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UMass Lowell

College of Management
63.371
T. Sloan
SPC Example Problems with Solutions
1. Super Fizz Cola Company wants to use SPC to monitor its bottle lling process. Every 20 minutes, they
took a random sample of four bottles from the production line and carefully measured the amount of cola
in each bottle. The results are reported in the table below.
Sample Milliliters in each bottle
1 351.2 350.9 350.6 350.7
2 350.3 351.0 351.1 350.8
3 351.4 350.9 351.3 351.2
4 350.8 350.5 351.1 350.1
5 350.6 350.9 351.4 351.1
a. Is the volume of soda in a bottle a variable or an attribute?
b. What kind of control chart should be used to monitor the average volume of soda in each bottle?
Determine the three-sigma control limits for this chart.
c. Plot the average bottle volume for each sample on the appropriate chart. Is the process in-control
with respect to the average volume? What action should be taken?
d. What kind of control chart should be used to monitor the spread or dispersion of values? Determine
the three-sigma control limits for this chart.
e. Plot the volume range for each sample on the appropriate chart. Is the process in-control with respect
to the volume range? What action should be taken?
Solution:
First, compute the mean and range for each sample:
Sample 1 2 3 4 5
Average 350.85 350.80 351.20 350.63 351.00
Range 0.60 0.80 0.50 1.00 0.80
a. Volume is a continuous measure, so it is a variable.
b. An x-bar chart should be used to monitor the average volume. The process mean and standard
deviation are unknown, so we use the numbers above to compute

x = 350.895 and

R = 0.74. Now we
can compute the control limits:
UCL =

x +A
2

R = 350.895 + 0.729(0.74) = 351.4352 Ml.
LCL =

x A
2

R = 350.895 0.729(0.74) = 350.3548 Ml.
The value for A
2
is obtained from the table in the textbook (Table 6.1, p. 220) using n = 4.
c. The x-bar chart is shown below. All points are within the upper and lower control limits, so the
process is in-control with respect to the average volume. No action is necessary at this time.
d. An R chart should be used. The control limits are computed as:
UCL
R
= D
4

R = 2.282(0.74) = 1.6872 Ml.
LCL
R
= D
3

R = 0(0.74) = 0 Ml.
The values for D
3
and D
4
are obtained from the table in the textbook (Table 6.1, p. 220) using n = 4.
1
350.4
350.6
350.8
351.0
351.2
351.4
1 2 3 4 5
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

V
o
l
u
m
e

(
M
l
.
)
Sample
UCL
LCL
Figure 1: x-bar Chart for Super Fizz Problem
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.4
1.6
1 2 3 4 5
V
o
l
u
m
e

R
a
n
g
e

(
M
l
.
)
Sample
UCL
LCL
Figure 2: R Chart for Super Fizz Problem
e. The R chart is shown above. All of the values are within the upper and lower control limits, so the
process is in-control with respect to the range. No action is necessary at this time.
2. A company manufactures valves for industrial use. Ten samples of 15 valves each were taken from the
production line and tested. The results are reported below.
Number Number
Sample Defective Sample Defective
1 3 6 2
2 1 7 0
3 0 8 3
4 0 9 1
5 0 10 0
a. Compute the fraction defective for each sample.
b. Construct a p-chart for this process using control limits that include 95.5 percent of the sample means.
c. What comments can you make about the results? Is the process in-control? What action should be
taken?
Solution:
a. The fraction defective is computed by dividing the number defective by the number in each sample,
n = 15. The results are reported below.
Sample 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
p 0.200 0.067 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.133 0.000 0.200 0.067 0.000
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b. First, we compute the average proportion defective: p = 0.0667. The standard deviation is:
p
=

p(1 p)
n
=

0.0667(10.0667)
15
= 0.0644. To account for 95.5 percent of the random variation in the
process, we set z = 2 (two standard deviations). So the control limits are:
UCL
p
= p +z
p
= 0.0667 + 2(0.0644) = 0.19548
LCL
p
= p z
p
= 0.0667 2(0.0644) = 0.06215 0.
Note that we had to round the LCL value to zero it is impossible to have a negative control limit.
c. The control chart is shown below. Samples 1 and 8 are above the upper control limits. We should
investigate possible causes of these out-of-control values.
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
F
r
a
c
t
i
o
n

D
e
f
e
c
t
i
v
e
Sample
UCL
LCL
Figure 3: p Chart for Valve Problem
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SPC Formulas
For x Charts (unknown process mean and standard deviation)
Centerline :

x UCL
x
=

x +A
2

R LCL
x
=

x A
2

R
For R Charts
Centerline :

R UCL
R
= D
4

R LCL
R
= D
3

R
For p Charts
Centerline : p UCL
p
= p +z
p
LCL
p
= p z
p

p
=

p(1 p)
n
Factors for Computing Three-Sigma Control Chart Limits
Sample
Size n A
2
D
3
D
4
2 1.880 0 3.267
3 1.023 0 2.575
4 .729 0 2.282
5 .577 0 2.115
6 .483 0 2.004
7 .419 .076 1.924
8 .373 .136 1.864
9 .337 .184 1.816
10 .308 .223 1.777
12 .266 .284 1.716
(Same as Table 6.1 on page 220 of textbook)
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