Quality Fundamentals in the Digital Age

Concurrent Session

W03 - Don't Be Misled by Specification Limits

Wednesday, May 2
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: WSCC 4C 3-4

Level: Basic

A specification limit is a universally accepted litmus test that we all agree to abide by. Specification limits seem quite simple to use and apply. After all, if the product or service being delivered is measured and found to be in between the upper and lower specification, it is accepted as good. It is so clear, so black and white, how could anything be gray about applying this concept? In fact, if this was the only rule, it would be hard to argue that something is in or out of spec. In tennis, the Hawk-Eye line-calling system is used to determine if the ball was inside the line, hit the line (but still considered in), or outside the line. In the quality improvement world, anything measured outside the specification limit is unacceptable. Given this operational definition of acceptance, there should be no ambiguity. Unfortunately, there are problems in this naive world of acceptability. Customers do not simply want a product produced or service delivered anywhere between the specification spread. No, they want two things: 1) the measured value to be at the desired target and 2) minimal variation.

Learning Objectives:

Matt Savage


VP of Product Development
PQ Systems
Centerville, Ohio

Matt Savage is Vice President of Product Development for PQ Systems. He is an experienced consultant to organizations that want to utilize the power of data analysis to improve processes and enhance profitability. He has worked extensively with technical advisory teams and has provided on-site consulting and training in statistical process control for a variety of organizations representing manufacturing, health care, and service organizations in the U.S. and abroad.


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Paul Tanner

Physio Control


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W03 - Don't Be Misled by Specification Limits


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