Measurement System Analysis

Measurement System Analysis (MSA) deals with the Study of Measurement accuracy. It helps in getting a right and confident decision, especially if the decision is based on the measured values. When we are taking a decision based on a measured value, We must be sure that the measurement taken is dependable.It is also referred as Gauge R&R (Gauge Repeatability and Reproducibility)

It is the Quantitative assessment of how much variation (repeatability and reproducibility) is in a measurement system compared to the total variation of the process or system.

Measurement – The act of obtaining knowledge about an event or characteristic through measured quantification or assignment to categories.

Measurement Accuracy – For a repeated measurement, it is a comparison of the average of the measurements compare to some known standard.

Measurement Precision – For a repeated measurement, it is the amount of variation that exists in the measured values.

Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) – An assessment of the accuracy and precision of a method of obtaining measurements.

A Measurement System shall be meeting all the following requirements within limits for that to be considered as a dependable measurement system.

Accuracy – It should produce a number that is “close” to the actual property being measured, that is, it should be accurate

Repeatability – If the measurement system is applied repeatedly to the same object, the measurements produced should be close to one another, that is, it should be repeatable. It is the extent to which repeated measurements of a particular object with a particular instrument produce the same value.

Linearity – the measurement system should be able to produce accurate and consistent results over the entire range of concern, that is, it should be linear

Reproducibility  – The extent to which repeated measurements of a particular object with a particular individual produce the same value. A measurement system should produce the same results when used by any Operator,  the results should be reproducible.

Stability – When applied to the same items the measurement system should produce the same results in the future as it did in the past, that is, it should be stable

In addition to the above, We need to look at other important aspects like

Bias – The difference between the average measured value and a reference value is referred to as bias.

Resolution – Ability of the measurement system to divide measurements into required denomination i.e the decimal point to which a system can measure.

Measurement System Analysis consists of Calibration and Maintenance of the Measurement System and also statistical Studies. The Measurement System Analysis will help us to decide if the measurement system can be Used or not.

Originally posted 2018-04-30 19:51:33.

What is Quality?

I know i am opening the can of worms again on trying to define as what is quality. This discussion is as old as the term quality. We are still unable to define if this is  a noun or an adjective.
This is a term which has a variety of definitions. In fact if you ask 10 people in a group  and get ready for at least 15 unique answers.
If you look at the popular dictionaries you will find the following definitions
Oxford Dictionary : 1. the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something: 2. a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something:
Merriam-Webster’s : 1. A peculiar and essential character 2. an inherent feature 3. A degree of excellence 4. A distinguishing attribute.
These definitions are not of help if you are looking as a quality professional.
Also the Gurus on this subject define it differently Now let us see what the Gurus on the subject matter say.
Anon  “Common sense set down on paper”
Joseph M. Juran: “Fitness for use.” Fitness is defined by the customer.
“Quality” means those features of products which meet customer needs and thereby provide customer satisfaction”
“Quality” means freedom from deficiencies-freedom from errors”
Subir Chowdhury: “Quality combines people power and process power.”
Philip B. Crosby: “Conformance to requirements.”
Robert Pirsig: “The result of care.”
Genichi Taguchi, with two definitions:

a. “Uniformity around a target value.” The idea is to lower the standard deviation in outcomes, and to keep the range of outcomes to a certain number of standard deviations, with rare exceptions.
b. “The loss a product imposes on society after it is shipped.” This definition of quality is based on a more comprehensive view of the production system.

Peter Drucker: “Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for.”
W. Edwards Deming: concentrating on “the efficient production of the quality that the market expects,”
Gerald M. Weinberg: “Value to some person”.
let us see what other say on this
ISO 9000: “Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements.”
Six Sigma: “Number of defects per million opportunities.”
American Society for Quality: “A subjective term for which each person has his or her own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: a. The characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; b. A product or service free of deficiencies.”
JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities – Currently EASA) : “The totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs” 
Now let me attempt my own
“Quality can be defined as the best and continuous effort of an organization or individual, to prove their capabilities to meet the expectations of those who are interested in it”
I tried to cover many of the definitions above. The interested parties can be the Organization themselves, their customers, the regulators everybody is interested parties.
I covered the needs by using the word “to meet the expectations”. customer wants value for money, or safety organization expects Profits, less defects, no complaints etc. the regulators want compliance and conformance.

