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Who are you cheating

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Posted 30th December 2008 at 01:57 PM by Howard Atkins
Some Related Topic Tags gauge r&r, iso/ts, msa, waste

One of the aspects of the quality management system that really annoys me is that of performing actions because you are told to do them and with out understanding the reason that you are doing them.

In the Automotive industry there are many examples of this and maybe one of the best examples is MSA, or as people refer to it gauge R&R.
This is mandated by ISO/TS 16949

"7.6.1 Measurement system analysis
Statistical studies shall be conducted to analyse the variation present in the results of each type of measuring and test equipment system. This requirement shall apply to measurement systems referenced in the control plan. The analytical methods and acceptance criteria used shall conform to those in customer reference manuals on measurement systems analysis. Other analytical methods and acceptance criteria may be used if approved by the customer."

Most people look at this as a need to complete the template that they have downloaded from the Cove, got from their consultant, customer etc...
We see time after time questions about this issue, but what brought me to write here was the following correspondence in a different place

Gauge R & R
I have to do a Gage R & R on an electronics test rig, having not done this before I am ot sure where to start. Can anyone give me some advice on this?

Thank you

Gauge R & R
How much do you know?
Have you got a template of the calculations etc.
Please give some more information
All the best

Gauge R & R
I do not have a template for the calculations. I know that it is based on 3 operators conducting the same test, but in this case it will be only one engineer as we want to ensure that the baseline figures are obtained by following the "book". We know that each of the two normal operators fiddle the figures although they will not openly admit it or let us know which figures they are altering. Also having done a brainstorming session on the test rig we are aware of other problems that we need to look at to eliminate them.
I hope this information helps

Gauge R & R
As you know the purpose of Gauge R & R is as a tool of Measurement System Analysis (MSA) and is used to show the machine and operator error.
The calibration of the instrument should ensure the continual accuracy of the instrument but does not deal with the definition of the instrument.
The use of different operators is to see whether the operators are in fact measuring correctly and is a vital piece of information if you have more than one operator.
"We know that each of the two normal operators fiddle the figures although they will not openly admit it or let us know which figures they are altering." this is unfortunately correct in many cases and is because of the fact that customers or standards are requiring the study and those performing it doing so to keep the customer quiet.

I have seen many companies performing Gauge R&R in many manners, I always look at the calculations and from which edition the constants are taken. Without graphical representation it is also very difficult to actually analyse the results in a meaningful manner. Too many people plug in the numbers and then fix them. I have done it!

In my mind the real reason for performing Gauge R&R in these days of digital, maintained and calibrated instruments is to ensure that the various operators are working correctly. I believe that Gauge R&R is the best manner of evaluating the training of staff in measurement, if companies would look in this manner then they would have a real reason for performing MSA and not just 7.6.

To many Gauge R&R studies are performed in the lab with the "experts" whilst the actual measurements are on the shop floor.

Who are you cheating?
Only yourself.... for if your measurement system is not effective:
  • You are taking a chance of supplying out of tolerance parts
  • You are taking a chance of rejecting in tolerance parts
  • You are taking a chance of wasting your money

Please don't do it just because they tell you to but because you can see the value
Posted in Quality
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Total Comments 2


  1. Old Comment
    The result of lack of quality, especially at the top, in Auto Industry, espcially from Detroit, is there for all to see and ponder. I don't think that a non-quality leadership can lead a quality movement in the company. Under those circumstances it is better to follow at least the laid down procedures (with or without asking questions). By the way in such a company I doubt if one can find a friend/ philosopher/ guide who can help one to understand the "why" before proceeding to do the "what".
    Posted 2nd January 2009 at 01:19 AM by Dr. L. Ramakrishnan Dr. L. Ramakrishnan is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Marc's Avatar
    What comes to mind here is what the experience level of the people who are doing the job is. How 'capable' are they? I have seen so many people put into positions they are not qualified for that it never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes questions posed here, and other places, amaze me as to their simplicity.

    I will say to me it's a given that the importance of the accuracy of a measurement system depends upon the need. For example, dimensional measurement is quite a bit less important in the manufacture of rubber duckies for kids to play with vs. manufacture of an IC.

    Automotive has come a long way (recall the Ford - Mazda transmission study) not only with respect to understanding the importance of measurement systems, but also of the importance of design criteria (including tolerancing.).
    Posted 4th January 2009 at 09:08 PM by Marc Marc is offline
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