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com

How to Conduct an MSA When the Part is Destroyed During

Measurement

By Smita Skrivanek, Principal Statistician, MoreSteam.com LLC

Introduction

Gage R&R is a well known procedure for evaluating measurement systems. It breaks down the total process

variation into its components:

part-to-part or process variation,

appraiser variation (reproducibility),

measurement system variation (repeatability), and

under the ANOVA method, the appraiser-by-part variation.

The general and most commonly used form of the study, called a Crossed Gage study, consists of repeated

measuring of the same parts by multiple appraisers. This form of study assumes that the parts are

preserved in their original condition and do not undergo any changes, physical or otherwise, between trials or

between handoffs (between appraisers).

Under most situations this is a relatively safe assumption to make, but what happens when measurement of

the same parts cannot be replicated for some reason, such as when the part is destroyed or incontrovertibly

changed when it is measured? For example, to test the strength of a weld you must bend it until it breaks or

you must stretch polymer fibers until they tear to measure tear resistance. A crossed study is impossible in

these situations as no part can be measured twice. So, how do you conduct a measurement system

analysis when the part is destroyed during measurement?

The form of gage study used in destructive scenarios is called a Nested Gage R&R study, wherein each

appraiser measures a different sample of parts but where the parts of each type are assumed to be

very similar (homogenous).

An Example of Nested Gage R&R

A manufacturer of prosthetic devices has commissioned a study to evaluate the measurement system used

to test the hardness of the reinforced plastic parts on the devices. The test involves subjecting a sample of

randomly selected parts to a prespecified force on a standardized presser foot. A durometer is used to

measure the depth of the indentation in the material created by the force and the score is recorded (the

Copyright 2009 MoreSteam, LLC http://www.moresteam.com

score is a unitless number on a scale of 0-100, with higher scores indicating greater hardness). The

operating range for the process is 30-45.

The parts for the devices arrive in lots of 50. Since the sampled parts are destroyed as part of this process, a

nested sample is appropriate. Three appraisers are randomly selected to do the measuring. Five lots are

picked to represent the full range of the process. Six parts are selected from each lot, two for each appraiser.

The design is as shown below:

Note that although each appraiser measures parts from the same five lots, the actual parts measured from

each lot are different. For instance, of the six parts selected from lot 1, two parts at random are assigned to

appraiser A, two parts to appraiser B and two parts to appraiser C. The six parts from lot 2 are similarly

assigned to the three appraisers. The measurements made by each appraiser on the parts from each lot are

treated as repeated measurements or trials on the ‘same’ part.

Obviously, these are not true repeated measurements, but because the parts came from the same lot in

close proximity to each other, they’re assumed to be nearly identical i.e., they represent the same part for all

practical purposes. Thus the parts within a lot are very similar and the parts from different lots are as

dissimilar as possible.

A Nested Anova is the appropriate procedure for the analysis of a destructive study, because it recognizes

that the samples are nested within the appraisers - each appraiser tests a different sample from the same lot.

The Nested Anova procedure is easily available in most statistical software programs. The following results

were obtained using Minitab®’s “Gage R&R (nested)” procedure.

Let us examine the Gage Run chart – this chart allows you to see the individual measurements made on

each part by the individual appraisers. For purposes of this graph, the six parts from each lot were labeled

with the lot number (so the six parts from lot 1 were all labeled ‘part 1’, parts from lot 2 labeled as ‘part 2’,

etc.). The two measurements per appraiser per lot are considered trials or repeat measurements on the

same part.

Appraiser Appraiser Appraiser

1 2 …….. 5 1 2 …….. 5 1 2 …….. 5

Lots

Parts

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

….. ….. …….

Copyright 2009 MoreSteam, LLC http://www.moresteam.com

The horizontal dashed line represents the overall mean of all the individual measurements. Measurements

for each of the five lots are shown in separate panels (each lot assumed to be a unique ‘part’). This chart

provides visual clues to the presence of any non-random patterns in the data. Ideally there should be no

particular pattern discernible within the measurements per ‘part’.

In addition, the measurements per part (within a panel) should be reasonably close if they are indeed

homogenous. Non-random patterns within the panels signal a violation of the homogeneity assumption and

may warrant further investigation into the causes. In our case the measurements in each panel tend to be

clustered together with no obvious patterns so the homogeneity assumption is not violated.

Finally compare the measurements across panels – these should be different enough that the measurement

system is able to distinguish between them and should represent the expected process variation (over its

operating range). There are no specific rules for this, so eyeballing is recommended. In our study the

measurements in different panels are spread across the range 30-44, which does represent the process

range, and the measurements across panels appear reasonably dissimilar so we will continue with the

analysis.

Next let’s review the graphical output from Minitab’s Gage R&R (Nested) procedure.

Copyright 2009 MoreSteam, LLC http://www.moresteam.com

Part-to-Part Reprod Repeat Gage R&R

100

50

0

P

e

r

c

e

n

t

% Contribution

% Study Var

4

2

0

S

a

m

p

l

e

R

a

n

g

e

_

R=1.067

UCL=3.485

LCL=0

A B C

40

35

30

S

a

m

p

l

e

M

e

a

n

_

_

X=37.13

UCL=39.14

LCL=35.13

A B C

Appraiser

Part

C B A

5 4 3 2 1 5 4 3 2 1 5 4 3 2 1

40

35

30

C B A

40

35

30

Appraiser

Gage name:

Date of study:

Reported by:

Tolerance:

Misc:

Components of Variation

R Chart by Appraiser

Xbar Chart by Appraiser

Measurement By Part ( Appraiser )

Measurement by Appraiser

Gage R&R (Nested) for Measurement

These graphs are all part of a standard Gage R&R analysis.

