Tech Notes

Often overlooked, the System Title is a useful addition to Quality Analyst's output. It appears at the top of all output produced by Quality Analyst, so it's appropriate to identify a company, facility, or office. It's also a good place to record the date and time the output was produced. To set the System Title: Start Quality Analyst Click on the Settings button In the Title for Graphics and Reports area, enter the System Title. To add the current date and time to a title, include...

For routine procedures, it's hard to beat the convenience of a desktop shortcut. Fortunately, it's easy to add a shortcut to an NWA Quality Analyst® Run file: Find the Run file (it has a .RUN extension) in Windows® Explorer. Right-click the Run file and select Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu. (The shortcut will appear in the list of files in Windows Explorer.) Drag the shortcut to the Windows Desktop. Now, when you double-click the shortcut, the Quality Analyst Run file executes...

NWA's software supports using "Pattern Rules" on control charts. While control limit violations are triggered when a single subgroup is beyond a control limit, pattern rules are triggered by an unusual pattern of consecutive subgroups. Because patterns involve more than one subgroup, they are more sensitive to smaller, sustained changes than control limit violations. While the default rules (Western Electric pattern rules) have proven to be effective, one might be tempted to go beyond them and...

A common question is "Which control chart should I use?" Although the answer can become deep and complex, here are some simple recommendations. First decide what type of data you're dealing with. Variable data takes on a measurable, numeric value. There are many possible values. Attribute data consists of categories. There are only a few (usually two) discrete values. With variable data, decide how large subgroups are. If the subgroup size is one, then use an Individual...

One of the seemingly deep mysteries of SPC (and often-asked questions for NWA Technical Support) concerns the relationship between Histogram 3 sigma limits and Control Chart 3 sigma limits. The limits are used for different purposes: Histogram limits evaluate process capability, Control Chart limits separate common variation from special variation. Still, two main factors produce confusion: 1)  Both are "3 sigma" limits. The unasked question is "sigma of what?" The histogram limits use...

An important reason to use NWA Quality Monitor for data entry is its ability to provide real-time alarms and to perform actions based on the alarms. The real-time alarms give you immediate visual and/or audio feedback on product quality. Quality Monitor can automatically save the alarm list, send an email, or perform other actions immediately or upon the completion of the record. Setting up the alarming routines in Quality Monitor is generally straightforward, and is covered in Chapter 3...

SPC charts that show limited descriptions on the X-axis (some SPC packages only show the data row) are missing key information that is needed to clearly identify potential sources of excessive variation and reveal relationships. Including as much descriptive information as possible makes chart interpretation easier and more accurate. Something as simple as adding axis labels can transform your SPC charts into effective tools for solving problems and improving processes. Quality Analyst allows...

When looking in the Quality Monitor manual for guidance on setting up help files for use by the data-entry operator in Quality Monitor, the designer is invariably pointed to the built-in help system. While this system works well, it is only capable of displaying rich-text files and NWA’s own help file format (created by the QM help file editor). In fact, if you look beyond the built-in help system, the designer can use just about any type of document, if you plan ahead. Quality Monitor (...

  NWA Quality Monitor Workstation can be configured to operate in a variety of network environments. Each configuration offers trade-offs between ease of administration and backup versus performance and reliability. This Tech Note discusses the configuration options and their various advantages and disadvantages.   Quality Monitor Settings Location Options 1 2 3 4 Resource Path Remote Remote Remote Local...

NWA Quality Analyst Web Server® provides exception reports displayed as web pages. The reports list product specification violations and SPC violations organized by Data Set and Variable. You display the relevant SPC chart for each set of exceptions with the click of a button. Since Quality Analyst Web Server generates Exception Reports in XML (Extensible Markup Language), you can use XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) to create custom report formats. The tutorial that comes...

Stored Procedures are executable scripts used with database applications such as MS SQL Server and Oracle to perform complex operations. Often, a Stored Procedure is the most efficient and effective method of manipulating data in complex databases in preparation for supplying it to external applications like NWA Quality Analyst. NWA supports the use of Stored Procedures in database connection definitions, and can also supply values to those scripts that require arguments (such as a date range...

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