Table of Contents
International Journal of Quality, Statistics, and Reliability
Volume 2012, Article ID 287582, 6 pages
Research Article

A Nonparametric Scheme for Monitoring a Process Output with a Block Effect

College of Business Administration, Alabama State University, 915 South Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36104, USA

Received 28 May 2012; Revised 3 August 2012; Accepted 17 August 2012

Academic Editor: Shuen L. Jeng

Copyright © 2012 Saad T. Bakir. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper proposes a distribution-free (or nonparametric) control scheme to monitor a process output that contains two special causes of variation called “block or batch” effects and “treatment or position” effects. The scheme properties (control limits, false alarm rate, and in-control average run length) stay the same under any assumed continuous probability distribution. For moderate sample sizes, these properties can be computed exactly from available tables without the need to estimate the mean or variance of the process. The proposed monitoring scheme requires ranking the observations within blocks and using the method of analysis of means by ranks. The paper includes an illustrative example concerning the grinding process of silicon wafers used in integrated circuits production.