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Problem Solving -The 7 QC Tools
One such proven set of tools is known as Ishikawa’s 7 QC tools. These 7 QC tools are one of the most fundamental tools within the wide philosophy of TQM.
It has been applied in all field of management from product planning to final marketing.
As the name suggests, the pioneer in this problem solving methodology was Dr Kaoru Ishikawa. Ishikawa was the head of the Japanese Union of Scientists & Engineers (JUSE). He started applying the 7 QC tools in the Japanese manufacturing industry in the 1960s.
These seven quality control tools can be effectively used to analyze the manufacturing process, identify problems, control quality and provide solutions. The tools are statistical in nature and hence data analysis is a major task.
The first Tool For QC
The ‘Cause and effect diagram’ also known as Ishikawa’s Fish bone diagram. This diagram shows the various causes for a particular event. Causes include people, methods, machines, materials, measurements, environment etc. Mazda Motors have famously used this diagram for their car design.
The ‘check sheet’ which deals with variations and their pattern. This tool is used for change process and to check whether there is any improvement after the change. A typical checksheet is divided into many regions, and checks made in different regions have different significance.
Third Tool For QC
is known after Wilfredo Pareto – the Pareto chart. Pareto chart arranges items from the most frequent to the least frequent. It determines the frequency of problems happening in a process. These charts can be generated by simple spreadsheet programs, such as Open Office and Microsoft Excel and other statistical tools.
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Fourth Tool For QC
is the ‘Histogram’. This term was introduced by Karl Pearson in 1895. This is a bar chart which shows distribution of variables. This chart studies the cause of problems by its distribution.
Fifth Tool s
The ‘Scatter diagram’ which is a graphical tool. The diagram has many data points and shows correlation between variables in the form of a pattern.
It consists of graphs – bar graphs, line charts, pie charts and control charts etc.
Seventh and the final Tool
The technique of stratification. This technique separates data collected from different sources so as to make a pattern. This technique is used before data is collected.
The JUSE met again in 1972 and came up with new 7 QC tools, which are affinity diagram, relations diagram, tree diagram, matrix diagram, arrow diagrams, process decision program charts and finally matrix data analysis. The new 7 QC tools help in enhancing the mental abilities & problem solving confidence of users and train in rational thinking to predict future events.
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