When a process is out of control and it is producing nonconforming product it is in a state of chaos. The State of Chaos is one of the four states a process can be in as shown in “What State Is Your Process In?“. The manufacturer cannot predict how much nonconforming product his process will produce in any given hour or day. At times the process will produce nothing but conforming product. Then without warning it will produce nothing but nonconforming product. It might seem as if there were ghosts in the machine.
A process in such a state is affected by assignable causes that are easily identified through the use of process control charts. The effects of these assignable causes have to be eliminated one at a time. Patience and perseverance are necessary. It is essential that the process be brought under statistical control and made predictable. Once the process has achieved stability further improvement efforts can be made to reach the ideal state.
Note: I learned this material from reading Dr. Wheeler’s writings. My post is intended to reflect my current understanding. None of the ideas herein are original to me. Any errors are my failures alone.
- Wheeler, Donald J. and David S. Chambers. Understanding Statistical Process Control. Knoxville, TN: SPC Press, Inc. 1986. Print. ISBN 0-945320-01-9
- Wheeler, Donald J. The Four Possibilities for Any Process. Quality Digest. 1997. Web. http://www.qualitydigest.com/dec97/html/spctool.html