variation is
said to be in statistical control. (i.e. all measurement
readings are within the control limits of the control chart).
Assignable causes have been eliminated.

Y axis= shows the quality characteristic

X axis= shows the number of samples

Examples on natural causes
Natural causes
* Vibration in the machine during running
* Ambient temperature and humidity of the working
* Normal wear and tear of machine parts due to prolong usage
* Shifting of machine settings in a process
* Computer response time.
* Different human response to a traffic light system
Reduction of common causes
* Change in process technology by the owner of the process.
* Introduce Poka Yoke ( Error avoidance) system in the
processes. to prevent operator mistakes.
Types of Variation
2. Special or Assignable causes
(a)Incorrect setting adjustment on machine
(b)Operators not following instructions
(c)Defective or substandard raw material
(d)Broken part due to fatique
(e)Equipment malfunction
(f) Wrong procedures adopted by operators
(g)Poor product design
(h)No maintenance on machines
(i) Lack of understanding on operating procedures
(j) Poor working conditions, e.g. poor lighting, noisy, dirty
and non ventilation
Types of Variation
An upward trend with the presence of assignable
causes of variation look as follows.
Types of Variation
Figure below shows both common cause and special cause
A: Points
away from
target with
some lying B: Points
beyond located
control limits beyong UCL

C: Points
shifting away
from target
out of UCL
Process Capability
Process capability is the natural reproducibility of a
processs output. It measures how well the process is
currently behaving with respect to the output
specifications. It refers to the uniformity of the process

Capability is often thought of in terms of the proportion of

output that will be within product specification tolerances.
The frequencies of defectives produced can be

(a)percentage (%)
(b)parts per million (ppm)
(c)parts per billion (ppb)
Process Capability
Process capability studies can:
1) Indicate the consistency of the process output in terms of
indices i.e. Cp , Cpk
2) Indicate the degree to which the output meets
specification i.e. ppm , % rejection
3) Comparison with other process for improvement

Specification Limits vs Process capability:

1) Process is highly capable i.e Cpk > 1.33
2) Process is marginally capable i.e Cpk 0.8 to 1.33
3) Process is not capable i.e Cpk < 0.80

Refer note bookfor diagram

Process Capability
Stable vs Unstable Processes

A stable ( control) process is one in

which the key process output and finished
product properties show no signs of assignable

An unstable (i.e.out of control) process

has assignable (i.e special) causes present.
Process Capability
Control Chart and Control Limits
The control chart is the tool
used to evaluate whether a Control Chart
process is or is not in a state
of statistical control. COMMON UCL
The control limits (i.e. UCL & CAUSE
LCL) represent the variation CL
due to common cause. No
points are beyond the control
limits. 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
Run Order

Control Limits - often called voice of the process and

used to identify special causes of variation.
Process Capability
Specification Limits and Capable Processes
Specification Limits provided by the customer (referred to
voice of the customer) are used to determine if the product
meets a customer requirement. Usually given as LSL and/or
USL. (e.g 4.00 0.05 mm).

A capable process is a stable process that demonstrates the

ability to meet customer requirements. The process has to be
reviewed from time to time to check for changes in stability and

When we refer to capability indices, we're comparing the process

spread against the specification tolerance.
Cp = ( USL-LSL) / ( 6 )

For stability, we were comparing the process average drifting

towards the control limits in the average chart.
Process Capability
Abnormal variation Out of
due to assignable sources control

Normal variation Mean

due to chance
Abnormal variation
due to assignable sources
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Sample number
Ifsample readings remained within the control limits, the
process is considered as acceptable otherwise the process is
Three types of limits
1. Specification limits (LSL and USL)
These limits are created by design
engineering in response to customer
requirements to specify the manufacturing
tolerance for a products characteristics.
e.g. 4.2 mm (LSL) to 4.8 mm (USL)
2. Process limits (LPL and UPL)
These limits are used to measure the
variation of a process. These are the 6
sigma limits of the measured characteristics.
i.e. 3
Three types of limits

3. Control limits (LCL and UCL)

These limits are computed from the
measurements of the samples taken from the
process. It measures the 3 from the center
of the process.

