Frequently Asked Questions
Operating the Software
Is NWA Quality Analyst easy to use?
Operating NWA Quality Analyst is a simple, straightforward process
using its familiar, spreadsheet-like user interface. Columns contain descriptive,
measurement, and defect data; each row is a sample. To create an SQC chart,
you simply click on the desired data column and select a chart type from
toolbar or menu.
Charts are displayed in a clear, easy-to-interpret format. Each chart
is presented in a separate window so you can view multiple charts on the
same screen. This simplifies comparing different processes or different
aspects of the same process.
You can layout a page for screen display and printing by dragging and
dropping each chart to the desired location in the window or page. You
can specify the colors, typefaces, and line thicknesses for several types
of chart labels and elements.
Is NWA Quality Analyst easy to set up to meet
my particular needs?
Though Quality Analyst's default settings are those most commonly
accepted in industry, you can configure virtually every aspect of charting
and analysis in Quality Analyst. Logically arranged, easy-to-understand
tabbed dialog boxes let you specify preferred settings without "manual"
I use my spreadsheet to produce X-bar-R and
Process Capability charts. Why should I change to NWA Quality Analyst?
Producing charts with NWA Quality Analyst is superior for many
reasons. First, NWA Quality Analyst creates all charts with rigorous accuracy.
NWA Quality Analyst was designed specifically for the creation of SPC
charts. Its statistical calculations have been exhaustively tested and
have been validated by more than ten years of use. You know you'll get
the correct result.
You can easily configure NWA Quality Analyst charts to meet a wide range
of customer and regulatory requirements. Data and chart files maintain
their settings from session to session until you change them again.
In addition, as market leaders in SPC/SQC software, the NWA technical
staff keeps abreast of emerging trends in SPC analysis, such as new capability
indices and new calculation methods. You benefit from both our years of
experience and our own continuous improvement in SQC/SPC charting and
analysis, a claim no spreadsheet software can make.
What operating systems does NWA Quality Analyst
The current version of NWA Quality Analyst lets you install the
software in your choice of operating systems: Windows (3.1 or newer),
Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT. A LAN
version is available and is compatible with all major PC-based LANs. Users
in all supported environments can share data and graphics.
What type of SQC/SPC charts can
NWA Quality Analyst provides all standard and many special-purpose
SQC charts. The following 25 SPC charts are available, most at the click
of a button.
Variable Control Charts
- X-bar (Mean)
- X-bar & Range
- Standard Deviation
- X-bar & Standard Deviation
- Individual Measurements
- Individual & Range
- Moving Average
- Moving Range
- Median & Range
- Cumulative Sum (CUSUM)
- Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA)
Process Capability Histograms
Attribute Control Charts
- p (percent defective)
- np (number defective)
- c (nonconformities)
- u (nonconformities/unit)
- Box & Whiskers
- Normal Probability
When I do process analysis, I find that some
of my processes are not normally distributed. What options will NWA Quality
Analyst give me?
NWA Quality Analyst offers you a selection of eight types of distributions
for use in Process Capability reporting. You can select from among 21
different capability indices, including those specified by the AIAG (Automotive
Industry Action Group). When appropriate, the capability indices are automatically
adjusted when non-normal distributions are selected.
I sometimes need to run a t-test or regression.
Do I have to buy a separate statistics application to do this?
Quality Analyst includes a complete set of general statistics
functions to support your quality control operation. They are available
from one central drop-down menu. As with all Quality Analyst reports,
you can control the typeface and size of the text so you can adhere to
any documentation or reporting standards you might have.
What if I just want to chart part
of my data, such as a date range or one shift? Can I easily compare different
shifts or machines?
NWA Quality Analyst provides a powerful tool for comparative analysis
and precise identification of problem areas. Its unique Data Filter feature
lets you specify a match or range for up to three characteristics. To
chart for one shift, for example, simply enter the values to match--such
as date, time, and shift. The data editor then displays only data meeting
the filter criteria. Selecting complex data file subsets such as "all
parts produced in August during the first two hours of night shift"
or "batches made on the #2 blender with a starting viscosity above
110" becomes easy. All charting and analysis is automatically restricted
to the user-specified data. Such precision can mean immediate gains in
Special Analytical Tools
Our customers require us to show
SPC charts to demonstrate process control even though our small production
runs don't allow for extensive sampling. Can your software accommodate
You can use Short Run techniques with any of NWA Quality Analyst's
SPC charts. Once a nominal value is entered for each part, the Short Run
calculations will be performed automatically when charts are created.
Different variances can also be accommodated.
It has been difficult for us to routinely chart
the output of our multihead fill machine. Does NWA Quality Analyst have
anything that can help?
