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Improvements in quality often mean a reduction in tolerances of components in a manufactured item. With the introduction of statistical quality control techniques in the manufacturing process, reduced tolerances are attainable. But the measurement processes are subject to the same statistical variations. As manufacturing quality improves, the errors due to measurement become more and more a factor in continuing improvement. This paper addresses the problem of how laboratories can establish their own statistical evidence of their capability -- the accuracy of their measurements. A combination of customer need, quality function deployment, test method process charts, cause and effect considerations, and control charting are integrated into a concept of statistical measurement control.
laboratory, statistical measurement control, accuracy and precision of measurement, quality function deployment, cause and effect diagrams, test method flow charts, statistical control chart
President, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), Gaithersburg, MD