Training Aids

When training statistical techniques, visual examples and actual data help in showing how the tools work.  As such we have found the following tools to be invaluable for quickly and clearly showing how and why a particular statistical tool works.

Quincunx, by Lightning Calculator
Is a process simulator which consists of a slotted board which beads are dropped down into.  As the beads drop they fall through a series of metal pins.  As the beads hit the pins, they bounce to one side or the other creating a random distribution.  This device is excellent for showing process variability and the difference between common and assignable causes.

Shewhart Bead Bowl, by Lightning Calculator
This is a sampling bowl containing a mixture of different colored beads.  Three sample paddles are provide for 25, 50 and 100 unit samples.  The bead bowl is used to demonstrate sampling variability and the affect of sample size on the amount of variability.  It also makes an excellent process simulator for studying attribute control charts.

Catapult, by Lightning Calculator
The catapult has become the core training device for the Design of Experiments workshop.  Rather than doing problems out of the textbook on unfamiliar data, students get to design, conduct and analyze trials to obtain certain objectives with the catapult.  The catapult has seven variables that can be changed and included in a trial.  It also works well for control chart exercises and having teams conduct a variability reduction exercise.

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