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Originally posted 2011-03-18 17:09:00.

Getting the Ideas from the team and building a solution – Nominal Group Technique (NGT)

The nominal group technique is used to generate ideas from team in Problem identification, solution generation and decision-making. It can be used for teams of any size but ideally limited between 5 to 9 members. This number is ideal to get diversity and easy to find consensus among the team. Nominal group technique is particularly useful when few of the team members are more vocal than others. Generally a facilitator leads the team and manages the interaction. the steps are below.
  • The Facilitator introduces the team and presents the problem to the team after explaining the purpose and procedure during the meeting
  • All the team members are advised to create their ideas silently and individually on a sheet of paper. No consultation or discussion allowed
  • The Facilitator then requests and records all the ideas from all the members in a sequential way till all the ideas are exhausted. ( No discussion is allowed till all the ideas are exhausted). This will allow all the team members to present their ideas.
  • Building on the existing ideas is permitted during the presentation
  • The ideas are then evaluated and discussed among the team. Duplicate ideas are eliminated or merged with the team consensus. Seeking other information from the idea generator is allowed. Facilitator ensures that focus is not concentrated on single or very few ideas.
  • Voting for the best solution is then conducted to get the group consensus using the multi voting in the following way.
  • All the members rank the final list of ideas according to their choice silently.
  • The total votes are tallied and ideas with lowest votes are eliminated. This process can be repeated till best solution is generated.

One of the main advantages of nominal group technique is that the team gets equal chance to take part and force the silent participants to be active. Second major advantage is that this method generates more ideas than an interactive session.

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Originally posted 2014-05-26 16:50:00.

Pareto Principle – A tool to focus your efforts on the Vital Few

Pareto Principle - A tool to focus your efforts on the Vital Few 1The Pareto Principle, named after the Italian economist Wilfred Pareto is also called famously as 80-20 rule. As far back in 1906 Pareto observed that 80% of the land in Italy is actually owned by just 20% of the people. Much later, Joseph M. Juran popularized this observation in his book titled “The Quality Control Handbook”and called this as the law of Vital Few. He observed that you could massively improve the quality by resolving the tiny fraction of the problems.
This law can be applied beyond the resolving the quality problems. In fact it can be applied across all spheres of human life. It is a powerful and fundamental principle which can be used to improve even personal productivity.
While Juran observed that 80% of the quality problems are caused by 20% of the problems.
Some of the examples of this application in various businesses are below.

  • 80% of the profits actually come from 20% of the customers or 20% products
  • 80% of the time spent by the customer services is on 20% of customer complaints
  • 80% of customer complaints originate from 20% of the causes.
  • 80% of your business productivity loss results from 20% of the causes
  • 20% of your staff is responsible for 80% of the business outputs and results
  • 80% of the value in the business is generated by 20% of the processes

In the personal life also this can really be applied. In-fact i have tried this myself over a long weekend and noted the time spent by few friends on a weekends. We decided to list the weekend activities which are pending for some time. We have listed the time taken for closing these actions. In fact it was only 16% of the time spent on these long pending activities.

I would stress the fact of time spent on vital few activities are only 20% or less. We need to unlearn the 50-50 rule and start scanning the environment. You tend to find the non-essentials and focus on the essentials.

Adoption of this rule really changes the way we think, work and do business as well. Imagine a situation where you spend 20% of time in office and produce 80% results, or focus your effort on 20% of business and scale it up by 80%.

Some of the great examples of successful application can be seen from Warren Buffet. Early in his career he decided it would be impossible for him to focus on hundreds of investments and decided the focus on Vital Few businesses he knew of. In fact at some point, Buffet owned 90% of his health from very few investments. It’s not only about working smarter, what is really important is working smartly on the right things.

You can use this rule to revolutionize your business and the limit is SKY.
The only point is simple focus on the vital few.

