The importance of repeatability
If a measurement matters at all, it is because it must have some conceivable effect on decisions and behavior. If we can’t identify a decision that could be affected by a proposed measurement and how it could change those decisions, then the measurement simply has no value.
Why are repeatable test results important for papermaking productivity?
Establishing and maintaining a reliable test method, that generates data with a known repeatability, is the foundation for implementing a testing program that will increase papermaking productivity. Only data, with a consistent repeatability, will support within shift decision making that increases papermaking productivity. Unless a known repeatability has been established, data generated can only be supplement to decision making and reporting.
Pulmac has been providing testing solutions for measuring important pulp quality characteristics for over 40 years. During that time we have supported hundreds of implementation programs. We have formalized these experiences. Securing data integrity by establishing and maintaining a known measurement repeatability is vital.
How are repeatable test results instituted?
The first step, in implementing a best practices approach, is to ensure that data generated from Pulmac equipment is being generated with a known repeatability.
How is repeatability established?
- Standard test method: Develop a test method where the sample preparation, sample processing and sample analysis is as rapid, repeatable and robust as possible.
- Testing samples in triplicate to determine repeatability statistics: Determining expected repeatability is accomplished by testing, in triplicate, samples from all locations where samples are drawn.
- Creating a reference pulp program: Establishing and maintaining a reference pulp program will ensure that the equipment is generating data with the same results over time. A reference pulp, with known control limits, is a necessary element for ensuring equipment is generating repeatable results and determining if an unexpected change in data is equipment or process related.
- Training for multiple operator involvement: Once a standard test method has been established, formalizing a training and evaluation program to ensure that operators will generate repeatable test results is necessary. In addition training must include how to respond to data that is outside control limits and why the data is important.
- Operator Evaluation: Once multiple operators have been trained and evaluated for proficiency, there should be a periodic checks to confirm that repeatable results continue.
Without a known repeatability, data generated will only be considered when it is extraordinarily out of norms, and even then its validity will be questioned. Put simply, with a repeatable test method, process decision making can be reliably and consistently informed 24/7 360 and will increase papermaking productivity.
Let me know your thoughts about this and I’ll be pleased to discuss further with you.