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Encyclopedia > Quality Assurance

Quality assurance, or QA for short, is the activity of providing evidence needed to establish quality in work, and that activities that require good quality are being performed effectively. All those planned or systematic actions necessary to provide enough confidence that a product or service will satisfy the given requirements for quality. For the Talib Kweli album Quality (album) Quality can refer to a. ...



Early efforts to control the quality of production

Quality assurance defines that "Whatever we made the product should be assure" When the first specialized craftsmen arose manufacturing tools for others, the principle of quality control was simple: "let the buyer beware" (caveat emptor). For other uses, see Craft (disambiguation). ... Caveat emptor is Latin for Let the buyer beware. Generally Caveat Emptor was the property law doctrine that controlled the sale of real property after the date of closing. Under the doctrine of Caveat Emptor, the buyer could not recover from the seller for defects on the property that rendered...

Early civil engineering projects, however, needed to be built to specifications. For instance, the four sides of the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza are perpendicular to within 3.5 arcseconds. The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland. ... Specification may refer to several different concepts: Specification (standards) refers to specific standards Specificatio - a legal concept Specification (regression) refers to the practice of translating theory into a regression model Category: ... The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World. ... A second of arc or arcsecond is a unit of angular measurement which comprises one-sixtieth of an arcminute, or 1/3600 of a degree of arc or 1/1296000 ≈ 7. ...

During the Middle Ages, guilds took the responsibility of quality control upon themselves. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... A guild is an association of craftspeople in a particular trade. ...

Royal governments purchasing material were interested in quality control as customers. For instance, King John of England appointed a certain William Wrotham to supervise the construction and repair of ships. Some centuries later, but also in England, Samuel Pepys, Secretary to the Admiralty, appointed multiple such overseers. Look up material in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the King of England. ... Samuel Pepys, FRS (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament, who is now most famous for his diary. ... Flag of the Lord High Admiral The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the United Kingdom responsible for the command of the Royal Navy. ...

Prior to the extensive division of labor and mechanization resulting from the Industrial Revolution, it was possible for workers to control the quality of their own products. Working conditions then were more conducive to professional pride. Division of labour is the breakdown of labour into specific, circumscribed tasks for maximum efficiency of output in the context of manufacturing. ... Mechanization is the use of machines to replace manual labour or animals and can also refer to the use of powered machinery to help a human operator in some task. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ...

The Industrial Revolution led to a system in which large groups of people performing a similar type of work were grouped together under the supervision of a foreman who also took on the responsibility to control the quality of work manufactured.

Wartime production

During World War I, the manufacturing process became more complex, and the introduction of large numbers of workers being supervised by a foreman designated to ensure the quality of the work, which was being produced. This period also introduced mass production and piecework, which created quality problems as workmen could now earn more money by the production of extra products, which in turn led to bad workmanship being passed on to the assembly lines. “The Great War ” redirects here. ... A foreman is the leader of a group of workers, often in a construction industry. ... Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... It has been suggested that piece rate be merged into this article or section. ... Modern car assembly line. ...

Due to the large amount of bad workmanship being produced, the first full time inspectors were introduced into the large-scale modern factory. These full time inspectors were the real beginning of inspection quality control, and this was the beginning the large inspection organizations of the 1920s and 1930s, which were separately organised from production and big enough to be headed by superintendents. Inspector is a rank in many police forces. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The systematic approach to quality started in industrial manufacture during the 1930s, mostly in the USA, when some attention was given to the cost of scrap and rework. With the impact of mass production, which was required during the Second World War, it became necessary to introduce a more stringent form of quality control which can be identified as Statistical Quality Control, or SQC. Some of the initial work for SQC is credited to Walter A. Shewhart of Bell Labs, starting with his famous one-page memorandum of 1924. Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... A breakers yard in the UK, showing cars stacked on a metal grid to make it easier to find and remove usable parts. ... Rework is a term used in several contexts. ... Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardised products on production lines. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... The application of statistical techniques (SPC and Statistical Sampling) to control a product characteristic to ensure it meets product specifications or the engineering design specifications. ... Walter Andrew Shewhart (March 18, 1891 - March 11, 1967) was a physicist, engineer and statistician, sometimes known as the father of statistical quality control. ... Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) was the main research and development arm of the United States Bell System. ...

This system came about with the realisation that quality cannot be inspected into an item. By extending the inspection phase and making inspection organizations more efficient, it provides inspectors with control tools such as sampling and control charts. Theoretical sampling is a term coined by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss in 1967 in the context of social research to describe the process of choosing new research sites or research cases to compare with one that has already been studied. ... Look up control in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

SQC had a significant contribution in that it provided a sampling inspection system rather than a 100 per cent inspection. This type of inspection however did lead to a lack of realisation to the importance of the engineering of product quality.

