MEASUREMENT SCIENCE REVIEW, Volume 1, Number 1, 2001

Measurement Process Capability – Trends and Approaches

Eva Kureková

A measurement control system ensures that measuring equipment and measurement pro-
cesses are fit for their intended use and its important in achieving product quality objec-
tives. The following paper introduces theoretical foundations for determination of the mea-
suring process capability. Defines three capability indexes in short and recommended use
of the Cpm index.
statistical process control, measurement process control, capability index, Taguchi function

1 Introduction
Several years can be observed attempts to stan- bility. Both such efforts are determined by the tech-
dardise evaluation of the processes (whether pro- nological development of the measuring instru-
duction or measurement) capability. Such attempts ments. Due to the technical innovations (incorpo-
have not been successful yet. Many factors must rating electronics enabling predictive diagnostics,
be taken into account – processes heterogeneous- autocalibration, automatic correction of the out-
ness, changing requirements, wide variety of used put signal according to the status of the measuring
technological means. Therefore big production en- instrument) variability of the measurement process
terprises (General Motors, Volkswagen, Siemens, is decreasing and the effort for its centering impro-
Bosch, etc.) have established their shop methodol- ve capability of the measuring instruments (see Fig.
ogies for the evaluation of the processes capabili- 1). Economical savings represent the direct impact
ty. Capability of measurement processes is searched – possibility for better setting of the production
similarly to that of production processes most of- process, decreasing of the number of nonconfor-
ten. ming products and resulting the increased produc-
Process capability means ability of the process tion efficiency.
to meet technological or other requirements, i.e. to
fulfill demands put on it.
2 Indexes of the measurement process
Measurement process capability is determined
by total variation caused by random reasons influ- capability
encing the process. Variation is caused by variabi- Several types of the process capability indexes
lity of the measured quantity values that are not exist. They differ one another by calculation meth-
connected to the measurement conditions and must od, by properties as well as by intended use. But
be excluded. Therefore it is recommended to per- their design principle is approximately the same.
form preventive measurements. In those texts check The ratio of prescribed (required) accuracy and
standards are measured by the measuring equip- really achieved process accuracy is always ob-
ment being tested. served.
Variability of the measured data (caused by the According to philosophy of the quality control
measurement process) as well as the systematic approach, capability indexes of any process can
deviation from the required values is observed du- be divided to the capability indexes of the first and
ring evaluation of the measurement process capa- second generation.
Design of the first generation capability index-
es (Cp, Cpk) is based on classical philosophy of the
Dr. Eva Kureková, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
statistical process control. According to that phi-
STU, nám. Slobody 17, 812 31 Bratislava, Slovak Republic, losophy all measurement results within required
e-mail: tolerance interval are intended to be good. Mea-


Theoretical Problems of Measurement. capability index Cp is calculated as Capability index Cpk reacts to deviation of the measurement process average mean X from check 2U U standard nominal value X0 (see Fig. 2. That means T = UTL – LTL. 6kσ Second generation capability index (Cpm) is ris- ing from new approach to the quality improvement where k = 3 to 10. Index is CP = = (1) 6σ 3σ calculated as where s is a process standard deviation.1 Process capability index Cp fact that it does not represent the conformity of Process capability index Cp is a simple relative the measurement process average mean X to a number comparing value of the required process check standard nominal value X0. (Taguchi approach). It is not enough to know that Capability index Cp expresses only the po- measurements are so called good (being within the tential process capability.2 Process capability index Cpk certainty U. Tolerance interval T is defined as a difference between the upper tolerance limit UTL and the low- er tolerance limit LTL. 2. sidering the position of the required tolerance mine whether the values of the searched quality interval. 1 Influence of the measurement process variability and the effort for its centering surements outside tolerance interval are considered UTL−LTL CP = (2) to be bad. Capabil- ity index Cp is calculated in this case as Fig. Therefore it does not give a clear an- index approach to the tolerance limits even when swer whether measured value of the searched all measurement results fit within the tolerance. Such index enables to deter. variability (required tolerance interval) to a natu- ral process variability (natural tolerance interval). Kureková Fig. quality indicator fits within the tolerance inter- val. such interval must be defined first. E. Whenever requirements put on measurement process are giv- en by tolerance interval T. Another disadvantage of the C p index is the 2. It does not represent tolerance interval) but important is knowledge on the position of the natural tolerance interval con- how good they are. Design of the Cpk index 44 . For measuring process given by expanded un. 2).

