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SPC - a team effort for process improvement across four Area Control Centres

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Shirley ColemanORCiD


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This paper describes an innovative application of statistical process control to the online remote control of the UK's gas transportation networks. The gas industry went through a number of changes in ownership, regulation, access to networks, organization and management culture in the 1990s. The application of SPC was motivated by these changes along with the desire to apply the best industrial statistics theory to practical problems, The work was initiated by a studentship, with the technology gradually being transferred to the industry. The combined efforts of control engineers and statisticians helped develop a novel SPC system. Having set up the control limits, a system was devised to automatically update and publish the control charts on a daily basis. The charts and an associated discussion forum are available to both managers and control engineers throughout the country at their desktop PCs. The paper describes methods of involving people to design first-class systems to achieve continual process improvement. It describes how the traditional benefits of SPC can be realized in a 'distal team working' and 'soft systems', context of four Area Control Centres, controlling a system delivering two thirds of the UK's energy needs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers PRG, Piggott JL, Coleman SY

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Statistics

Year: 2001

Volume: 28

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 307-324

Print publication date: 02/08/2010

ISSN (print): 0266-4763

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0532

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02664760120034054


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