Refer note bookfor diagram

Process capability computation
This requires knowledge of the process average and
standard deviation. These values are usually calculated
based on the data collected from manufacturing process.
using a statistical software or a calculator.
Standard deviation
The standard deviation measures the spread of the data
about the mean value. It is useful for :
1. Comparison of data sets which have different quality
characteristics. e.g. psi , cm, kg etc .
1 covers 68.26% of the normal curve from
2 covers 95.45% of the normal curve from
3 covers 99.73% of the normal curve from
2. To check the consistency of the process
e.g. (A data set) : 15, 15, 15, 14, 16. = 15 , =0.577
(B data set) : 2, 7, 14, 22, 30. = 15 , =9.200
B data set has a higher value. A data set has a low
value and is consistent and better.
Standard deviation
Standard deviation equation for an entire population:

There are 100 parts produced by machine. In statistical terms this means we have a
population of 100.
Standard deviation
Equation used to estimate the population standard
deviation where data is taken from a sample set.

The number of readings or the number of

values can be 8, 10, 12, 18, 20..
Standard Deviation Calculation
Case Study: (20 mins)

1. Find the standard deviation of the following data set:

4, 9, 11, 12, 17, 5, 8, 12, 14

2. Estimate the standard deviation of the population .

Understanding of the Process capability indices
Definition of the capability indices
It is an index which measures how close a process is
running to its specification limits.(i.e.USL & LSL).
The larger the index, the less likely the process will be
outside the specification limits..
The capability of a process:
Cp is defined as the ratio of the Specification
Tolerance over the actual process spread.(6)
Cpk is defined as the ratio of the distance from the
process center to the nearest specifications limits
divided by (3)
Measurement of Process Capability
Three Measures of process capability
Three common types of indexes used in manufacturing
1. Cp and Cpk,
Used for measurement of process capability, the
minimum requirement is Cp & Cpk 1.33 for the
process to be capable.
2. Pp and Ppk
Used as an indicator for process performance, the
minimum requirement is Pp & Ppk . 1.67
3. Cpm
Used for measurement of a process where the data
set has a non normal distribution with a target
setting on the process.
Interpretation of Indices
Process capability and process performance indices
Cp = Process Capability.
A simple and straightforward indicator of process capability.

Cpk = Process Capability Index.

Adjustment of Cp for the effect of non-centered distribution. Cpk is an
index (a simple number) which measures how close a process is running to
its specification limits, relative to the natural variability of the process.

Example :
A person may be performing with minimum variation, but he can be away
from his target towards one of the specification limit, which indicates lower
Cpk, whereas Cp will be high. On the other hand, a person may be on
average exactly at the target, but the variation in performance is high. In
such case also Cpk will be lower, but Cp will be high. Cpk will be higher
only when you are meeting the target consistently with minimum variation.
Interpretation of Indices
Process capability and process performance indices
Cp and Cpk are capability indices which addressed both
short and long term process capability. Short term implies
the duration of investigation is limited. e.g. using an
operator and a batch of raw material for the study.

Pp and Ppk are process performance indices which

addressed long-term process performance for serial
production which takes longer time and resources to
monitor the process.

Cpm addressed the reduction of deviation by the process

mean from a target value. These indices are applicable to
the asymmetrical specification interval
e.g 4.00 + 0.3 mm
- 0.2 mm
Process Capability Indices
Two common measures of process capability
1)Potential Capability Cp
An estimate is obtained of what the process can do under certain conditions, i.e.,
variability under short run and defined conditions for a process in a state of
statistical control. The Cp index estimates the potential process capability when
both specification limits are available.

2)Process Capability Cpk = Min {Cpu ,Cpl }

An estimate of process capability provides an insight of what the process is doing
over a series of production run. A state of statistical is assumed. The Cpk is
applicable for computation for single and double sided specification limits .
Increasing the value of Cpk requires a reset of the process average back to the
center of the specification and reduction in the process variation (i.e. standard
deviation ).

