How to make Control Charts - LabCollector

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How to make Control Charts

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Control charts help us monitor quality. It is one of the seven basic tools described for quality control. Such charts can be used to determine if the process/equipment is stable over time. Control charts helps to keep a check on the performance of the instrument by using a QC/QA (Quality Control/ Quality Analysis) sample.

A control chart always has three lines for reference:
1. The Central line for average
2. The Upper line for upper control limit
3. The Lower line for lower control limit

Based on these lines and the data plotted you can check if the equipment performance is consistent, which is in control or variable that is out of control. 

Our LSM uses Control Charts to access the performance of the Equipment and the Data trending chart for the performance of the Sample. Moreover, the LSM plots a Graph that is evaluated via a 6-Sigma approach (explained in  below).

Create control charts

Go to LSM–>Home–>Control Charts and click on ‘Add a new Chart’

A pop-up box will appear where will have to select one by one the Test, Parameter & Equipment.

The options that will appear in the drop-down list will be the samples that are marked as QC/QA.

The chart will appear as below.

  • The tile of the chart represents the TEST name, Parameters & the Equipment name.
  • In the chart the Y-axis represent results values which are automatically created.
  • The X-axis represents the date and time in Hours:Minutes:Seconds of creation on the results.
  • The chart can be chosen to represent values from either last two weeks to last year.
  • You can download the graph as a PNG image by clicking the download sign image.
  • The colored lines represent the sigma values (6σ) that is the standard deviation. The more number of standard deviations between process average and acceptable process limits fits, the less likely that the process performs beyond the acceptable process limits, and it causes a defect. This is the reason why a 6σ (Six Sigma) process performs better than 1σ, 2σ, 3σ, 4σ, 5σ processes. The detailed explanation of standard deviation in chart is shown above (green).

To make a control chart to check the performance of the equipment using LSM add-on, you need to follow certain steps described below.

Step 1. Adding equipment

Go to LSM–>Admin–>Equipment. Click on Add to insert an equipment.
(You can also click the link to see in details on how to add Equipment)
You can add the category of the equipment as well. For example, if you are a research lab and have different PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines and you want to check the performance of the equipment over time using control charts.For this situation, you can to add the equipment category as PCR machines and the name of the equipment can be Bio-Rad or Thermoscientific, etc. depending on the company or the type of machine.

Fill the required details and click save. This equipment is added in the LSM equipment list.

Step 2. Creating Parameters

Go to LSM–>Admin–>Preferences->Parameters. Click on Add parameters.
(You can also click the link to see in details on how to add Parameters)
You can add the parameters as required.

Remember to put the “level” as Test and “data Type” as Numeric.


Step 3. Creating Tests

Go to LSM–>Admin–>Preferences–>Tests. Click on Add Test.
(You can also click the link to see in details on how to add tests)
Add the details as required.

Important step is to put the equipment that will be used for test. This equipment’s performance will be accessed using control charts.

Take care that the equipment is not in maintenance and is operational with a contract and warranty.

To insert the equipment, go to protocols and insert the Equipment category and then click on the plus sign to insert.

Input the required Input, processing and result parameters and their respective ranges. For example, see below.
The parameter that we saved in step 2 will appear in the drop-down. Then click on + sign to add the results parameter. Save the test.

Step 4. Creating a Job

Go to LSM–>Job–>Add Job. 
Fill the required fields. Set the order to “Job”, select the samples received “Yes”. After that click on “Add Row”. Add the Sample, type and the tests and then click on “Save”.

Click on the “Options” at the sample level–>Follow-up–>Mark as QC/QA

Once marked as QC/QA a black star will appear in front of the samples. After creating the charts you can click on this image to see the chart.

After this, Click on the “Options” at the Job level and select ‘Open’. A pop-up will open with the job details. Under the Sample click on the test name.

When you click on the test name the below pop-up will appear where you need to select the equipment under ‘Protocol & Equipment. 

Once you “Save & Start” the job status will move from ‘Assigned’ to ‘Started’. You can fill the measurements that you want to fill in results tab example like below image. 

Under the Result Parameter add the ‘Value’ obtained during the test.

Once the Job is completed, and after it is ‘Validated’ the status of the Job will be seen as Approved.

The job needs to be completed and approved for the Control Data chart creation.

After all steps are completed you can create the chart as described above.