I am tasked with bringing up an SPC system within our moderately sized, but very technical, manufacturing company. It might be against the rules of this forum, or maybe bad form, to name specific companies, although if anyone is comfortable doing that, I'd certainly appreciate it (providing the opinion is fairly unbiased). Barring that, maybe either a list of companies that do offer such things, or a list of 3rd party web sites that critique and/or rank some of the SPC packages.
Here are the basics of what the software package would need:
- it would need to interact with a database (we use MS SQL at my company). We could pass measurements & messages as options or arguments to a command line if DB access is not doable, although that is not ideal.
- it needs to be live, always on / running
- it needs to be able to communicate issues. Some examples: (a) send an e-mail to "some folks" when a chart is out of control, including relevant identifying information, (b) perhaps be integrated with a work-based social media sort of thing, such that anyone who signs up with the "quality control" group will get an OoC (out of control) alarm
- have some nice & simple visuals (the standard SPC chart sort of thing, showing limits and ideally coloring the OoC stuff differently, or something). Nothing too fancy is needed here, although more interactive graphics would be a bonus.
- have programmable limits (e.g., if we wanted to include some of the more obscure WEECO rules, we could... or alternatively, remove some of them that are not appropriate)
- allow some sort of modeling pass through. I.e., if there are 100 metrics of interest and I want only 5 charts, max, then I could create a model based upon PCA, clustering, or something similar where I could find the combination of metrics that most clearly aligns with problems & root causes. So the original 100 metrics would go into my model, then my model would spit out the better aligned 5 metrics.
- actually, come to think of it, this is moot: I can make all my relevant metrics published to a DB & have this SPC software talk to the DB. So as long as the first bullet point is there, this is moot.
- Long term, this would probably become a project across maybe 6 different departments, generating on the order of 30 - 60 charts total, with maybe 5 - 20 measurement updates per day. I mention that for scoping concerns.
I appreciate any advice in advance! Happy Holidays!