Maintenance technicians often face the challenge of diagnosing and troubleshooting intermittent machinery faults and maintenance training is one of the best ways to develop problem solving skills. Problems offer the opportunity to improve efficiency as well as performance.
One method of problem solving is to employ a histogram. A histogram is a graphical method of presenting a large amount of data utilizing bars, but it is not quite the same as a bar chart. It provides information in a compact and organized manner, and allows users to:
- Compare process results with specification limits
- Analyze a large data set at a higher level
- Communicate information about variables
- Make informed decisions based on data analysis
Most PLC programming software includes the ability to generate a histogram. The histogram allows maintenance technicians to visually monitor controls in real time and produces a written representation of the machine function that the technician can analyze. Plotting a histogram can give a quick visualization of data distribution and help to determine whether outputs of two or more processes are different or whether a process can meet a customer’s requirements.
The histogram is one of the basic tools of quality control. Illinois BIS’s technical consultant, Steve Gilbert, demonstrates how to use this valuable tool for Maintenance Technicians.