Statistical Process Control Course

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Statistical Process Control Course


Monday 29 July to Friday 2 August 2019
Mount Gambier
UniSA Campus Wireless Road West 

This course will focus on statistical processes, their application in process controls and their broader use in the application and compliance with Australian softwood standards.

The course is jointly sponsored by the University of South Australia Mount Gambier Timber Hub and the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life with support from Forest and Wood Products Australia.

Sampling, Measurement and Australian Timber Standards

Australian standards require timber to meet a range of criteria that determine whether a timber is fit for purpose. Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010, promotes competition, fair-trading and provides protection for consumers. There is a legal requirement that the timber product sold matches the description or standards.

Sawmills collect a range of data and have various methods of sampling, measuring and analysing it, with the view of determining if the variables tested are within the specifications outlined in the Australian standards. This course will assist in deepening the understanding of the data, analysing it and the use of the results.

Statistical Process Control (SPC)

SPC refers to measurement and analysis of properties or attributes of a population of timber products using robust statistical methods, and to give guidance for processes management aiming to keep properties within nominated (acceptable) bounds.

SPC provides the framework that will help companies reduce variation and save money, while improving product value. In the solid wood processing industries, SPC can help companies reduce variation and improve log yield, which has significant positive financial implications.

This course brings together three nationally and internationally recognised experts who will examine the use of SPC processes in meeting Australian grading and treating standards and development of lean methods to improve outcomes.

The course is designed for supervisors and technical staff in sawmills across Australia, but may also be of interest to those working in composites manufacturing. This course is limited to a maximum of 20 attendees in 2019.

Course overview

This course will commence on Monday 29 July at the UniSA campus in Mount Gambier South Australia. The program will be agile and work with attendees to ensure they gain the required knowledge to apply to issues they are wrestling with within their companies. There is also the potential for follow up interactive work on company-specific problems with the instructors.

Sampling and Measuring
  • Characterising a population
  • Sampling - identify the different statistical outcomes achieved by the use of the different (random and biased) sampling techniques used across the various mills in Australia and the applicability of their results to their circumstances
  • Variability in timber and treatments
  • Australian sawmill data will be used to exemplify the concepts and varying outcomes achieved by different sampling techniques
  • Does the result fit with expectations? Sensibility checking and retesting
  • Anomalies – dealing with rogue results
Australian Timber Standards and Grading
  • Standards history of development and the application of current standards and quality control measures
  • Legal obligations
  • Timber Treatment with particular reference to the draft AS1604.2. Discussion around the following:
    • Variables which influence outcomes
    • Variable control limits and confidence internals
    • Variable interaction and impact
Statistical Process Controls
  • Understand how SPC methods can help manufacturers quantify and reduce variation
  • How to apply controls charts on key process metrics (eg thickness, moisture, etc.)
  • How to quantify the cost of variation at their facilities, ie, benefits of target size control/optimisation/reduction
  • How to conduct a capability analysis
  • Understand tools for root-cause analyses
  • How to apply lean methods at their facilities
  • How to track and sustain the continuous improvement efforts using the above methods
  • How to develop Excel spreadsheets using the above methods
Logistics and costs

This course will be delivered over 5 days from Monday 29 July – Friday 2 August 2019 in Mount Gambier SA. Mount Gambier has limited flights in and out each day and attendees are advised to book flights early.

UniSA is on the north west edge of Mount Gambier and most accommodation is in the centre of town. Transport from UniSA to accommodation in CBD will be provided - TBC.

This course is supported by Forest and Wood Products Australia. The costs will be A$1,500 ex GST per attendee.


To register your interest to attend this five day course.

Please email your full name, phone number, organisation name and reason for attending the course.

Please note places are limited to a maximum of 20 and we have received interest from a number of organisations across Australia and New Zealand. Given this, we encourage you to register your interest as soon as possible.

More information 

Please contact Kelisha Lyndon or +61 7 5456 5752.

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