To correctly perform SPC on our multicavity moulds would require an enormous
number of charts. What options do I have with NWA Quality Analyst?
NWA has long recognized the need for applications that fit the
user's specific requirements--criteria not typically met in off-the-shelf
software. As a result, NWA Quality Analyst includes many special-purpose
charts, and its standard SQC/SPC charts can be adapted or configured to
a wide range of requirements. One such special-purpose application is
Median/Individual Control (M/I) charting. It significantly reduces the
number of charts required for effective monitoring of "family"
processes such as multi-cavity molds or multi-head filling machines. You
can combine control charts for the overall process and individual subprocesses
(the individual cavities or fill heads) on a single chart, and easily
discern differences between global changes (changes affecting the overall
process, such as product viscosity, temperature, etc.) and individual
changes (each cavity, each fill head, etc.) On M/I charts, an outlying
cavity or fill head is indicated by its number for easy identification,
eliminating guesswork and confusion from process improvement.
Can I set up automatic calculations
to create new variables?
Yes. You can define calculations that use any combination of variables
in the data file, constants, and mathematical operators. You can simply
enter the equation in the variable definition window or use Quality Analystís
built-in, point-and-click equation builder. The calculations are dynamic--as
you enter new data, calculated results appear in the target cell. Quality
Analyst treats calculated variables like any other data. You can include
them in charts and statistical analyses and you can apply format control,
specifications, limits, and so on.
We collect measurements from different production
processes and store them in a plantwide database for reporting. Our quality
supervisors and process engineers need to use this data for their own
process improvement studies. Can NWA Quality Analyst help?
such as Oracle, Sybase, DB2 and others that support the Microsoft
Open Database Connectivity standard. You can also create direct connections
PC database such as Access, dBase, Paradox, and FoxPro.
Charting and Graphics
I review our quality for the past
week and write a report to the quality teams. Can I take the most important
SQC charts and paste them into my document?
Yes. NWA Quality Analyst creates each chart in its own Window.
Using standard Windows cut-and-paste capabilities, you can paste NWA Quality
Analyst graphics into word-processor or other documents to communicate
quality issues easily.
I need SQC charts that I can display in customer
presentations. Can I create charts that meet my needs without resorting
to yet another software package?
Yes. NWA Quality Analyst gives you considerable flexibility in
output appearance. You can select the fonts you want, line weight (thickness),
aspect ratio, and display colours.
What type of Local Area Networks
will NWA Quality Analyst run on?
NWA Quality Analyst is compatible with most major LANs, including
Novell, Windows-based LANs (3.x, 95, or NT), or any LAN that provides
remote disk access for PCs.
How is NWA Quality Analyst set up on a LAN?
NWA Quality Analyst can be purchased in 5-user LANpak licenses,
where these are simultaneous users on the network. NWA Quality Analyst
programs may be located on the LAN server or on individual PC workstations.
Users may share a single data directory on the LAN server or access individual
data directories at their PCs. Users may share a single NWA Quality Analyst
configuration or have their own unique configurations. Built-in file locking
gives multiple users simultaneous access to the same data. Quality Analyst's
setup wizard guides you through the installation process on the server
and the individual workstations.
Year 2000 Compliance
Does Quality Analyst comply with
generally accepted standards for "Year 2000" date handling.
Yes. with Version 5.1 Release 1.3.006 (12/29/97), NWA Quality
Analyst is fully compliant. Although previous releases are nearly compliant,
they lack features such as configurable 2-digit year representation.
Year 2000 compliance features include:
All date manipulation functions work correctly through at least the year
2050, including sorting, data filters, and data type verification.
Both 2-digit and 4-digit years are supported, and may be mixed in the
same file. Users may set a parameter that determines how 2-digit years
are handled. The default setting is 45, meaning that all 2-digit years
above 45 are treated as if prefixed with '19' and all at 45 or below are
treated as if prefixed with '20'. The Year 2000 is correctly treated
as a "leap year". All date formats supported by Quality
Analyst are compliant, including "military" and "European"
Support and User Training
It will probably take me awhile
to fully explore all the features of the SPC software I buy. How do you
handle technical support? Is there a charge or time limit?
A complete set of documentation is provided with the package,
including a Setup and Tutorial booklet and User's Manual. In addition,
unlimited technical support by Email
, telephone (01462 480055 ext 507) or fax (01462 480213) is available
at no charge to customers of Adept Scientific.
Not all of our potential NWA Quality Analyst
users are experienced using analytical software or interpreting SQC/SPC
charts. Do you offer training in these areas?
Yes. we consider use of our software to be part of a professional
relationship, and we are committed to users' successful application of
it for details of upcoming Training Course, Click