You are on page 1of 2

Choosing a Sampling Plan: MIL Standard

The AQL or Sampling plans are typically set up with reference to an acceptable
Acceptable quality level, or AQL . The AQL is the base line requirement for
Quality Level is
the quality of the producer's product. The producer would like to
the baseline design a sampling plan such that the OC curve yields a high
requirement probability of acceptance at the AQL. On the other side of the OC
curve, the consumer wishes to be protected from accepting poor
quality from the producer. So the consumer establishes a criterion,
the lot tolerance percent defective or LTPD . Here the idea is to
only accept poor quality product with a very low probability. Mil.
Std. plans have been used for over 50 years to achieve these goals.
The U.S. Department of Defense Military Standard 105E
Military Standard military sampling procedures for inspection by attributes
Standard 105E were developed during World War II. Army Ordnance tables and
sampling plan procedures were generated in the early 1940's and these grew into
the Army Service Forces tables. At the end of the war, the Navy
also worked on a set of tables. In the meanwhile, the Statistical
Research Group at Columbia University performed research and
outputted many outstanding results on attribute sampling plans.

These three streams combined in 1950 into a standard called Mil.

Std. 105A. It has since been modified from time to time and issued
as 105B, 195C and 105D. Mil. Std. 105D was issued by the U.S.
government in 1963. It was adopted in 1971 by the American
National Standards Institute as ANSI Standard Z1.4 and in 1974 it
was adopted (with minor changes) by the International
Organization for Standardization as ISO Std. 2859. The latest
revision is Mil. Std 105E and was issued in 1989.

These three similar standards are continuously being updated and

revised, but the basic tables remain the same. Thus the discussion
that follows of the germane aspects of Mil. Std. 105E also applies
to the other two standards.
Description of Mil. Std. 105D
Military This document is essentially a set of individual plans, organized in
Standard 105D a system of sampling schemes. A sampling scheme consists of a
sampling plan combination of a normal sampling plan, a tightened sampling plan,
and a reduced sampling plan plus rules for switching from one to
the other.
AQL is The foundation of the Standard is the acceptable quality level or
foundation of AQL. In the following scenario, a certain military agency, called
standard the Consumer from here on, wants to purchase a particular product
from a supplier, called the Producer from here on.
In applying the Mil. Std. 105D it is expected that there is perfect
agreement between Producer and Consumer regarding what the
AQL is for a given product characteristic. It is understood by both
parties that the Producer will be submitting for inspection a
number of lots whose quality level is typically as good as specified
by the Consumer. Continued quality is assured by the acceptance
or rejection of lots following a particular sampling plan and also by
providing for a shift to another, tighter sampling plan, when there
is evidence that the Producer's product does not meet the agreed-
upon AQL.
Standard offers Mil. Std. 105E offers three types of sampling plans: single, double
3 types of and multiple plans. The choice is, in general, up to the inspectors.
sampling plans Because of the three possible selections, the standard does not give
a sample size, but rather a sample code letter. This, together with
the decision of the type of plan yields the specific sampling plan to
be used.
Inspection level In addition to an initial decision on an AQL it is also necessary to
decide on an "inspection level". This determines the relationship
between the lot size and the sample size. The standard offers three
general and four special levels.
Steps in the The steps in the use of the standard can be summarized as follows:
standard 1. Decide on the AQL.
2. Decide on the inspection level.
3. Determine the lot size.
4. Enter the table to find sample size code letter.
5. Decide on type of sampling to be used.
6. Enter proper table to find the plan to be used.

7. Begin with normal inspection, follow the switching rules

and the rule for stopping the inspection (if needed).
Additional There is much more that can be said about Mil. Std. 105E, (and
information 105D). The interested reader is referred to references such as
(Montgomery (2000), Schilling, tables 11-2 to 11-17, and Duncan,
pages 214 - 248).
There is also (currently) a web site developed by Galit Shmueli
that will develop sampling plans interactively with the user,
according to Military Standard 105E (ANSI/ASQC Z1.4, ISO
2859) Tables.