ASTM-E2587 Standard Practice for Use of Control Charts in Statistical Process Control

ASTM-E2587 - 2016 R21(E1) EDITION - CURRENT
Show Complete Document History

Document Center Inc. is an authorized dealer of ASTM standards.
The following bibliographic material is provided to assist you with your purchasing decision:

Standard Practice for Use of Control Charts in Statistical Process Control



Want this as a site license?


1.1 This practice provides guidance for the use of control charts in statistical process control programs, which improve process quality through reducing variation and controlling the process to a particular target level or historical average.

1.2 Control charts are used to monitor product or process characteristics to determine whether or not a process is in a state of statistical control. When this state is attained, the true mean and the true standard deviation of that characteristic are constant.

1.3 This practice applies to variables data (characteristics measured on a continuous numerical scale) and to attributes data (characteristics measured as percentages, fractions, or counts of occurrences in a defined interval of time or space).

1.4 The system of units for this practice is not specified. Dimensional quantities in the practice are presented only as illustrations of calculation methods. The examples are not binding on products or test methods treated.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

This practice describes the use of control charts as a tool for use in statistical process control (SPC). Control charts were developed by Shewhart (1) in the 1920s and are still in wide use today. SPC is a branch of statistical quality control (2, 3), which also encompasses process capability analysis and acceptance sampling inspection. Process capability analysis, as described in Practice E2281, requires the use of SPC in some of its procedures. Acceptance sampling inspection, described in Practices E1994 and E2234, requires the use of SPC so as to minimize rejection.

Principles of SPCA process may be defined as a set of interrelated activities that convert inputs into outputs. SPC uses various statistical methodologies to improve the quality of a process by reducing the variability of one or more of its outputs, for example, a quality characteristic of a product or service.

A certain amount of variability will exist in all process outputs regardless of how well the process is designed or maintained. A process operating with only this inherent variability is said to be in a state of statistical control, with its output variability subject only to chance, or common, causes.

Process upsets, said to be due to assignable, or special causes, are manifested by changes in the output level, such as a spike, shift, trend, or by changes in the variability of an output. The control chart is the basic analytical tool in SPC and is used to detect the occurrence of special causes operating on the process.

When the control chart signals the presence of a special cause, other SPC tools, such as flow charts, brainstorming, cause-and-effect diagrams, or Pareto analysis, described in various references (3-7), are used to identify the special cause. Special causes, when identified, are either eliminated or controlled. When special cause variation is eliminated, process variability is reduced to its inherent variability, and control charts then function as a process monitor. Further reduction in variation would require modification of the process itself.

The use of control charts to adjust one or more process inputs is not recommended, although a control chart may signal the need to do so. Process adjustment schemes are outside the scope of this practice and are discussed by Box and Luceño (8).


common cause; control chart; control limits; rational subgroup; special cause; state of statistical control; statistical process control; Control charts; Statistical process control (SPC); ICS Number Code 35.240.50 (IT applications in industry)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

14.02 (General Test Methods; Forensic Psychophysiology; Forensic Sciences; Terminology; Conformity Assessment; Statistical Methods; Nanotechnology; Forensic Engineering; Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products)

To find similar documents by classification:

03.120.30 (Application of statistical methods)

This document comes with our free Notification Service, good for the life of the document.

This document is available in either Paper or PDF format.


Customers who bought this document also bought:

Standard Specification for Chromium and Chromium-Nickel Stainless Steel Plate, Sheet, and Strip for Pressure Vessels and for General Applications

Standard Specification for General Requirements for Stainless Steel Bars, Billets, and Forgings

Standard Specification for Seamless, Welded, and Heavily Cold Worked Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes

Document Number


Revision Level

2016 R21(E1) EDITION



Modification Type

Editorially changed

Publication Date

July 28, 2021

Document Type


Page Count

29 pages

Committee Number