Northwest Analytical Announces New Quality Analyst® 6 SPC Charting and Analysis Software Solution | Automation.com

Northwest Analytical Announces New Quality Analyst® 6 SPC Charting and Analysis Software Solution

March 172005
PORTLAND, Ore. – March 16, 2005 – Northwest Analytical, Inc. (NWA), the leading provider of statistical process control (SPC) software, today announced a major update to NWA Quality Analyst, its award-winning SPC charting and analysis software solution. NWA Quality Analyst, the flagship product in the NWA SPC software suite, helps manufacturers understand and improve their processes to increase product quality, reduce defects, waste and costs, meet customer requirements, certify vendors and comply with regulatory requirements.

NWA Quality Analyst Version 6 enables manufacturers to more easily analyze their process data to identify process improvements and execute quality initiatives such as Six Sigma, CAPA (Corrective Action/Preventative Action) and ISO. The new Version 6 also includes several key enhancements that further simplify the integration of SPC and process quality data with plant-level and enterprise manufacturing information systems such as ERP, MES and LIMS. NWA Quality Analyst has always been recognized for its ease of integration, and it is even easier now than before.

Insight Into Process Data for Execution of Process Improvement Programs
Many of the enhancements in Version 6 were developed for users engaged in corporate quality initiatives. These include:

  • Assignable Cause/Corrective Action (AC/CA) - Add Assignable Cause/Corrective Action information to any data point on a control chart and record the identified cause of an exception (e.g. an out of control point or rule violation) and the corrective action that has been taken to address the problem. Generate consolidated AC/CA reports, view Pareto analysis and transfer information to other applications via XML. AC/CA is required in many regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals (CAPA), consumer products, medical device manufacturing and food processing. It also helps to ensure the success of inspection-based programs such as HACCP.
  • Better Access to Chart Information -
    Descriptive characteristics, rule violations, comments and AC/CA can now be viewed with a single mouse-click, delivering easier access to the relevant information needed to identify sources of variation, diagnose process problems and accelerate the implementation of corrective actions.
  • More Powerful Presentation of Chart Data - Communicate more information within charts and present information in more revealing ways to deliver sharper insight into process performance.
  • New graphics viewer - includes unlimited data points on SPC charts, more flexible grouping of graphics output and reports, user-defined plotting symbols, improved call-outs, comments, direct editing of headers and footers, better font and color control and point-and-click zoom.
  • Rainbow charts - Configure green/yellow/red zone options on SPC charts.
  • More graphic output formats - Create JPG, PNG, WMF, and BMP files to enable mixed text and graphics reporting. Automatically export charts to Microsoft* Word, PowerPoint* and other reporting tools.

    Integration of SPC and Quality Programs With Pland and Enterprise Applicatoins
    Other key enhancements address the growing need to integrate SPC and quality reporting with plant-level and enterprise manufacturing information systems including ERP, MES, LIMS and SCM (supply chain management). These include:

  • Improved Setup of Database Connectivity -
    Expanded user interface for developing complex queries to denormalize data tables.
  • Database Synchronization - Seamless integration of SPC analysis with external databases. Automatically links comments, Assignable Cause/Corrective Action, SPC limits and tagged data to specific records in external databases, fully integrating SPC analysis with data from multiple sources.
  • Read Specifications from External Databases - Automatically reads specifications from databases to support centralized specification management and reduce sources of error and duplicated data.
  • XML Output and Parameter Files -
    All configuration, parameter, and output files now use XML formats for seamless integration with enterprise applications such as ERP, MES, and LIMS.

    “Many SPC programs were originally initiated to meet customer and supply chain requirements," said Louis Halvorsen, NWA vice president of development. "More of these customers now leverage their SPC investment to create greater efficiency and reduce costs through process improvement - the real purpose of SPC. NWA Quality Analyst 6 was designed to better meet these needs with enhanced graphical analysis, improved integration capabilities and complete database independence. We believe Version 6 will enable our users to more easily understand their processes and better communicate that understanding."

    For more information about the enhancements made to NWA Quality Analyst 6, visit www.nwasoft.com/qanew.htm.

    PART OF A COMPLETE PLANT FLOOR DATA COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND MONITORING SOLUTION
    NWA Quality Analyst, NWA Quality Monitor and NWA Quality Analyst Web Server combine to create a solution that automates plant-floor data collection and process alarms, enables real time monitoring of remote plants and contract manufacturing facilities and automatically produces web-based SPC reports that are instantly available anywhere in the world. For details about these products, call 888-692-7638 or visit www.nwasoft.com/products.htm.

    ABOUT NORTHWEST ANALYTICAL
    Northwest Analytical (NWA) is the world's leading provider of SPC software, with more than 50,000 licenses shipped to over 5,000 companies. NWA software is recognized for its power, ease-of-use and simple, tight integration with other manufacturing systems. The NWA SPC software suite includes products for QA/QC analytics, plant floor quality data collection and monitoring, SPC charting, enterprise reporting, and real-time, embedded SPC. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.nwasoft.com or call (888)692-7638.

    *NWA Quality Analyst, NWA Quality Monitor and NWA Quality Analyst Web Server are registered trademarks of Northwest Analytical. All other trademarks or Registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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