Long reserved for manufacturing industries (automotive, aeronautics, precision mechanics, etc.), the SPC(Statistical Process Control)or MSP in French (statistical mastery of processes) is now developing in the agri-food industry. After all, the basic principles of the SPC are not very complicated since it involves collecting process data for analysis from a mathematical point of view: averages, standard deviations, 6 sigmas, detection of upward or downward trend.
Why would this first level of the SPC not apply to the agri-food industry, which has thousands or even millions of process data in its factories?
Especially since many agri-food companies (Intermediate-sized enterprises) have a very competent methods service to study the results provided by the SPC, draw the consequences and carry out the action plans of continuous improvement that will allow the company to perfect its industrial process and the quality of its products.
How does the SPC work in Qubes?
The MES Qubes software collects a lot of production and measurement data, whether through operator inputs but especially through automatic collection on automatons or IoTs (factory-connected objects). This data is of course stored in the Qubes database for traceability purposes but can also be directed to so-called control cards, i.e. a special data storage structure that will retain value but also its time stamp. It is not conceivable to put all the data under SPC control but the most critical, those that will be studied by method engineers and operational managers.
What about the choice between an ESM module or specialized SPC software?
For afirst level of statistical tracking, the SPC module of the ESM software is more than enough and this is the case in the Qubes software suite. Our agri-food customers find all of their functional needs. For a very advanced analysis it is certain that specialized SPC software will be more appropriate, it will provide the additional information that the experts of the SPC are entitled to expect. The advantage of an SPC module built into the ESM is of course the lack of interfaces to be realized between software. It is also worth considering the contextualization of the data: the ESM software will be able to link the data of the control card to other information in its database such as the lot number, the equipment that helped to shape the product, the team leader present that day...
The benefits of a real-time PCS over an analytical SPC
Through all the measurements, you are able to act and correct the process parameters in real time before the quality of the product is affected. The non-quality is then anticipated, not suffered after the fact.
You offer your operators the means to better visualize the expected product quality and to know better when to act. The responsibility and autonomy of operators can thus be improved while stabilizing the quality of the product as best as possible.