- Acceptance quality limit (AQL)
- Acceptance number
- Acceptance sampling
- American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- American Society for Quality (ASQ)
- American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- Appraisal cost
- Average sample number (ASN)
- Average total inspection (ATI)
- Capability maturity model (CMM)
- Certified manager of quality/organizational excellence (CMQ/OE)
- Certified quality auditor (CQA)
- Certified quality inspector (CQI)
- Classification of defects
- Code of conduct
- Company culture
- Complaint tracking
- Consumer’s risk
- Continuous quality improvement (CQI)
- Continuous sampling plan
- Control chart
- Control limits
- Corrective action
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Customer-supplier model (CSM)
- First in, first out (FIFO)
- First time quality (FTQ)
- Functional layout
- Functional verification
- Gage repeatability and reproducibility (GR&R)
- Gain sharing
- Gantt chart
- Gap analysis
- Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)
- George M. Low Trophy
- Good laboratory practices (GLP) or 21 CFR, part 58
- Good manufacturing practices (GMP) or 21 CFR, parts 808, 812 and 820
- Green Belt (GB)
- Group dynamic
- Inspection cost
- Inspection lot
- Inspection, normal
- Inspection, 100%
- Inspection, reduced
- Inspection, tightened
- ISO 14000
- ISO 9000 series standards
- Measurement uncertainty
- Mistake proofing
- Mutual recognition agreement (MRA)
- Performance standard
- Preventive action
- Probability (statistical)
- Probability of rejection
- Process capability
- Process control
- Production part approval process (PPAP)
- Product or service liability
- Product warranty
- Project management
- Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC)
- Quality audit
- Quality control
- Quality management (QM)
- Quality management system (QMS)
- Quality policy
- Quality tool
- Queue time
- Sample size
- Sampling at random
- Sampling, double
- Sampling, multiple
- Sampling, single
- Sampling, unit
- Service level agreement
- Statistical process control (SPC)
- Statistical quality control (SQC)
- Supplier quality assurance
Acceptance sampling: Inspection of a sample from a lot to decide whether to accept that lot. There are two types: attributes sampling and variables sampling. In attributes sampling, the presence or absence of a characteristic is noted in each of the units inspected. In variables sampling, the numerical magnitude of a characteristic is measured and recorded for each inspected unit; this involves reference to a continuous scale of some kind.
American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI): Released for the first time in October 1994, an economic indicator and cross industry measure of the satisfaction of U.S. household customers with the quality of the goods and services available to them. This includes goods and services produced in the United States and imports from foreign firms that have substantial market shares or dollar sales. ASQ is a founding sponsor of the ACSI, along with the University of Michigan Business School and the CFI Group.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A private, nonprofit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. It is the U.S. member body in the International Organization for Standardization, known as ISO.
American Society for Quality (ASQ): A professional, not-forprofit association that develops, promotes and applies quality related information and technology for the private sector, government and academia. ASQ serves more than 108,000 individuals and 1,100 corporate members in the United States and 108 other countries.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Not-forprofit organization that provides a forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems and services.
Audit: The on-site verification activity, such as inspection or examination, of a process or quality system, to ensure compliance to requirements. An audit can apply to an entire organization or might be specific to a function, process or production step.
Baseline measurement: The beginning point, based on an evaluation of output over a period of time, used to determine the process parameters prior to any improvement effort; the basis against which change is measured.
Calibration: The comparison of a measurement instrument or system of unverified accuracy to a measurement instrument or system of known accuracy to detect any variation from the required performance specification.
Capability maturity model (CMM): A framework that describes the key elements of an effective software process. It’s an evolutionary improvement path from an immature process to a mature, disciplined process. The CMM covers practices for planning, engineering and managing software development and maintenance to improve the ability of organizations to meet goals for cost, schedule, functionality and product quality.
Classification of defects: The listing of possible defects of a unit, classified according to their seriousness. Note: Commonly used classifications: class A, class B, class C, class D; or critical, major, minor and incidental; or critical, major and minor. Definitions of these classifications require careful preparation and tailoring to the product(s) being sampled to ensure accurate assignment of a defect to the proper classification. A separate acceptance sampling plan is generally applied to each class of defects.
