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Within and Between Subgroup Variation in Control Charts

# Within and Between Subgroup Variation in Control Charts

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Explanation of between within subgroup variation
Explanation of between within subgroup variation

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09/09/2010

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Within and Between Subgroup Variation in Control charts
By Joao BorgesDate: 13-Aug-2009
Using the following sampling tree as an example:We could in a COV study draw a X-Bar/R chart for the level B, and then a IMR/MR chart for the level A if the proper assumptions are in place (data collected in time order for example).When we create for the B level, the X-Bar/R chart, the math supporting the creation of these charts is that:
2 _ ^
R
s u b g r o u pw i t h i n
=
σ
The estimated standard deviation above covers the WITHIN subgroup variation, as itsmath considers only the internal variation to each subgroup to calculate it. The math supportingthe creation of the X-Bar chart and its control limits is that:
a
X C L
^
.3
σ
±=
Above, we used the notation
a
^
σ
to represent the estimated standard deviation for theaverages. The control charts use the assumption that

n
s u b w i t h i na
_^^
σ σ
=
Where n is the subgroup size.

This assumption is correct only if the between subgroup variation would be equal to zero.So, the best equation to show for
a
^
σ
would be:
n
s u bw i t h s u b g r o u pb e t w e e na
_^2 _^22^
σ σ σ
+=
So, when the X-Bar chart is plotted, the control limits are drawn to the point where weestimate that the variation caused by between subgroup conditions is very small, tending to zero.What happens then when this assumption is not correct?While in the situation where the variance between subgroups is equal to 0 the limits aredrawn at true 3sigmas from the average we would have (considering a normal distribution)99.73% of probability of having the points inside the limits, the bigger the variance is than zero,the lower that probability is, creating more potential of points falling out of the control limits.So, as an example, in a situation where