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Critical Decisions

Summary: The process capability of final product characteristics is measured to ensure compliance to specifications and assess opportunities for improvement. There are situations, however, where the process shows compliance, but as the products move downstream, the magnitude of nonconformance increases, resulting in low yield and out-of-control situations. A strategy based on understanding the relationship between critical-to-process and critical-to-quality characteristics can identify the exact process step where corrective action is needed. A case study illustrates the step-by-step method used by a semiconductor manufacturer to reduce the number of out-of-specification products downstream, reduce internal failure costs, and increase capacity.

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  • Topics: Six Sigma, Process Capability
  • Keywords: Process improvement, Decision making, Process capability (Cp), Price of nonconformance (PONC), Critical values, Corrective action, Failure analysis, Quality characteristics
  • Author: Ramu, Govind
  • Journal: Six Sigma Forum Magazine