For example, if you have a basic sampling scheme with an acceptance level of 4%, what happens is you have a ratio of 96% products released onto the market with 4% defective items – this obviously is a fair risk for any company/customer – unless you happen to be one of the unfortunate buyers of a defective item. This article is about the mathematical concept. ... Customers are waiting in front of a famous fashion shop for its grand opening in Hong Kong. ...


After World War II, the United States continued to apply the concepts of inspection and sampling to remove defective product from production lines. However, there were many individuals trying to lead U.S. industries towards a more collaborative approach to quality. Excluding the U.S., many countries' manufacturing capabilities were destroyed during the war. This placed American business in a position where advances in the collaborative approaches to quality were essentially ignored.

After World War II, the U.S. sent General Douglas MacArthur to oversee the re-building of Japan. During this time, General MacArthur involved two key individuals in the development of modern quality concepts: W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran. Both individuals promoted the collaborative concepts of quality to Japanese business and technical groups, and these groups utilized these concepts in the redevelopment of the Japanese economy. MacArthur landing at Leyte Beach in 1944. ... William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900–December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, college professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. ... Dr. Joseph Moses Juran, industrial engineer and philanthropist was born in 1904 in Braila, Romania and later lived in Gura Humorului. ...

Quality assurance activities

Quality assurance covers all activities from design, development, production, installation, servicing, documentation, verification and validation. This introduced the rules: "fit for purpose" and "do it right the first time". It includes the regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components; services related to production; and management, production, and inspection processes. Verification and Validation (V&V) is the process of checking that a product, service, or system meets specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose. ... For the Talib Kweli album Quality (album) Quality can refer to a. ...

One of the most widely used paradigms for QA management is the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) approach, also known as the Shewhart cycle. PDCA (aka the Deming Cycle, Shewhart cycle, or Deming Wheel) is an iterative four-step quality control strategy. ... It has been suggested that PDCA be merged into this article or section. ...

Failure testing

A valuable process to perform on a whole consumer product is failure testing, the operation of a product until it fails, often under stresses such as increasing vibration, temperature and humidity. This exposes many unanticipated weaknesses in a product, and the data is used to drive engineering and manufacturing process improvements. Often quite simple changes can dramatically improve product service, such as changing to mould-resistant paint or adding lock-washer placement to the training for new assembly personnel. Consumers refers to individuals or households that use goods and services generated within the economy. ... Look up vibration in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Temperature (disambiguation). ... The term humidity is usually taken in daily language to refer to relative humidity. ... Weakness can mean: The opposite of strength Weakness (medical) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Process Improvement Process Improvement is a series of actions taken to identify, analyze and improve existing processes within an organization to meet new goals and objectives. ... Moldy cream cheese Molds (British English: moulds) are various fungi that cover surfaces as fluffy mycelium and usually produce masses of asexual, sometimes sexual spores. ... For other uses, see Paint (disambiguation). ... Training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relates to specific useful skills. ...

Statistical control

Many organizations use statistical process control to bring the organization to Six Sigma levels of quality, in other words, so that the likelihood of an unexpected failure is confined to six standard deviations on the normal distribution. This probability is less than four one-millionths. Items controlled often include clerical tasks such as order-entry as well as conventional manufacturing tasks. Statistical process control (SPC) is a method for achieving quality control in manufacturing processes. ... For other uses, see Organization (disambiguation). ... The often-used six sigma symbol. ... In probability and statistics, the standard deviation of a probability distribution, random variable, or population or multiset of values is a measure of the spread of its values. ... The normal distribution, also called the Gaussian distribution, is an important family of continuous probability distributions, applicable in many fields. ... (Redirected from 1 E-6) This list compares various sizes of positive numbers, including counts of things, dimensionless numbers and probabilities. ...

Traditional statistical process controls in manufacturing operations usually proceed by randomly sampling and testing a fraction of the output. Variances of critical tolerances are continuously tracked, and manufacturing processes are corrected before bad parts can be produced.

Total quality control

Total Quality Control is the most necessary inspection control of all in cases where, despite statistical quality control techniques or quality improvements implemented, sales decrease.

