Solving Complex Industrial Problems without Statistics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Solving Complex Industrial Problems without Statistics

1st Edition

By Ralph R. Pawlak

CRC Press

143 pages | 6 Color Illus. | 70 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498759083
pub: 2016-05-24
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Presenting: Problem Solving Sans Statistics

Enhance your problem-solving skills, and improve your company’s profitability using the methods outlined in Solving Complex Industrial Problems without Statistics. Introducing a process that involves working through problems and solutions without relying on complicated statistical design or analysis, this book pulls away from data-driven thinking and provides the problem solver with a new way of solving problems.

Utilizing techniques that have been applied in facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, Italy, China, and Hong Kong, it demonstrates the use of process and problem differences and similarities, and provides a better understanding of analogous comparisons. The book incorporates visual analysis tools and problem examples in a format that facilitates comprehension and learning, presents novel concepts that do not require numbers or statistics, and provides a better understanding of the solution system/process overall.

Each chapter presents new information, as well as case studies that include:

  • Different problem situations
  • Short histories detailing the operation, condition, and circumstances that were present at the time of each study
  • Photographs, sketches, or tables with simple explanations to describe the circumstances, conditions, and the actions taken
  • Methods of solution in rudimentary form
  • Chapter summaries to review important mechanisms and workings
  • Final summaries to tie together the important methods and techniques that facilitate easy problem solutions

Solving Complex Industrial Problems without Statistics provides valuable insight into the solution of complex quality and manufacturing problems, without the use of statistics, and is essential to anyone involved in quality, control, problem-solving activities, or total quality management.


"This concise book contains a wealth of practical information a manufacturing engineer will find useful in solving every-day quality problems. The ample supply of case studies covering a wide range of topics is particularly appealing. The book is clearly written, logically organized and well presented. The author has excellent credentials as a practitioner."

—Duc Pham, University of Birmingham, UK

Table of Contents

A Different Approach

Visual Observation

Concept Sketches

Clue Uniqueness

Comparison of Twin Sets

Group Twin Set Comparison

Data Ranking

Fractional Analysis

Simple Analysis


Assembly Problem

Flywheel Bolt Assembly


Faulty Thinking

Individual Differences

Individual Action Has Consequences

Combustible Components

Data Collection

Clues to the Cause


Batch Mixing Problem

Process Problems

Steps in the Process

Problem Occurrence

Investigation Findings


Component Assembly

Operator Skill and Knowledge

Plan of Attack


Establishing a Visual Guide


Assigning Responsibility

Creating Identification

Problem Description

Specific Problem

Proposed Solution


Electrical Components

View of the Problem

View of the Defect

Plan of Attack

Review of Job Instructions

Problem Control


New Process Development

New Process Initiation

Rationale for Improvement

Lack of Operating Instructions

Process Conception

Initial Runout

Lack of System Knowledge

Developing an Operation Plan

Unswerving Work Application


Innovative Solutions

Surface Contact Temperature

Reductions in Force

Battery Charging Area

Moving Assembly Problem


Electronic Chip Wafer

Following the Job Routing


Machining Problem

Machining Evaluation

Create a Ranking System

Create a Sketch

Present Result Data

Recap of Machining

Another Example


Systemic Chaos

Truck Head Processing

Background Information

Dissimilar Testing Devices


Problem Cause


Sequester and Shutdown

Notification of Sequester

Measurement System

Measurement Rationale

Component Measurement

Data Evaluation



Corroboration of Results


Simple Charts

Judge Five Before Against Five After

Comparison of Twin Sets


Appendix: Glossary of Terms

About the Author

Ralph R. Pawlak is a graduate of Erie Community College, General Motors Institute, and The State University of New York, Buffalo. He earned an associate of applied science in industrial technology, a bachelor of science in industrial engineering, and a master of education, respectively, from these institutions. During his extensive career with General Motors, he served in several positions at various facilities in Tonawanda, New York; Danville, Illinois; and Romulus, Michigan. He also engineered start-up operations for Fisher-Price in China and Italy. Toward the end of his career, he returned to General Motors as a contract employee who was used as a consultant to suppliers.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering