Using Excel .xls spreadsheet to replace paper logsheets - Has anyone had success?

R

RMedrano

#1
Just curious if anyone has had success using Excel to replace paper logsheets?

we are pushing heavily to go to all paperless data collection on our shop floor.
we already do almost all of our SPC data collection with computers using a nice package called WinSPC, with that I am able to link to other documents, and was thinking of using it to link to excel spreadsheets that would be used to collect our non-spc data.

Any thoughts? successes? problems?
 
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SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
When I was in charge of lab at last job, we logged all our samples, status, etc, into a log which we eventually changed to a spreadsheet. We shared this as a read only with sales/shipping coordinators so they could always see where we were in the process. It worked quite well, and eliminated multiple phone calls from various depts trying to figure out where we were on testing status. That meant we had more time to do our jobs with less interruptions. :rolleyes:

Is this what you were looking for? I really think that anything that you would be logging on paper could be logged in a spreadsheet and it would probably be "safer" from the standpoint of not having loose paper floating around. It all depends on the availability of computers and the skill of the people. good luck!
 
K

Kevin H

#3
About a year ago, QA with some help from our external auditor managed to convince 1 of our plants to use extended time frame computer spreadsheets updated and available to operators rather than short term ones that were turned over to a supervisor. Lo and behold, we suddenly started seeing trends and got better furnace control. Managed to decrease paper use and improve the product at the same time. :)

As Steel maiden notes, issues that have to be considered include computer access and people skill/training. I'd also add comfort factor/buyin - will the changes actually make the work easier (or will a majority of those involved feel that it does), does it help empower the individuals, or will they perceive it as management looking over their shoulder? Also, don't forget paper isn't necessarily bad, and a good paper system doesn't necessarily need to be transferred to a computer driven system.
 
G

gszekely

#4
What for you have logsheets. what for you use them. What data collected ?
Do you need them. I use them in the beginning of the process or a process change, but later review the situation, and if it gaves already more work than use I get rid out of them. It doesn't make any sense to heve one at the machine, to prove that you have been there if the problems are not solved.
Give us some more specific info, then we may help more.
György
 
R

RMedrano

#5
SteelMaiden said:
When I was in charge of lab at last job, we logged all our samples, status, etc, into a log which we eventually changed to a spreadsheet. We shared this as a read only with sales/shipping coordinators so they could always see where we were in the process. It worked quite well, and eliminated multiple phone calls from various depts trying to figure out where we were on testing status. That meant we had more time to do our jobs with less interruptions. :rolleyes:

Is this what you were looking for? I really think that anything that you would be logging on paper could be logged in a spreadsheet and it would probably be "safer" from the standpoint of not having loose paper floating around. It all depends on the availability of computers and the skill of the people. good luck!
I think I have tackled a majority of the skill problem already. As I said about 95% of all of out SPC charting is done on PC's now that we have implimented throughout the plant. Alot of people, especially the older crowd who have been here 20+ years, had never used a computer before. Most seem at least comfortable with using them, I don't get called out to the shop floor to help them enter data nearly as much as I used to when we first started the SPC program late in 2004.

What this will really help us do I think is locate information quicker. Due to space limitations I was never able to keep more then a couple months worth of logsheets here near my desk, and we had to put stuff in bankers boxes and store it clear on the other side of the plant. And I could always count on engineering coming to me and asking for information that I had just had sent over there. :mad:
 
R

RMedrano

#6
Kevin H said:
About a year ago, QA with some help from our external auditor managed to convince 1 of our plants to use extended time frame computer spreadsheets updated and available to operators rather than short term ones that were turned over to a supervisor. Lo and behold, we suddenly started seeing trends and got better furnace control. Managed to decrease paper use and improve the product at the same time. :)

As Steel maiden notes, issues that have to be considered include computer access and people skill/training. I'd also add comfort factor/buyin - will the changes actually make the work easier (or will a majority of those involved feel that it does), does it help empower the individuals, or will they perceive it as management looking over their shoulder? Also, don't forget paper isn't necessarily bad, and a good paper system doesn't necessarily need to be transferred to a computer driven system.
I think our operators got over that paranoia of Big Brother watching when I introduced the SPC program, because alot of them were concerned thats what I was doing.

I agree that a good paper system can be very effective, It would be interesting to me just to see how much money we save by eliminating the paper. Not to mention how many forest's :D
 
R

RMedrano

#7
gszekely said:
What for you have logsheets. what for you use them. What data collected ?
Do you need them. I use them in the beginning of the process or a process change, but later review the situation, and if it gaves already more work than use I get rid out of them. It doesn't make any sense to heve one at the machine, to prove that you have been there if the problems are not solved.
Give us some more specific info, then we may help more.
György
Most of the data that we collect via our logsheets is process monitoring, ie temp / pressure / power however there is alot of it that is customer requirement's Stuff that is not considered a "Critical Characteristic" for those are almost always tracked with SPC, but these Items are called out on our Control Plans. Alot of it has to do with Lot Control and Traceability as well.
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#8
RMedrano said:
Just curious if anyone has had success using Excel to replace paper logsheets?

we are pushing heavily to go to all paperless data collection on our shop floor.
we already do almost all of our SPC data collection with computers using a nice package called WinSPC, with that I am able to link to other documents, and was thinking of using it to link to excel spreadsheets that would be used to collect our non-spc data.

Any thoughts? successes? problems?

Many companies, if not most, enter certain data into electronic formats of all sorts, rather than paper. - to some degree.

Few companies have managed to go completely paperless, every last piece, however. It seems easy to get to 50, 70 80% paperless, but it seems there are a few items where it is not advantageous.

My suggestion would be to not look at it as an either all or nothing idea. Go paperless on those items where it is easy and makes sense. If you like the results, push a little further. Very quickly, you will find those items where a simple piece of paper makes more sense. The rest will be paperless and efficient.

Short, sweet and simple?
 
R

RMedrano

#9
hjilling said:
Many companies, if not most, enter certain data into electronic formats of all sorts, rather than paper. - to some degree.

Few companies have managed to go completely paperless, every last piece, however. It seems easy to get to 50, 70 80% paperless, but it seems there are a few items where it is not advantageous.

My suggestion would be to not look at it as an either all or nothing idea. Go paperless on those items where it is easy and makes sense. If you like the results, push a little further. Very quickly, you will find those items where a simple piece of paper makes more sense. The rest will be paperless and efficient.

Short, sweet and simple?

Thats my motto really, I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there that had attempted the same thing with excel, and if there were any big problems with it. The Biggest problem I am going to have is getting enough licences for excel for all the floor machines that do not have it currently installed.

Does anyone know of any off the shelf products that are out there that could do the same thing? The only thing i found that looks close was a program called eLogger and even that looked like it wouldnt quite fit.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#10
RMedrano said:
Thats my motto really, I was just wondering if there was anyone else out there that had attempted the same thing with excel, and if there were any big problems with it. The Biggest problem I am going to have is getting enough licences for excel for all the floor machines that do not have it currently installed.

Does anyone know of any off the shelf products that are out there that could do the same thing? The only thing i found that looks close was a program called eLogger and even that looked like it wouldnt quite fit.
If you just want an Excel replacement, look at Open Office, an excellent free, open-source office suite that includes a (mostly) Excel-compatible spreadsheet program. See the features here.
 
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