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How to Create an Xbar-R Chart in Minitab 18

Joshua earned an MBA from USF and he writes mostly about software and technology.

XBar - R Chart

XBar-R charts are control charts that monitor variable data when samples are collected at regular intervals from processes.

XBar-R charts are control charts that monitor variable data when samples are collected at regular intervals from processes.

Why We Use XBar-R Charts

Before creating this type of chart you should consider other charts to display your data. If you want to monitor the mean of your data, monitor its variation, and your data has subgroup sizes of 8 or less, this is the right chart for you. If you have 8 or more subgroup sizes in your data set, it’s better to use an X-bar-S chart. If there are no subgroups in your data, then you may want to consider an IMR-chart. If your data is defective, then you should use an attribute control chart.

With the Xbar-R chart, you can monitor process stability over time and make corrections when necessary when the data seems to show trends or patterns. If nothing can be found wrong the process can be considered stable across all subgroups. Keep in mind that subgroups are the number of samples while sample sizes are the number of samples taken for each subgroup of samples.

How to Create One With Minitab

You can download the Minitab file used in this tutorial to follow along here. Also, if you don't have the latest version of Minitab (18) you can download a trial for the new version here.

Step 1: Add Data to Minitab

Input your data set into Minitab.


Step 2: Chart Type Selection

Add your data to a chart by clicking Stat→Control Charts→Variable Charts for Subgroups→Xbar-R.


Step 3: Set Up the Chart

For this horizontally displayed data, choose the "Observations for a subgroup in one row of columns" option. Select each subgroup in the box to the left and add them to the space to the right. This can be completed by highlighting each subgroup variable and clicking the select button.


Step 4: Change Options

Click on Xbar-R Chart Options. Select all of the checkboxes except for "stage" to display data in the table after the chart is created.

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Step 5: Display All Test Results

Next, choose the tests tab. From the dropdown menu choose "Perform all tests for special causes." Click the Ok button to exit the Xbar-R chart options. This will display all test results possible.


Step 6: Create a Title

Next, click on Xbar-R chart labels and the title "X-bar-R Chart for Hourly Samples," then click Ok. Now click on the Ok button within the Xbar-R Chart window to generate a graph.



Step 7: Save Your Project and Export the Graph

To save your project, click on the file menu and choose the save project option and save to a proper location on your computer. If you need to export the graph it can easily be transferred by right-clicking on it and selecting one of three options. You can send the graph to a PowerPoint presentation that is open, send it to an open work document or just copy it and paste it where you need it to be.


Boyer, K. & Verma, R. (2010). Operations & Supply Chain Management for the 21st Century. Mason, OH: South-Western.

To learn more about using MiniTab I recommend the following affordable book Minitab Demystified by Andrew Sleeper.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Joshua Crowder

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