The major problem which leads to a decrease in sales was that the specifications did not include the most important factor, “What the customer required”. Sale is the name of several places: Sale, Victoria, Australia Sale, Greater Manchester, England Sale, Italy (pronunciation: SAH-leh) - in the province of Alessandria Salè, Morocco Sale Marasino (first pronunciation: SAH-leh), an Italian commune in the province of Brescia Sale is also a type of contract for the exchange... Specification may refer to several different concepts: Specification (standards) refers to specific standards Specificatio - a legal concept Specification (regression) refers to the practice of translating theory into a regression model Category: ...

The major characteristics, ignored during the search to improve manufacture and overall business performance were:

  • Reliability
  • Maintainability
  • Safety

As the most important factor had been ignored, a few refinements had to be introduced:

  1. Marketing had to carry out their work properly and define the customer’s specifications.
  2. Specifications had to be defined to conform to these requirements.
  3. Conformance to specifications i.e. drawings, standards and other relevant documents, were introduced during manufacturing, planning and control.
  4. Management had to confirm all operators are equal to the work imposed on them and holidays, celebrations and disputes did not affect any of the quality levels.
  5. Inspections and tests were carried out, and all components and materials, bought in or otherwise, conformed to the specifications, and the measuring equipment was accurate, this is the responsibility of the QA/QC department.
  6. Any complaints received from the customers were satisfactorily dealt with in a timely manner.
  7. Feedback from the user/customer is used to review designs.
  8. Consistent data recording and assessment and documentation integrity.
  9. Product and/or process change management and notification.

If the original specification does not reflect the correct quality requirements, quality cannot be inspected or manufactured into the product. This article is about engineering. ... For scale drawings or plans, see Plans (drawings). ... For planning in AI, see automated planning and scheduling. ... In mathematics, an operator is a function that performs some sort of operation on a number, variable, or function. ... In general, a things components are its parts; the things that compose it. ... Look up material in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, and Transparent Elections ACCURATE was established by a group of computer scientists, psychologists and policy experts to address problems with electronic voting. ... In general use, a complaint is an expression of displeasure, such as poor service at a store, or from a local government, for example. ...

For instance, all parameters for a pressure vessel should include not only the material and dimensions but operating, environmental, safety, reliability and maintainability requirements. 2-dimensional renderings (ie. ... For other uses, see Safety (disambiguation). ... Reliability concerns quality or consistency. ... In telecommunication, the term maintainability has the following meanings: A characteristic of design and installation, expressed as the probability that an item will be retained in or restored to a specified condition within a given period of time, when the maintenance is performed in accordance with prescribed procedures and resources. ...

To conclude, the above forms the basis from which the philosophy of Quality Assurance has evolved, and the achievement of quality or the “fitness-for-purpose” is “Quality Awareness” throughout the company.

ISO 17025

ISO 17025 is an international standard that specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and or calibrations. There are 15 management requirements and 10 technical requirements. These requirements outline what a laboratory must do to become accredited. Management system refers to the organization's structure for managing its processes or activities that transform inputs of resources into a product or service which meets the organization's objectives, such as satisfying the customer's quality requirements, complying with regulations, or meeting environmental objectives. It has been suggested that ISO/IEC 17025 be merged into this article or section. ... Standards are produced by many organizations, some for internal usage only, others for use by a groups of people, groups of companies, or a subsection of an industry. ... calibration refers to the process of determining the relation between the output (or response) of a measuring instrument and the value of the input quantity or attribute, a measurement standard. ...

For software development organization, CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) standards are widely used to measure the Quality Assurance. These CMMI standards can be divided in to 5 steps, which a software development company can achieve by performing different quality improvement activities within the organization. “Software development” redirects here. ... The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a method for evaluating the maturity of software development organisations on a scale of 1 to 5. ... Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes. ...

Company quality

During the 1980s, the concept of “company quality” with the focus on management and people came to the fore. It was realised that, if all departments approached quality with an open mind, success was possible if the management led the quality improvement process. Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see Management (disambiguation). ... A department is a part of a larger organization with a specific responsibility. ... Look up Improve in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

The company-wide quality approach places an emphasis on four aspects :-

  1. Elements such as controls, job management, adequate processes, performance and integrity criteria and identification of records
  2. Competence such as knowledge, skills, experience, qualifications
  3. Soft elements, such as personnel integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit and quality relationships.
  4. Infrastructure (as it enhances or limits functionality)

The quality of the outputs is at risk if any of these aspects is deficient in any way. This article is about the ethical concept. ... This article is about virtue. ... Organizational culture, or corporate culture, comprises the attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. ... Motivation is a word used to refer to the reason or reasons for engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior. ...

The approach to quality management given here is therefore not limited to the manufacturing theatre only but can be applied to any business activity:

  • Design work
  • Administrative services
  • Consulting
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Computer software
  • Retailing
  • Transportation

It comprises a quality improvement process, which is generic in the sense it can be applied to any of these activities and it establishes a behaviour pattern, which supports the achievement of quality.

