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Data Collection Process

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  • #44190

    Wallaby
    Member

    I’ve posted this question below but didn’t get a response – so i thought i’d try again.
    I’m trying to get through my mind the principles of data collection.
    My project is on broken laptop hinges.  Broken laptop hinges account for 33% of our repairs & our manufacturer replace the entire screen just for a broken hinge (costing $1,200 AU each.    In the past 12 months we’ve had 36 !
    The manufacturer says that ‘repeated hyper-extension’ may cause the screen to break, so i’m trying to ascertain whether our employees do this (hyper-extend their screens).
    Is my data collection plan based on the past 12 months of data that I have? or is it assessing whether employees hyper extend their laptops?
    Should the MSA then be based on measuring the repeatibility, reproducibility etc of our repairs process, or should the MSA be based on the repeatibility/reproducibility of the people measuring the employees using their laptops (ie: giving pass/fails for opening laptop screens?)
    ANY responses are appreciated, as i’m spinning my wheels in my 1st project !    PS: they aren’t Dell’s :)

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    #141627

    Passerby
    Participant

    Personally, I believe you should determine if anyone was hyper-extending their displays.  This seems like a wierd thing to do (opening your laptop all the way it can go) so gut-feel is that this couldn’t account for the number of failures you are seeing.  If it isn’t hyper-extension then you need to walk the process of ‘laptop use’ and start looking for activities/factors that could be damaging the hinges starting at what individuals were doing when the hinges broke.

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    #141628

    GDS
    Participant

    What type of carry bag is used, is there enough padding on the bottom, a few years back we had issues with our lap tops and found that the padding in the bottom of the bags wasn’t thick enough, when we looked at the users, the folks doing the most travel had the most problems, thats what lead us to the bag. 300 people have laptops, however only 1/3 traveled (via air lines) and 98% of our breaks were with these air travlers.

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    #141661

    villageidiot
    Member

    Start at the beginning:

    If you can’t tell me what the deviation is (problem statment), why its important (business case), and what the project hopes to accomplish (goal statement), you dont have a project yet.  Work on your problem statement and your charter.
    Complete your VS Map and COPIS.  If you don’t know this, look to the blue bar on the right for definitions. 
    Take your problem statement (e.g. Too many broken hinges) and COPIS, meet with your team, and start filling out a C&E matrix and or FMEA for possible critical x / causes.  Now pareto your findings.  Again, reference the blue bar.  You need to figure out what you are trying to effect.
    Now determine your data collection plan by stating quesitons you need answers to.  What information, if you had it right now, would help you solve your problem statement?  Now design your data collection so as to answer these questions. Consider sample size, rational subgrouping, data types (you are using binary data currently = attribute data), potentailly critical x, project y, etc.  Your project Y is the number of laptop hinges that are breaking over a given period.  Your job is to find the Critical X (s), make changes that postively influence your Project Y, and sustain those changes. 
    Good luck.  Just my opinion,  Verify.

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    #141713

    Wallaby
    Member

    I also couldn’t imagine how/why they’d fully extend the laptop screen.  Until …..I saw an internal promotional DVD showing the user working in the car with their laptop.   They open the screen 180 degrees and sit in the drivers seat and lean the laptop against the steering wheel and type away …. (whilst parked of course !).
    I’m data collecting today  40 observations (20 people over two observation periods).  Pass/Fail for whether they open the screen 180 degrees, and i’m also going to ask them a number of other questions for analysing (eg: % of time spent using laptop in car vs home vs office).  I’ve spoken to ‘ex-reps’ in passing, and they’ve all told me that using the laptop fully open was ‘the norm’.

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    #141714

    Wallaby
    Member

    Thanks for your reply….
    I’ve gotten over the MSA dilema – i did it on the existing process to see the variation in how we currently record a laptop hinge as broken.  The objective of the MSA was to show that the existing process is stable (which fortunately, it appears to be).
    I’ve done the as you suggested with the project charter, FMEA, SIPOC & process maps (ie: defining the problem & identifying my Y’s & X’s).   Now i’m off to collect my data on how the users open/close their laptop screens whilst working in the car ….

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    #141715

    villageidiot
    Member

    Good luck.  I would pay attention to operational definitions (ie what does “broke” mean), units of  measure (use continuous as much as possible), and capture as many potential predictor variables as possible in data collection (type, model, breakage location, hinge location, user type, age of unit, etc). 

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    #141716

    Wallaby
    Member

    Thanks …. i’ve done an operational definition.  the data i’m collecting is going to be attribute data, as i don’t have an implement to measure the hinge rotation accurately.  To the naked eye, you’d say it’s a defect, it breaks in the same place each time & the material seems to me (an unqualified IT person) to be poor quality.  Given that the manufacturer have said hyper-extension will cause the hinge to break, i’ve been told to take this defect definition and find out when/where my users are using their laptop in this manner.   thanks for your responses – i was excited to see someone had finally replied !

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    #141721

    Six Sigma Tom
    Member

    This is great advice. Too bad subsequent posts indicate that the advice is being ignored. Wallaby seems determined to assume that the root cause is hyper-extension and to jump to improve. This approach streamlines DMAIC to I. Or should I say, I1, I2, … , In?
    Also, I’m not sure that 36 failures of AU$1200 each is the problem Wallaby should be pursuing. If Wallaby is a Black Belt, the complete elimination of the problem would put less than AU$44K in the coffers. Not much!

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    #141751

    villageidiot
    Member

    Your welcome.  With due respect, you appear to be jumping ahead before root cause is known and without knowing how you intend to analyze the data you do collect. 
    For example, take some time and creatively look for ways to move away from attribute data in your project Y and the follow-on analysis (ie days until breakage, hours of usage, etc.).  Without knowing how you are going to analyze your data, how do you know what to collect, in what form, and in what quantity?  If I am using an ANOVA vs. a Chi Sq, that tells me what I need to do with my data collection plan, which is HUGE.  Go slow to go fast….if you get a good charter, pmap, and data collection plan, your project is set up to be successful in terms of the quality of the solution.

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    #141760

    Wallaby
    Member

    Thanks again for your responses (Villageidiot & Tom)….
    I actually agree with both of you both.  Given that i’m a green belt & this is my first attempt to get my head around this, I’m taking steps that I haven’t taken before.   Your points are most welcome, as i’m trying to learn the process & the fundamentals/discipline of six sigma.
    At the end of this project, i would ideally feel 100% (or 95% at least) confident that my recommendation/finding is going to produce the goal that i’ve defined in the project charter.   When I think what could cause a laptop hinge to break, there are many x’s to consider.  Through my FMEA, I found that the two most likely process steps to cause my Y were opening a laptop screen, and moving a laptop (ie: mishandling it).  Given that the manufacturer has published that broken hinges are caused by repeated hyper-extension, is ONE potential cause.  The others could be simply due to opening/closing a laptop over & over again (without hyper-extension), it could be how they are stored in transit, or how much heat is generated from inside the case which weakens the metal hinge?  Am i jumping to a conclusion by following this lead from the manufacturer, or am i saying “the manufacturer has done the necessary tests to ascertain what the cause of broken hinges are?”.  If i was able to get data collection results from the manufacturer (which i doubt they would make public), would this suffice?
    I like your point of ‘go slow go fast’, and given that i am still in the M phase, this is critical to going forward, and i want to do this right.
    Tom – regarding your point about this having no ‘clout’ in terms of the financial savings as a six sigma project – i’m happy to persist with it, as i’m learning about the methodology & tools which to me is 90% of the purpose of a Green Belt project.  If it were a black belt project – it wouldn’t be on the table.

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