Quality management requires a lot of data collection for analysis which could prove to be expensive. To ensure that the collected data is relevant to the problem, attention needs to be given to what is expected. Check sheets, tally sheets, and checklists are examples of data collection methods that are widely used. Other data collection methods include automatic measurement and data coding.
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Data Collection Guidelines
Some data collection guidelines include the following:
Without an operational definition, most data is meaningless. Both attribute and variable specifications must be defined.
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Comparison between Manual & Automatic Methods
Data collection includes both manual and automatic methods. Manual systems are labor intensive and subject to human errors in measuring and recording the correct values. Manual data collection requires a data form. Automatic data collection may include electronic chart recorders and digital storage. The data collection frequency may be synchronous, based on a set time interval, or asynchronous, based on events.
Advantages of using automatic data collection systems include:
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Automatic Measurement Methods
Automatic measuring gages are widely used to sort parts by dimension. They are normally accurate within 0.0001″. When computers are used as part of an automated measurement process, several important issues occur.
Advantages of Computer Controlled Measurement Systems
Computer controlled measurement systems may offer fundamental advantages over their human counterparts with examples including:
They have the capacity and speed to be used in high volume operations. Automatic system has a disadvantage of higher initial costs, and a lack of mobility and flexibility compared to humans. Automated systems may require technical malfunction diagnostics.
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Applications of Automatic Measurement Systems
The following list shows some examples of areas where automatic measurement systems can be applied:
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