Continuous sampling plan: In acceptance sampling, a plan, intended for application to a continuous flow of individual units of product, that involves acceptance and rejection on a unit-by unit basis and employs alternate periods of 100% inspection and sampling.
Control chart: A chart with upper and lower control limits on which values of some statistical measure for a series of samples or subgroups are plotted. The chart frequently shows a central line to help detect a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.
Customer relationship management (CRM): A strategy for learning more about customers’ needs and behaviors to develop stronger relationships with them. It brings together information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and market trends. It helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers.
Data: A set of collected facts. There are two basic kinds of numerical data: measured or variable data, such as “16 ounces,” “4 miles” and “0.75 inches;” and counted or attribute data, such as “162 defects.”
Defect: A product’s or service’s nonfulfillment of an intended requirement or reasonable expectation for use, including safety considerations. There are four classes of defects: class 1, very serious, leads directly to severe injury or catastrophic economic loss; class 2, serious, leads directly to significant injury or significant economic loss; class 3, major, is related to major problems with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use; and class 4, minor, is related to minor problems with respect to intended normal or reasonably foreseeable use. Also see “blemish,” “imperfection” and “nonconformity.”
Equipment availability: The percentage of time during which a process (or equipment) is available to run. This can sometimes be called uptime. To calculate operational availability, divide the machine’s operating time during the process by the net available time.
Error detection: A hybrid form of error proofing. It means a bad part can be made but will be caught immediately, and corrective action will be taken to prevent another bad part from being produced. A device is used to detect and stop the process when a bad part is made. This is used when error proofing is too expensive or not easily implemented.
First in, first out (FIFO): Use of material produced by one process in the same order by the next process. A FIFO queue is filled by the supplying process and emptied by the customer process. When a FIFO lane gets full, production is stopped until the next (internal) customer has used some of that inventory.
Gage repeatability and reproducibility (GR&R): The evaluation of a gauging instrument’s accuracy by determining whether its measurements are repeatable (there is close agreement among a number of consecutive measurements of the output for the same value of the input under the same operating conditions) and reproducible (there is close agreement among repeated measurements of the output for the same value of input made under the same operating conditions over a period of time).
Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T): A set of rules and standard symbols to define part features and relationships on an engineering drawing depicting the geometric relationship of part features and allowing the maximum tolerance that permits full function of the product.
George M. Low Trophy: The trophy presented by NASA to NASA aerospace industry contractors, subcontractors and suppliers that consistently maintain and improve the quality of their products and services. The award, which was formerly called the NASA Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity, is given in two categories: small business and large business. George M. Low was the NASA administrator for nearly three decades.
Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP): A quality management system for effectively and efficiently ensuring farm to table food safety in the United States. HACCP regulations for various sectors are established by the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.
Inspection: Measuring, examining, testing and gauging one or more characteristics of a product or service and comparing the results with specified requirements to determine whether conformity is achieved for each characteristic.
Inspection, reduced: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan requiring smaller sample sizes than those used in normal inspection. Reduced inspection is used in some inspection systems as an economy measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently good and other stated conditions apply. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently good” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.
Inspection, tightened: Inspection in accordance with a sampling plan that has stricter acceptance criteria than those used in normal inspection. Tightened inspection is used in some inspection systems as a protective measure when the level of submitted quality is sufficiently poor. The higher rate of rejections is expected to lead suppliers to improve the quality of submitted product. Note: The criteria for determining when quality is “sufficiently poor” must be defined in objective terms for any given inspection system.
ISO 9000 series standards: A set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system. The standards, initially published in 1987, are not specific to any particular industry, product or service. The standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (see listing). The standards underwent major revision in 2000 and now include ISO 9000:2005 (definitions), ISO 9001:2008 (requirements) and ISO 9004:2009 (continuous improvement).
Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing: An optimal material requirement planning system for a manufacturing process in which there is little or no manufacturing material inventory on hand at the manufacturing site and little or no incoming inspection.
Maintainability: The probability that a given maintenance action for an item under given usage conditions can be performed within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions using stated procedures and resources.
Measurement uncertainty: The result of random effects and imperfect correction of systemic effects in obtaining a measurement value that results in variation from the actual true value; also known as measurement error.
