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Revision Date: June 24, 2010
Updated On: July 22, 2010
Sampling inspection permits the estimation of the overall quality of a group of product articles through the inspection of a relatively small number of product articles drawn from the group.
The specification of a sampling plan provides purchasers and sellers a means of identifying the minimum quality level that is considered to be satisfactory.
Because sampling plans yield estimates of the quality of a product, the results of the inspection are subject to error. Through the selection of a sampling plan, the potential error is known and controlled.
Sampling inspection is used when a decision must be made about what to do with a quantity of articles. This quantity may be a shipment from a supplier, articles that are ready for a subsequent manufacturing operation, or articles ready for shipment to a customer.
In sampling inspection, a relatively small number of articles (the sample) is selected randomly from a larger number of articles (the inspection lot); the sample is inspected for conformance to the requirements placed on the articles. Based on the results, a decision is made whether or not the lot conforms to the requirements.
Since only a portion of a production lot is inspected, the quality of the uninspected articles is not known. The possibility exists that some of the uninspected articles are nonconforming. Therefore, basic to any sampling inspection plan is the willingness of the buyer to accept lots that contain some nonconforming articles. The number of nonconforming articles in accepted lots is controlled by the size of the sample and the criteria of acceptance that are placed on the sample.