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Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Control Estadístico de Procesos

In today’s competitive industrial world, the optimization of production processes is essential to ensure: quality, efficiency and profitability of operations. Statistical Process Control (SPC) emerges as a crucial tool to monitor and improve variability in industrial processes, ensuring consistency in production.

In this article we explore the fundamentals of SPC and highlight the advantages of integrating this methodology with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to achieve more complete and effective control in the industrial environment.

What does SPC mean?

The acronym SPC stands for

tatistical Process Control: Statistical Process Control,
is a statistical methodology used to monitor and control the variability of a manufacturing process. Its main objective is to identify and correct any significant deviations in the process before they affect the quality of the final product. Through real-time data analysis, SPC enables companies to maintain precise control over their processes, minimizing defects and ensuring consistency in production.

What is statistical process control?

SPC (Statistical Process Control) is based on the collection of quality data during production and its statistical analysis to determine if a process is under control. Tools such as control charts, histograms and process capability analysis are used for this purpose. These methods allow plant and quality managers to identify patterns, trends or deviations that could indicate potential problems in the process, resulting in numerous economic losses.

The main features of the SPC include:

Continuous Monitoring


SPC involves the collection of data on a regular basis throughout the production process, e.g., a weight control.for example: a weight control every X time/units. This data is used to continuously monitor the performance of the process.

Control Limits


Upper and lower control limits are established based on the natural variability of the process. These limits indicate the expected variation and allow the identification of significant deviations.

Deviation Detection


If the data show that the process deviates significantly from its expected behavior, alarms are triggered and corrective actions are taken to prevent the production of defective products.

Corrective and Preventive Actions


When deviations are detected, immediate corrective actions are implemented to correct the problem. In addition, preventive solutions are sought to prevent deviations from recurring.

Integrating SPC with MES Systems: A Powerful Alliance

While SPC alone offers a valuable approach to process control, its integration with MES systems takes efficiency to a higher level. MES systems act as the central nervous system of the manufacturing plant, coordinating and supervising all operations. By incorporating SPC capabilities into an MES System, a synergy is achieved that benefits both product quality and operational efficiency.

Real Time Monitoring:

The ability to monitor processes in real time is essential to quickly identify any unwanted variability. MES systems provide the infrastructure necessary to collect real-time production data, allowing SPC to continuously analyze variability and generate alerts to potential problems. detected in the process.

Rapid Response to Deviations:

The integration of the SPC with an MES system allows an immediate response to process deviations. When an anomaly is detected, the MES System can automatically trigger real-time adjustments or notify operators via alarms or emails to take corrective action. In addition, thanks to the measurements taken during the process, it is possible to anticipate any quality problems, since the trend of these measurements can be observed and it is known whether the next measurement will be within or outside the permitted values. This significantly reduces reaction time to potential problems, minimizing the impact on quality and efficiency.

3. Continuous Improvement Based on Data:

Data collection and analysis are essential for continuous improvement in manufacturing. By integrating SPC with an MES System, companies can leverage the information gathered to perform deeper analysis and make informed decisions on how to further optimize their processes. These data can be stored in Big Data for a through a BI create dashboards specific values can be reflected in the SPC and thus compare trends, product references and even link it to the raw material. used to detect whether the deviation may be caused by a poor state ofl component of the product.

4. Regulatory Compliance and Quality Certification:

Many industries are subject to stringent quality standards and regulations. The combination of SPC and an MES System provides a complete audit trail, making it easy to demonstrate regulatory compliance and obtain quality certifications. Lhe ability of the SPC to provide objective and traceable data contributes to the achievement and maintenance of quality certificationsIFS, BRC, etc; thus validating the company’s commitment to production excellence.

5. Cost and Waste Reduction:

Early identification of problems through SPC integrated with an MES System helps to avoid the production of items defective items, reducing costs andes associated with rework and material waste. In addition, continuous data-driven process optimization leads to increased operational efficiency and ultimately to cost in the long term. This type of control will allow the company to work with optimum productivity, thanks to the immediate detection of deviations, and thus to increase profits while minimizing low quality.This type of control will allow the company to work with optimum productivity, thanks to the immediate detection of deviations, and thus increase profits while minimizing low quality.

Advancing Operational Excellence

The integration of SPC with MES Systems represents a significant step towards quality assured production in the industry. By leveraging real-time monitoring capabilities, data collection automation, predictive analytics and continuous improvement, companies can optimize their processes and reduce quality defects significantly.

The alliance between SPC and MES Systems represents a holistic approach to process management, offering companies the necessary tools to compete in an increasingly demanding global market. Those organizations that adopt this integrated strategy are better positioned to achieve operational excellence, maximizing product quality, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, the integration of SPC with MES Systems is not only an investment in technology, but also in continuous improvement and long-term sustainability in the industrial environment.

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    Author of the article: Statistical Process Control (SPC) in the Industrial Environment