Mutual recognition agreement (MRA): A formal agreement providing reciprocal recognition of the validity of other organizations’ deliverables, typically found in voluntary standards and conformity assessment groups.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology, and manages the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM): A company that uses product components from one or more other companies to build a product that it sells under its own company name and brand. Sometimes mistakenly used to refer to the company that supplies the components.
Production part approval process (PPAP): A Big Three automotive process that defines the generic requirements for approval of production parts, including production and bulk materials. Its purpose is to determine during an actual production run at the quoted production rates whether all customer engineering design record and specification requirements are properly understood by the supplier and that the process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements.
Product warranty: An organization’s stated policy that it will replace, repair or reimburse a buyer for a product if a product defect occurs under certain conditions and within a stated period of time.
Quality: A subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: 1. the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; 2. a product or service free of deficiencies. According to Joseph Juran, quality means “fitness for use;” according to Philip Crosby, it means “conformance to requirements.”
Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC): Two terms that have many interpretations because of the multiple definitions for the words “assurance” and “control.” For example, “assurance” can mean the act of giving confidence, the state of being certain or the act of making certain; “control” can mean an evaluation to indicate needed corrective responses, the act of guiding or the state of a process in which the variability is attributable to a constant system of chance causes. (For a detailed discussion on the multiple definitions, see ANSI/ISO/ASQ A3534-2, Statistics—Vocabulary and Symbols—Statistical Quality Control.) One definition of quality assurance is: all the planned and systematic activities implemented within the quality system that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that a product or service will fulfill requirements for quality. One definition for quality control is: the operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality. Often, however, “quality assurance” and “quality control” are used interchangeably, referring to the actions performed to ensure the quality of a product, service or process.
Quality audit: A systematic, independent examination and review to determine whether quality activities and related results comply with plans and whether these plans are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve the objectives.
Quality management (QM): The application of a quality management system in managing a process to achieve maximum customer satisfaction at the lowest overall cost to the organization while continuing to improve the process.
Sampling at random: As commonly used in acceptance sampling theory, the process of selecting sample units so all units under consideration have the same probability of being selected. Note: Equal probabilities are not necessary for random sampling; what is necessary is that the probability of selection be ascertainable. However, the stated properties of published sampling tables are based on the assumption of random sampling with equal probabilities. An acceptable method of random selection with equal probabilities is the use of a table of random numbers in a standard manner.
Sampling, double: Sampling inspection in which the inspection of the first sample leads to a decision to accept a lot, reject it or take a second sample; the inspection of a second sample, when required, then leads to a decision to accept or to reject the lot.
Sampling, multiple: Sampling inspection in which, after each sample is inspected, the decision is made to accept a lot, reject it or take another sample. But there is a prescribed maximum number of samples, after which a decision to accept or reject the lot must be reached. Note: Multiple sampling as defined here has sometimes been called “sequential n sampling” or “truncated sequential e sampling.” The term “multiple sampling” is recommended.
Standard: The metric, specification, gauge, statement, category, segment, grouping, behavior, event or physical product sample against which the outputs of a process are compared and declared acceptable or unacceptable.
Standardization: When policies and common procedures are used to manage processes throughout the system. Also, English translation of the Japanese word seiketsu, one of the Japanese 5S’s (see listing) used for workplace organization.
Statistical quality control (SQC): The application of statistical techniques to control quality. Often used interchangeably with the term “statistical process control,” although statistical quality control includes acceptance sampling, which statistical process control does not.
Statistics: A field that involves tabulating, depicting and describing data sets; a formalized body of techniques characteristically involving attempts to infer the properties of a large collection of data from inspection of a sample of the collection.
Supplier quality assurance: Confidence a supplier’s product or service will fulfill its customers’ needs. This confidence is achieved by creating a relationship between the customer and supplier that ensures the product will be fit for use with minimal corrective action and inspection.
Total quality: A strategic integrated system for achieving customer satisfaction that involves all managers and employees and uses quantitative methods to continuously improve an organization’s processes.
Unit: An object for which a measurement or observation can be made; commonly used in the sense of a “unit of product,” the entity of product inspected to determine whether it is defective or nondefective.
Zero defects: A performance standard and method Philip B. Crosby developed; states that if people commit themselves to watching details and avoiding errors, they can move closer to the goal of zero defects.