Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM E1994-08

Standard Practice for Use of Process Oriented AOQL and LTPD Sampling Plans

Significance and Use

Two general types of tables (Note 1) are given, one based on the concept of lot tolerance, LTPD, and the other on AOQL. The broad conditions under which the different types have been found best adapted are indicated below.

For each of the types, tables are provided both for single sampling and for double sampling. Each of the individual tables constitutes a collection of solutions to the problem of minimizing the over-all amount of inspection. Because each line in the tables covers a range of lot sizes, the AOQL values in the LTPD tables and the LTPD values in the AOQL tables are often conservative.

Note 1—Tables in Annex A1-Annex A4 and parts of the text are reproduced by permission of John R. Wiley and Sons. More extensive tables and discussion of the methods will be found in that text.

The sampling tables based on lot quality protection (LTPD) (the tables in Annex A1 and Annex A2) are perhaps best adapted to conditions where interest centers on each lot separately, for example, where the individual lot tends to retain its identity either from a shipment or a service standpoint. These tables have been found particularly useful in inspections made by the ultimate consumer or a purchasing agent for lots or shipments purchased more or less intermittently.

The sampling tables based on average quality protection (AOQL) (the tables in Annex A3 and Annex A4) are especially adapted for use where interest centers on the average quality of product after inspection rather than on the quality of each individual lot and where inspection is, therefore, intended to serve, if necessary, as a partial screen for defective pieces. The latter point of view has been found particularly helpful, for example, in consumer inspections of continuing purchases of large quantities of a product and in manufacturing process inspections of parts where the inspection lots tend to lose their identity by merger in a common storeroom from which quantities are withdrawn on order as needed.

The plans based on average quality protection (AOQL) consider the degree to which the entire inspection procedure screens out defectives in the product submitted to the inspector. Lots accepted by sample undergo a partial screening through the elimination of defectives found in samples. Lots that fail to be accepted by sample are completely cleared of defectives. Obviously, this requires a nondestructive test. The over-all result is some average percent defective in the product as it leaves the inspector, termed the average outgoing quality, which depends on the level of percent defective for incoming product and the proportion of total defectives that are screened out.

Given a specific problem of replacing a 100 % screening inspection by a sampling inspection, the first step is to decide on the type of protection desired, to select the desired limit of percent defective lot tolerance (LTPD) or AOQL value for that type of protection, and to choose between single and double sampling. This results in the selection of one of the appended tables. The second step is to determine whether the quality of product is good enough to warrant the introduction of sampling. The economies of sampling will be realized, of course, only insofar as the percent defective in submitted product is such that the acceptance criteria of the selected sampling plan will be met. A statistical analysis of past inspection results should first be made, therefore, in order to determine existing levels and fluctuations in the percent defective for the characteristic or the group of characteristics under consideration. This provides information with respect to the degree of control as well as the usual level of percent defective to be expected under existing conditions. Determine a value from this and other information for the process average percent defective that should be used in applying the selected sampling table, if sampling is to be introduced.


1.1 This practice is primarily a statement of principals for the guidance of ASTM technical committees and others in the use of Average Outgoing Quality Limit, AOQL, and Lot Tolerance Percent Defective, LTPD, sampling plans for determining acceptable of lots of product.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.01
Developed by Subcommittee: E11.30
Pages: 23
DOI: 10.1520/E1994-08
ICS Code: 03.120.30