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Originally posted 2014-04-18 04:56:00.

Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of the many lean production methods for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. It provides a rapid and efficient way of converting a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is key to reducing production lot sizes and thereby improving flow (Mura). The phrase “single minute” does not mean that all changeover and startups should take only one minute, but that they should take less than 10 minutes (in other words, “single-digit minute”). Closely associated is a yet more difficult concept, One-Touch Exchange of Die, (OTED), which says changeover can and should take less than 100 seconds. A Die is a tool used in manufacturing. However SMED’s utility of is not limited to manufacturing

The concept arose in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Shigeo Shingo was consulting to a variety of companies including Toyota, and was contemplating their inability to eliminate bottlenecks at car body-moulding presses. The bottlenecks were caused by long tool changeover times which drove up production lot sizes. The economic lot size is calculated from the ratio of actual production time and the ‘change-over’ time; the time taken to stop production of a product and start production of the same, or another, product. If change-over takes a long time then the lost production due to change-overs drives up the cost of the actual production itself. This can be seen from the table below where the change-over and processing time per unit are held constant whilst the lot size is changed. The Operation time is the unit processing time with the overhead of the change-over included. The Ratio is the percentage increase in effective operating time caused by the change-over. SMED is the key to manufacturing flexibility.

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Originally posted 2013-09-29 16:42:00.

Prioritizing Generated ideas using Project Prioritization Matrix

Previously we have discussed various ideas which can be considered for a Continual Improvement Project. Once all the ideas are identified, you need to rank these ideas. A total value for each project is calculated and plotted against an ease of completion number to decide which projects have the most value for the effort expended. The tool used to complete this technique is called as project prioritization matrix

Why Prioritization

  • Prioritization will keep your focus on the high impact improvements. it is always advisable to keep the focus while attempting the improvements. Additional benefits include greater visibility and acceptance from the stakeholders. A carefully selected project can be a game changer with respect to the perception on the Continual Improvement in any organization.
  • Prioritization helps you to rank potential projects by both their weighted benefits and their relative ease of completion.
  • It also helps in reorder the ranking of projects if the weighting of the company’s strategic goals changes (such as, the last Quarter there will be very high focus on the Revenue and targets.)

How to prioritize ideas 

  • Identify a list of project selection criteria (For example Revenue, Cost, inventory customer satisfaction, etc)
  • Develop a list of potential projects and enter in the left column of the table
  • Assign weightage to the criteria on top of the list. A weightage can be given based on the impact like 0- No Impact, 1- Low Impact, 3- Medium Impact and 5 – High Impact).
  • Using a team, develop a score for the criteria.
  • You will get the Priority Number based on Multiplication of these two.
  • You can order them according to the priority Number
  • After a project prioritization matrix is created, you can easily update it by adding new potential projects and changing the weighting of the project values to reflect changes in organizational priorities.
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Originally posted 2013-03-10 12:02:00.

What is Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a Lean tool, to visualize the various steps and their contribution to the overall process.
Value
When a product or service has been perceived or appraised to fulfill a need or desire–as defined by the customer–the product or service may be said to have value or worth. Components of value may include quality, utility, functionality, capacity, aesthetics, timeliness or availability, price, etc.
Value Stream

All the activities (both value-added and non-value added) required within an organization to deliver a specific service; “everything that goes into” creating and delivering the “value” to the end-customer.
Process Map
A visual representation of the sequential flow of a process. Used as a tool in problem solving, this technique makes opportunities for improvement.
Value Stream Mapping A graphical representation of all tasks and activities needed to transform input materials and information into an output. 
Value Stream Analysis – The identification of all the specific activities occurring along the value stream, represented pictorially in a value stream map; see waste, unevenness, and overburden, size the opportunity, share a vision, communicate visually, permission to change, predict results
Non Value Added (NVA) – 
Those process steps in a Value Stream that take time, resources or space, but do not transform or shape the product or service to meet the needs of the customer 
Value Added Activity – An activity can qualify to be value adding, if the customer cares, perceptable change and first time right.
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Originally posted 2012-08-26 08:06:00.