• The Components of Variation bar graph shows that the part-to-part variation is the largest

component of both total process variation (variance of the dataset) and the study variation (using

the sum of the GageR&R and part variation). This finding is consistent with a good measurement

system.

• The Range (R) Chart by Appraiser plots the range of the measurements taken by each

appraiser on each ‘part.’ It helps evaluate whether appraisers are consistent. For the

measurement system to be acceptable, all points should fall within the control limits (the two red

lines). Any out-of-control points or non-random patterns should be investigated before

proceeding – this could be a result of appraiser technique, position error or instrument

inconsistency.

Our chart appears to be in control so we can move on…

• The Xbar ( X ) Chart by Appraiser shows the average of each appraiser’s measurements on

each ‘part.’ The area between the two control limits in this case represents the measurement

system variation, so too many points falling inside this band means that the instrument is unable

to distinguish between the parts. To be acceptable, approximately one-half or more of the points

Copyright 2009 MoreSteam, LLC http://www.moresteam.com

should fall outside the limits on this graph. With 8 out of 15 points (53% - some of the points

appearing on the outer edge of the line are actually outside it) falling outside the limits, our

measurement system is able to detect part-to-part differences.

• The Measurement by Part (Appraiser) graph shows the individual measurements taken by

appraiser A on all parts followed by those of appraisers B and C. This particular graph does not

give much useful information on our study because the parts are not repeated across appraisers.

• The Measurement by Appraiser graph shows the individual readings for each appraiser. The

line connecting the three sets of points represents the grand average of all readings for each

appraiser. The flatter this line, the closer the averages. From this graph you can see that the line

is quite flat, indicating that the three appraisers have similar averages. The spread of the points

per appraiser shows that appraiser A’s measurements have slightly lower variation than either

appraiser B or C.

Finally let’s look at the numbers – from the nested ANOVA summary output, also an important part of this

study. This output is basically the same as (and is interpreted in the same way as) that of a standard GRR

study, except that the parts are nested within appraisers, denoted as ‘Part (Appraiser)’ in the Anova table.

Gage R&R Study - Nested ANOVA

Gage R&R (Nested) for Measurement

Sour ce DF SS MS F P

Appr ai ser 2 30. 867 15. 4333 0. 6720 0. 529

Par t ( Appr ai ser ) 12 275. 600 22. 9667 26. 5000 0. 000

Repeat abi l i t y 15 13. 000 0. 8667

Tot al 29 319. 467

Gage R&R

%Cont r i but i on

Sour ce Var Comp ( of Var Comp)

Tot al Gage R&R 0. 8667 7. 27

Repeat abi l i t y 0. 8667 7. 27

Repr oduci bi l i t y 0. 0000 0. 00

Par t - To- Par t 11. 0500 92. 73

Tot al Var i at i on 11. 9167 100. 00

St udy Var %St udy Var

Sour ce St dDev ( SD) ( 6 * SD) ( %SV)

Tot al Gage R&R 0. 93095 5. 5857 26. 97

Repeat abi l i t y 0. 93095 5. 5857 26. 97

Repr oduci bi l i t y 0. 00000 0. 0000 0. 00

Par t - To- Par t 3. 32415 19. 9449 96. 30

Tot al Var i at i on 3. 45205 20. 7123 100. 00

Number of Di st i nct Cat egor i es = 5

In the Anova table, any source factor with a p-value (less than 5%) is considered to be a significant

contributor to the total variation. Our ANOVA table supports the conclusions from the graphs – the large

Copyright 2009 MoreSteam, LLC http://www.moresteam.com

Appraiser p-value (0.529) indicates that the contribution of the differences among appraisers to the total

variation is not significant. The small p-value for Parts shows that part-to-part variation is significant. The

Number of Distinct Categories indicates the number of distinct data categories that the measurement system

can discern within the sample. This number must be 5 or more for the measurement system to be acceptable

for analysis – in our case it is exactly 5, so this is evidence that the system is able to correctly distinguish

between the parts.

The acceptability of the gage finally boils down to the percentage contribution of each source (Parts,

Appraisers, Measurement system) to the total variation and to the study variation. Notice that the contribution

of Reproducibility to the total variation is zero – this is because no two appraisers measured the same part.

The Parts are the largest source (accounting for 93% of the total variation and 96.3% of the study variation),

whereas Gage R&R accounts for 7.3% of total variation and 27% of the study variation. A Gage R&R

component of 30% or less is generally considered acceptable, so our instrument appears to have made the

grade.

Key Points to Consider

1. In any non-replicable study such as this one, the GageRR% necessarily includes some process

variation. Because different parts are used across trials, there is no way to separate all process

variation from measurement system variation in this scheme.

2. This is a single event study. It may be used to initially qualify a system, but more work is required to

control that measurement system over time to ensure its stability and usefulness in making the

appropriate process control and/or capability decisions and continuous improvement. To keep tabs

on this measurement process over time, a control chart could be used periodically to determine the

system’s stability.

References

1. AIAG Measurement System Analysis manual, 2

nd

edition.

2. AIAG: NON-REPLICABLE GRR CASE STUDY by David Benham, DaimlerChrysler Corporation

(http://www.aiag.org)

3. Measurement System Analysis And Destructive Testing: Douglas Gorman and Keith M. Bower,

Minitab

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