ted. Taguchi advises to cal. 3 Taguchi loss function 45 . Taguchi and T. Process capability index Cpm defined by Taguchi is based on equation (1) and is defined as Its substitution to expressions (1). check standard uncertainty UKE can be neglected.33) brings statistical test. Most interesting informa. Obje- standard nominal value X0. rage mean X from check standard nominal value ∆ = X0 − X . 2001 Observing equation (4) one can see that increasing U − ∆ − UKE Cpk = (3) process variability s2 causes increasing of the de- 3σ nominator and therefore decreasing the Cpm index.004) = 1. The reason is that certain variability is always tion is about the quality of individual measurements presented and process is never fully in statistically i. Basic parameters of the mea- surement process: check standard nominal value is X0 = 20 mm. how far are measurements performed on check controlled status. measurement process average mean X = 20 mm. extremely precise measu- function as a new approach to production process rements should have value ³ 1.02 mm. Usually is estimated as ability around the target value of searched quality indicator. MEASUREMENT SCIENCE REVIEW. measurement process uncertainty U = 0. Volume 1. 1.e.666 Cpk = (0. This dissipation Process standard deviation s is usually unk- function can be adapted fully to the measurement nown in practical situations and must be estima- process. measurement process (or measurements performed directly on products is always capable when capability index value (Cp. Cpk. Therefore indexes value ³ 1. Number 1. 3). Hsiang designed a loss xes with values ³ 1. Practical recom- is not satisfactory. Again retreating of the measurement process ave- where UKE is the check standard uncertainty.e.66 [4]. ctive proof of process capability (index gets value exceeding 1. adopted process should produce capability inde- G. (2) and (3) UTL−LTL U gives just estimation of individual indexes.4 General remarks on capability indexes Practical experiences showed that demand for a low percentage of check standard measurements If the process is centered. Then capability indexes Cp = 0. Few information are obtained mendation considers minimal admissible value on spare measurements. s= ∑ n − 1 i =1 ( X i − X )2 . [6].a. around the check standard nominal 1 n value (see Fig. culate this deviation as τ = σ 2 +( X − X 0 )2 . Newly standard or from tolerance limits respectively.3 Process capability index Cpm 2.666 Fig. The- 6 kτ 3τ refore calculation of the index interval estimation is recommended. 2.33. Cpm and compare them.50. 2. X0 increasing the denominator value and resulting decreases the Cpm index value. This interval contains the true where t is standard deviation around the check value of the index with probability of 1 . or processes) falling outside the tolerance limit T Cpk. respectively Cpm) exceeds 1.004) = 1.33 standard from the nominal value X0 of the check is recommended for established processes. Its use is intended for decreasing the vari.5 Example Lets calculate capability indexes Cp. It is a Cpm = = (4) random variable with probability distribution.02/(3×0. quality improvement in 1985 [5]. i.02-0)/(3×0. C.004 mm. standard deviation s = 0.

: Spolehlivost měřicí techniky v Cp = 0. Jounal of Quality Technology.004) = 1. 1986 cess capability by remained variability.. Published by Ekonóm.: O jednom probléme s pability indexes are equal. D.02-(20-19.0032+(20-19. E. E. In: Acta Mechanica Slovaca. V. Published by Vydavateľstvo STU.. 293 pp. 2000 Capability index Cpk is not able to record chan- [10] Palenčár.1. Only Cpm capability index registe.99125 mm. G. 18.: Factors Improving the Quality of Services. References [1] Bothe. Zlín. et all: Measuring of the Technical Quantites.004)=1. 360 . Manufacturing Engineers.72 the XVIth IMEKO World Congress. M. s = 0. 2000 (without change) [9] Wisweh. Theoretical Problems of Measurement. No.995)/(3×0. Proceedings of Cpm = (0. [2] Janiga. 1997 While X0 = X ..: Quality Evaluation of Measurement Instruments.. Tokyo. M. vol. pp.: Measuring Process Capability: Techniques and Calculations for Quality and 46 .02/(3×0. Proceedings of the international conference Řip 2000.02-(20-19. Kureková. Capabil- ity index Cpm represents best the real measurement process capability.0042+02)) = 1. Bratislava.: Štatistické riadenie Cpm are able to record infrigement of the required kvality. C pk = (0.666 (without change) regulaci. Sandau. capability indexes get following values: 1986 Cp = 0.995 mm (other parameters remain the same).25 179 . 2000. R. 1998. Bratislava.: Metrological ges of the measurement process average mean X Assurance of the Quality Control Systems. 3 Conclusions 1999. F. R. 1/7077/20 and ment process capability. 2 (in Slovak) pability indexes obtain following values: [8] Vdoleček. 1/8094/01. red such change.. of the Cp and Cpk capability indexes that are used almost exclusively in nowadays practice. McGraw Hill.99125)/(3×0.02)/(3Ö(0. M.. 138 dard deviation. [11] Chudý.02)/(3Ö(0.003)=1. Kouty nad Desnou.: Mea- surement Proces Control. I. E. value by untouched process variability.004)=1. Ľ. No. Palenčár. Kureková Cpm = (0. X = [3] Kane. 688 pp. Indexes Cpk. 1998. the international conference Mechaniacl Engineering 98.: Proces Capability Indices. Cpm = (0.. Asian Productivity Organization.995)2) = 1. 1999. pp.02 / (3×0.004 mm calculated ca- 4. L. grants No. 19.02) / (3Ö (0.666 (without change) [4] Palenčár. M. Halaj. Published by Vydavateľstvo STU.04 pp. ing. Capability index Cp did not record falling-off the pro. Halaj. However such status is indexom spôsobilosti procesu. X = 19. This paper was prepared under the support of plicable methods for calculation of the measure. [7] Hekelová..25 international conference New trends in Auto- mation of Energetic Processes’98. Shows some deficiencies No.666. [6] Terek. Vienna. process is centered and all ca. Vol. V. R. the VEGA grant agency.183. 1998 After parameters change to X0 = 20 mm. R. After another parameters change to X0 = 20 mm. Hrnčiarová. Proceedins of the Cpk = (0. E. Presented paper defines in short three most ap.365 [5] Taguchi. towards tolerance limit in the case of changed stan.: Introduction to Quality Engineer- Process is not centered in this case while X0 ¹ X .99125)2)=0.0042+(20-19. Proceedings of very rare in technical practice.