[Additional Reading Material]

Potential Capability Calculation
Potential Capability Index (Cp)
The Cp index assesses whether the actual process
spread (i.e. 6) of a manufacturing process is within
the specification limits.

Specification Tolerance USL- LSL

Cp = ------------------------------- = ---------------
Actual Process Spread 6

This index is appropriate for the process cannot be centered

between the specification limits e.g. tool wear off , liquid
concentration depletion

Refer note bookfor diagram

Relationship between Process
Variability and
Specification Width
Three possible ranges for Cp

Cp = 1, as in Fig. (a), process

variability just meets

Cp 1, as in Fig. (b), process not

capable of producing within

Cp 1, as in Fig. (c), process

exceeds minimal specifications

One shortcoming, Cp assumes that the

process is centered on the specification

Cp=Cpk when process is centered

Wiley 2010
Relation of Cp to Rejection Rate
A Cp index of 1.0 has indicated that a process is judged to
be capable, i.e. if the process mean () is centered within
the specification tolerance, 0.27% of parts produced shall
be rejected .

Cp Reject Rate
1.00 0.270%
1.33 0.007%
1.5 6.8ppm
2.00 2.00ppb

Refer note bookfor diagram

Understanding of Process Capability
Process Capability Index (Cpk)
The Cpk index (i.e. min {cpl, cpu}) relates the deviation
between process mean and the nearest specification limit. It
shall be used for the process within statistical control. The
data used for Cpk calculation should be obtained from the
Average and range control charts. A negative Cpk indicates
the quality characteristic measured is out of specification



Refer note bookfor diagram
Single Sided Specification
Some manufacturing processes specifications are one

1. Purity of a product made from a chemical process
requirement could be 98% concentration, i.e. LSL = 98%

2. Process specification could be stated such as No more

than 0. 3 mm runout on a shaft is allowed. i.e. USL = 0.3

The process capability can be applied to such cases by

defining the following two equations.

Refer note bookfor diagram

Single Sided Specification
Process with Lower Specs Limit (LSL)

CpL =

Process with Upper Specification Limits (USL)

CpU =

= R-bar is obtained from range chart and d2 is a constant taken
d2 from the constant table

Refer note bookfor diagram

Double Sided Specification
Process with both LSL & USL

Cpk = Minimum{ CpU, CpL }

Cpk = Minimum { USL- , - LSL }

--------- ----------
3 3
Process mean =
Standard deviation = (calculated from R-bar / d2 constant )
Upper Specs Limit = USL
Lower Specs Limit = LSL
Relation of Cpk with Rejection Rate.
Cpk Reject rate
1.0 0.13-0.27% Comment:
1.1 0.05-0.10% Higher Cpk values
1.2 0.02-0.03% yield lower fall
1.3 48.1-96.2ppm
out/reject rates and,
as a result, are
1.4 13.4-26.7ppm
1.5 3.4-6.8ppm
1.6 794-1589ppb
1.7 170-340ppb
1.8 33-67ppb
1.9 6-12ppb
2.0 1-2ppb
Cpk Interpretation
Cpk < 1 process is not capable (not acceptable)

Cpk = 1 to 1.5 process is capable

Cpk > 1.5 process is highly capable

For industries (e.g . Automotive ) requirement Cpk

1.33 to be considered as process capability
Cpk Interpretation
Cpk = negative number

Cpk = zero

Cpk = between 0 and 1

Cpk = 1

Cpk > 1


Process Performance Indices
Process performance is usually measured by Ppk, which
relates the long term capability of a process to meet
process specifications. The estimated Ppk is defined as

Specification Tolerance USL- LSL

Pp = ------------------------------- = ---------------
Total Process Spread 6s

Ppk min ,
3 s 3s
where S = { ( x 2 ) - ( x ) 2 / n } ]
[ n-1 ]
Comparison between Ppk and Cpk values
For Cp and Cpk computation , the standard deviation ( )
is based on the average ranges of subgroups of the data,
standard deviations of moving ranges, obtained from the
control charts.
This within-subgroup process variation can be
considerably smaller than the overall standard deviation (s)
estimate used in Ppk computation, especially when there
are long-term trends in the data.
Examples on Process Variation in SPC
Interpretation on Process Variation
Referring to Figure 18.14 above

The figure shows four stages of process variation within

the specification limits and the corrective actions to be
taken when situation arises.

