Assuming that your processes produce data on a very low frequency, maybe once a week or twice a month, how long do you think will it take to collect several data elements? Certainly, a lot. As a result, you would rarely plot a point. In this type of situation, individuals control charts should be used.

What Are The Individuals Control Chart?  

 The Individuals control chart helps in examining variation in the data elements. The chart is useful when you have just one data point at a given time to depict a situation. Like other variables control charts, it contains two charts: 

Chart1: Represents Individual Sample Result (X). The chart indicates long-term variation in the process or how the mean or average changes over time.   

Chart2: Represents Moving Range (R) between consecutive individual samples. The chart indicates short-term variation or how the range of subgroup varies over time.

“Usually, the X-Bar Chart is combined with an R-Chart to inspect processes where data is not available frequently. The chart monitors variation in sample results over time and checks whether the process is in control.”-Sanket Saha, Process Manager.

5 Benefits of Using Individuals Control Chart

Benefit#1: Individuals’ control charts can be used when you have a single data element to represent a given situation. You can plot an element on the chart for each sample collected. This allows you to establish whether or not your process is in statistical control for each sample collected. 

 Benefit#2: Control charts (X-Bar and R Charts) are useful in a manufacturing or production environment to control, examine, and improve a process. Common variations arising due to material, machines, time, etc. can be corrected and normal output can be resumed.

Benefit#3: While it is not possible to subgroup data elements due to low frequency, you can use the control chart for the assessment of results. If your processes are in statistical control (indicating the consistency in individual sample results or successive sample results over time), the average on the Individuals chart is your population average that can be used to calculate the population standard deviation. Moreover, since the processes are in statistical control, you can predict how the processes will perform in the future. 

Benefit#4: The objective of plotting the control chart is to identify any variation in the process. If the data elements are exceeding the control limits, the operator would immediately adjust. 

Benefit#5: The chart can be used to identify statistically unnatural patterns and decide when to take action.

“If you are thinking of using the Individual Charts more often, you should first ascertain if the individual sample results are normally distributed. If not, the chart is likely to give more false forecasts for the tests, indicating that your processes are out of control when they are not.”- Pankaj Tyagi, Quality Control Specialist.

How To Use?

  1. Select the suitable control chart for your processes.
  2. Determine the suitable time period for gathering and plotting data. 
  3. Gather data, plot your chart, and examine the data.

If you find “out-of-control signals” on the chart, investigate the cause. Record how you identified the cause and rectified it. Don’t have the time to create a chart on your own? Simply, download this template and customize it to your liking. This spreadsheet is a template that can be used to enter data so that you can perform manual charting on time.

After discussing the several aspects and uses ofX-bar and R Charts, we can summarize the concepts and can conclude what exactly are X-bar and R Charts. 

X-Bar Chart:                                             

It is a chart that can indicate the mean changes or the average over a period. This chart is used to check the processes; meanwhile, subgroups are calculated at regular intervals of a process. To pinpoint the cause of variation that affects the process mean is one must keep the variables under control, and this can be done when the X-bar is combined with R-Chart, i.e., to monitor process variables typically. The points on the X-Bar chart acts as the subgroup mean value, and ultimately the process mean results into a centerline. 

R-Chart  

The R-Chart can indicate the pattern of changes in the range of the subgroups over an observed period. This helps to supervise the variability, like the range, at regular intervals for measuring the subsets of the process that are less than ten. The points on the R-Chart can represent subgroup range value. The centerline indicates the expected range of statistics, which can differ if the subgroup sizes are not equal.

The Process of Using Chart Control 

The X-Bar and R Chart should be used when the sample size is between 2 and 9. Usually, the chart is formed when the size is 3 or 5. And this chart is most effective if a few parts are made every hour so that one can conclude the cost-effective data collection.

The usage of X-bar and R Charts has some advantages and disadvantages as well, they are,

Advantages of using X-bar and R Charts are: 

  • The charts are easy to read and understand to analyze and optimize the process.
  • The charts succeed in the separation of variables in averages to that of the variations in standard deviation.
  • Almost anyone can analyze the process improvements result using the chart and formulated statistical calculations.
  • The Charts are widely recognized for being a foundation base for many other complex charts.

Disadvantages of using X-Bar and R Charts are: 

  • The first drawback of using control charts is that one must use separate charts for each characteristic analysis.
  • The other major drawback is that the charts cannot present with accurate details after process variables with greater than 9 sample sizes.
  • Regardless of the sample size, only two values per subgroup are used for the standard deviation estimation of the range.

When should one use chart control? 

Chart control should be used when an individual can confirm an assertive response to the following requirements.

1. System stability must require assessment.

2. The data which is collected in subgroups should be more than one but less than eleven (preferably the sample size should be between two and nine).

3. The data should be collected in a variable form.

4. The time order must of the subgroups must be of constant intervals.

TIP of the DayQuality function deployment (QFD) is a LEAN technique that is useful for Six Sigma Black Belt practitioners.

The Application for Chart Control for System Stability 

X-Barand R chart are industrially used by engineers or analysts to notice the variation or shift in the processes. Each chart is allotted for one machine, and then through formulated statistical data analysis and correction system can be ultimately optimized.

Any manufacturing type of business will look for ways to optimize their production process so that they get the maximum time effective and waste reductive kind of system. Hence, to achieve this, companies often adopt the statistical analysis through the X-bar and R chart of their processes and operations. To accomplish this, they follow the following procedures.

  • Firstly, many as possible subgroups should be created for the accurate collection of data to calculate the control limits and the stability of the system. 
  • The data should be collected with the utmost care and accuracy; one might also consider using a systematic data collection strategy for the determination of system parameters.
  • Once stability is attained in the system, the analyst needs to decide whether the data needs to be stratified or not. The variation in data will be due to the different kinds of collected data from different machines and workers. Still, this data should also be entered and calculated in a way such that stratifying of symptom, operator, location, or time data of the system is possible. 
  • The current data can be compared to data collected in the past, or a few consecutive data collections can be done for comparative analysis. This, when pointed in the form of X-Bar and R charts, can come up with practical process analysis and improvement results.
  • After the collection and analysis of data throughout the process, standardization can be achieved by using X-barand R charts. This also helps in identifying the location of the origin of variations.

The conclusion tip is that even though control charts are useful to control tools for statistical processes, the company should accompany the chart analysis with a prior set-up practical objective, and the tool should be utilized to achieve better results than the set target.  

What are the Individual control chart?

The Individuals control chart helps in examining variation in the data elements. The chart is useful when you have just one data point at a given time to depict a situation. It consists of two types: Represents Individual Sample Result (X) and Represents Moving Range (R).

How do you interpret XBAR and R charts

This chart is used to check the processes; meanwhile, subgroups are calculated at regular intervals of a process, it indicates the average over a period, Whereas, The R-Chart can indicate the pattern of changes in the range of the subgroups over an observed period. this chart should be used when the sample size is between 2-9.

Advantages of using control charts

A control chart is a graph that contains a centerline, and upper and lower control limits. The charts are easy to read, analyze and optimize the process. They can be used to identify statistically unnatural patterns, resulting in higher quality services, reduced costs, and higher profitability.

When to use chart controls?

The data which is collected in subgroups should be more than one but less than eleven. When the data collected is in variable form. Time intervals between the subgroup must be constant. when assessment is required for system stability.

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