This in turn is supported by quality management practices which can include a number of business systems and which are usually specific to the activities of the business unit concerned. Wall Street, Manhattan is the location of the New York Stock Exchange and is often used as a symbol for the world of business. ...

In manufacturing and construction activities, these business practices can be equated to the models for quality assurance defined by the International Standards contained in the ISO 9000 series and the specified Specifications for quality systems. For other uses, see Construction (disambiguation). ... ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems. ... Specification may refer to several different concepts: Specification (standards) refers to specific standards Specificatio - a legal concept Specification (regression) refers to the practice of translating theory into a regression model Category: ...

Still, in the system of Company Quality, the work being carried out was shop floor inspection which did not control the major quality problems. This led to quality assurance or total quality control, which has come into being recently.

Using Contractors and/or consultants

It has become customary to use consultants and contractors when introducing new quality practices and methodologies as in some instances the relevant skill-set and experience might not be available within the organisation. In addition, when new initiatives and improvements are required to bolster the current quality system, or perhaps improve upon current manufacturing systems, the use of temporary consultants becomes a viable solution when allocating valuable resources. A consultant (from the Latin consultare meaning to discuss from which we also derive words such as consul and counsel) is a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area of expertise such as accountancy, the environment, technology, the law, human resources, marketing, medicine, finance, public affairs, communication, engineering...

There are various types of consultants and contractors available in the market; most will have the basic skills needed to facilitate improvement activities such as Quality Management Systems (QMS) Auditing and procedural documentation writing. But the higher end consultants will have a wealth of knowledge and experience implementing and improving manufacturing processes using the latest cutting edge improvement activities such as Six Sigma, Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Advance Product Quality Planning (APQP). The often-used six sigma symbol. ... Just as processes that produce a product may vary, the process of obtaining measurements and data may have variation and produce defects. ... Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a risk assessment technique for systematically identifying potential failures in a system or a process. ... Advanced Product Quality Planning (or APQP) is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry, particularly the automotive industry. ...

Academic resources

  • Quality Assurance in Education, ISSN 0968-4883, Emerald Publishing Group
  • Accreditation and Quality Assurance: Journal for Quality, Comparability and Reliability in Chemical Measurement, ISSN: 1432-0517 (electronic) 0949-1775 (Paper), Springer

The Emerald Publishing Group are the worlds largest publisher of management and business journals. ...

See also

American Society for Quality (ASQ), formerly known as American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), is a non-profit professional society comprised of almost 100,000 members who work in various aspects of the quality field (e. ... Best Practice is a management idea which asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. ... CQE is an abbreviation for Certified Quality Engineer, a certification given by the American Society for Quality. ... Data Quality refers to the quality of data. ... In computer science and telecommunications, the term data integrity has the following meanings: The condition in which data is identically maintained during any operation, such as transfer, storage, and retrieval. ... The term GxP is a generalization of quality guidelines, predominantly used in the pharmaceutical industry. ... For the Jurassic 5 album, see Quality Control (album) In engineering and manufacturing, quality control and quality engineering are involved in developing systems to ensure products or services are designed and produced to meet or exceed customer requirements. ... Quality management is a method for ensuring that all the activities necessary to design, develop and implement a product or service are effective and efficient with respect to the system and its performance. ... Software testing is the process used to assess the quality of computer software. ... Software Quality Assurance (SQA) consists of a means of monitoring the software engineering processes and methods used to ensure quality. ...


External links

  Results from FactBites:
Higher Education Commission Pakistan (422 words)
Quality refers to the attainment of standards of resourcing and provision in the higher education sector, and the achievements or outputs of an institution or system.
Quality is a multidimensional concept, and it is not possible to arrive at one set of global quality standards against which local institutions can be assessed.
Quality is the means through which an institution can guarantee with confidence and certainty, that the standards of its educational provision are being maintained and enhanced (Quality Assurance Agency UK); Quality has become an inexpendible part of augmentation...
Quality assurance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (528 words)
"Quality Assurance" is the activity of providing evidence needed to establish confidence among all concerned, that the quality-related activities are being performed effectively.
Many organizations use statistical process control to bring the organization to Six Sigma levels of quality, in other words, so that the likelihood of an unexpected failure is confined to six standard deviations on the normal distribution.
In manufacturing and construction activities, these business practices can be equated to the models for quality assurance defined by the International Standards contained in the ISO 9000 series and the specified Specifications for quality systems.
  More results at FactBites »



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