In all situations , the average of the process has not
drifted from the midpoint of the specification limits.
There is a significant reduction in variation of the
process spread which shows the process has improved
from each of these stages.
Computer Software Application

MINITAB Software Capability Analysis

Process Capability of thickness coat (ppm)
Process Capability of thickness coat (% rej.)
Before Process Improvement
Process Capability of thickness coat (% rej.)
After process Improvement by process centering
Process Capability of coating thickness (% rej.)
After process Improvement by reducing process variation.
Five key assumptions on Capability
(1) Process stability: Statistical validity of the
manufacturing process requires a statistically
stable process with no shift or drift.
(2) Normal distribution of the quality characteristic
being measured. Normality is required to draw
statistical inference about the sample or
(3) Sufficient data ( min 125) is necessary to
minimize the sampling error for the capability
Five key assumptions continue
Lewis(1991) provides a table of 95 % lower
confidence limits for values of Cp and Cpk
(4) Representative of samples must be random
(5) Independence of measurements. Successive
measurements can not be correlated.
Process Stability Analysis
A process is stable if the process average of the measured quality
characteristic does not drift overtime. This is nomally shown in the
average control chart.

Stable process UCL


Unstable process with process average drifting away from nominal


Refer note bookfor diagram

Process Capability Steps
1. Develop a process flow including inputs,
process steps, and output quality
2. Identify critical parameters which are
measurable for study e.g. parameters shown
on the drawing specification i.e. volume,
length, width and height, etc.
3. Data collection by defining clearly the
resolution of each data to be collected. (i.e. #
of sig. Decimal required. e.g. 2 or 3 decimal
points). The quantity o f data required.(i.e. 125
values min.).
Process Capability Steps
4. Ensure the measuring gauge has been calibrated
and has a resolution of 10X the parameter to be
5. Establish control by selecting the appropriate
personnel, equipment and material to be used for
the study.
6. Record and analyze the data collected using a
statistical software
7. Ensure the part characteristics to be measured
is in the middle of the specification prior to
production of parts.
Process Capability Steps
8. Process data is normally distributed with a
minimum sample size of 125 pcs with data
collected in sequence .
9. Analyze source of variation from the average
and range charts to find the process factors that
affect the process mean and spread (Std. dev.)
10. Establish process monitoring: Average chart to
evaluate the stability and range chart to
evaluate capability of the process.
11. Calculate Cp,Cpk before and after process
Process Controls verification
1. List all corrective actions intended to detect and
eliminate the failure causes. (operator certification,
prev. maintenance)
2. Implement the corrective actions required and
track the effectiveness of these actions on the
failures for a month of continuous production.
3. If the actions are effective, document them into a
procedure for process control. e.g. control plan
4.If not effective, additional measures are required.
i.e. poka yoke, design changes etc.
Some Additional Explanations
Some Additional Explanations (contd)
Thank you

1 American Society for Quality
2 Software Division of the American Society for
3 Six Sigma Forum established by the American
Society for Quality (ASQ)
4 A Web portal devoted to Six Sigma programs.
5 Quality Digest. A magazine.
6 Software Process Resource Collection
7 A page at Clemson University for Continuous
Quality Improvement, including software and tutorials.
8 An online textbook in
statistics and quality planning & analysis
9The Hong Kong research institute of textile and apparel (HKRITA)
10Quality planning & analysis McGraw-Hill 4th edition
11Creating Quality by William J. Kolarik , McGraw-Hill
12Arved Harding Statistician Eastman Chemical Company
13 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.