Understanding Measurement System Analysis

The goal of the Measurement phase in the DMAIC methodology is to measure an existing process to determine its current performance and quantify any problems. Problem quantification is achieved by collecting sufficient data through a valid measurement system. An error-prone measurement system may lead to incorrect conclusions. Thus, ensuring data measurement accuracy is essential. Measurement system analysis (MSA) is a technique that identifies measurement error (variation) and its sources to reduce variation. Since data measurements are used to guide process improvement decisions, ensuring data measurement accuracy is imperative. For your initial post, address the following:

  • Describe a measurement system with which you are familiar (e.g., a scale, thermometer, odometer, thermostat, tire gauge, etc.)
  • Explain how accuracy can be determined for that measurement system

For example: Imagine a company relies on a grandfather clock as the company’s official employee timeclock. An employee adjusts the grandfather clock to the International Atomic Time by adjusting the pendulum disk up or down. To slow the clock, the adjustment nut is turned to the left, and to speed up the clock and the adjustment nut is turned to the right. One-click turned in either direction modifies the clock’s time in seconds. The clock’s accuracy is determined by comparing the grandfather clock’s time to the International Atomic Time each hour. Respond to at least two of your peers by asking questions about the measurement systems they described in their examples and identifying factors that might impact the accuracy of the measurement system they described.

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