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A Review

KWEI TANG

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

JEN TANG

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN47907

It has been well accepted that dependence on inspection to correct quality problems is ineffective and

costly, and hence screening (100% inspection) should not be used as a long-term solution for improving

product quality. However, screening may be an attractive practice for removing nonconforming items from

a population in the short term because of the advances in automatic inspection equipment and computer

control in manufacturing. Important factors considered in designing screening procedures include the selec

tion of screening variable, available information on the population being studied, cost of inspection, losses

caused by decision errors, the variation in product quality, and inspection and manufacturing environments.

This paper presents a sy stematic review of the literature on the design of screening procedures.

Introduction

l ECENT advances in automation and computer

control in manufacturing are changing the

fundamental role and functions of quality con

trol/assurance. In particular, the use of auto

matic test equipment (ATE) has greatly increaed

inspection speed and accuracy (Kivenko and Oswald

(1974)). Consequently, screening (100% inspection)

is becoming an attractive practice for removing non

conforming items, and it has been suggested that in

spection will essentially become an inherent part of

modern manufacturing processes (Stile (1987)).

However, as pointed out by Deming (1986), depen

dence on inspection to correct quality problems is in

efective and costly, and hence screening should not

be used as a long-term solution for improving prod

uct quality or reducing the costs incurred by non

conforming items. Instead, implementing successful

process control and quality improvement programs is

essential for a manufacturer to survive in the com

petitive business world.

Dr. K. Tang is Professor and Chairman in the Department

of Quantitative Business Analysis. He is a Member of ASQC.

Dr. J. Tang is an Associate Professor at Krannert Graduate

School of Management.

Vol. 26, No.3, July 1994 209

Several factors are usually considered in designing

a screening procedure. These factors include the goal

to be accomplished, the nature of the performance

variables, screening methods and criteria, available

information on the population, and economica and

manufacturing environments. As a result, the com

plexity of the design issue is afected by these factors.

For example, it can be as simple as designing a single

screening operation, or a complicated as designing

a system of screening operations for a multi-stage

manufacturing process. Furthermore, the situation

in which a training sample is required to estimate

the population parameters is more difcult to deal

with than when accurate information on the popu

lation is available. The baic factors considered in

designing screening procedures are listed in Figure 1

and are described in what follows.

Objective. Two separate objectives have been com

monly used to design screening procedures. One is

to optimize the expected total proft asociated with

a screening procedure, and the other is to use screen

ing to reach certain statistical goals, such as control

ling the outgoing nonconforming rate of the prod

uct. The methods using these objectives are known

a economic and statistical designs of screening pro

cedures, respectively.

In an economic design three cost components are

commonly considered: the cost of inspection, the cost

Journal of Quality Technology

210

Objective

Performance Variable

Screening Variable

Information on

Population

Logistics

KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

Statistical Goals

Economic Goals

Statistical and Economic Goals

Attribute

Type

Variable

Single Variable

Number

Multiple Variables

Single Grades

Specifcations

Multiple Grades

Inspection Error

Performance Variable

No Inspection Error

Single Variable

Correlated Variable

Multiple Variables

Parameters Known

Parameters Partially Known

Parameters Unknown

Manufacturing Systems

Inspection Methods

Corrective Actions

Process Conditions

Other

FIGURE 1. Basic Factors in Designing Screening Procedures.

L type

S type

N type

of rejection, and the cost of acceptance. The cost of

inspection may include expenses of testing materi

als, labor, equipment, and so forth. The cost of re

jection is incurred by corrective actions taken on re-

jected items, such a repairing, scrapping, or return

ing the items to the supplier. The cost of acceptance

is caused by the items of imperfect quality that reach

the customers. This may include damage caused by

Joural of Quality Technology Vol. 26, No.3, July J 994

DESI GN OF SCREENI NG PROCEDURES: A REVIEW

211

product failure, warranty cost, handling cost, loss in

sales, loss in goodwill, and so forth (Hald (1960)).

When proft is used as the objective, it is com

puted by the diference between the revenue and the

cost. The revenue depends on product quality and

market structure. For example, items may be sold to

several markets with diferent product specifcations

and prices.

The most commonly used statistical criterion is

the outgoing conforming rate. Note that when in

spection is error-free, the outgoing conforming rate

should be 100% after screening. However, the outgo

ing conforming rate becomes a meaningful and im

portant design criterion when nonconforming items

may not be detected because of inspection error or

for other reasons. Further note that economic factors

are usually considered implicitly in selecting statis

tical goals. For example, the outgoing conforming

rate should be set at a high level when the cost of

accepting nonconforming items is large. In fact, it

is also possible to incorporate both the economical

and statistical criteria in designing a screening pro

cedure. For example, one may want to minimize the

total related cost and, at the same time, require the

outgoing conforming rate to be above a given level.

Performance Variable. A performance variable is

a measure of a product's ability to satisfy stated or

implied expectations of the customers. A product

may have one or more performance variables such as

weight, color, and dimensions. A performance vari

able can be a continuous variable or an attribute

(qualitative) variable. Continuous variables can be

further divided into three types: the-nominal-the

best (N type), the-smaller-the-better (S type), or

the-larger-the-better (L type) (Taguchi, Elsayed, and

Hsiang (1989)). A product may have multiple grades

with specifcations for their performance variables

being diferent.

Screening Variable. A screening variable is a vari

able used to develop screening criteria (rules). When

the performance variable is used as the screening

variable, all the nonconforming items will be iden

tifed if the inspection is error-free. However, since

screening errors frequently occur because of inherent

variability in testing materials, environment, and/or

human inspectors, they should be taken into consid

eration if the inspection outcomes are signifcantly

afected.

In some situations it is attractive to use a surrogate

variable that is correlated with the performance vari-

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

able as the screening variable when measuring the

performance variable is expensive, time-consuming,

or even destructive. This issue is interesting because

the relationship between the performance variable

and the surrogate variable is usually not perfect, and

it is also possible to use more than one correlated

variable.

Availability of Information on Population. Both

the statistical and economic approaches require us

ing the probability distributions of the performance

and/or the screening variables to evaluate the objec

tive functions. Most models for continuous variables

assume univariate or bivariate normality. If the dis

tribution parameters are unknown, sampling infor

mation and, possibly, prior distributions are used to

estimate the distribution parameters. In general, the

unknown-parameter cases are more complicated, es

pecially when more than one parameter is unknown.

Logistics. Knowledge of the manufacturing envi

ronment is essential to designing a screening proce

dure. For example, to efectively control the related

costs or conforming rate for a manufacturing system

with multiple stages (operations), screening proce

dures used after the stages should be designed jointly.

In addition, more efcient screening methods may be

designed for some special testing techniques. For ex

ample, group testing is applicable when a single test

can determine whether a pool of items is free of de

fect, and burn-in can be used to test all the outgoing

items under normal or stress conditions for a certain

period to screen out early failed items. The disposi

tion of rejected items, such a scrapping or repairing,

also afects the complexity of the problem.

The objective of this paper is to provide a sys

tematic review of the area of screening. The pa

per is organized as follows. The next section iden

tifes four representative models for single screening

procedures. These are Deming's (1986) all-or-none

rules, Taguchi's (1984) model for tolerance design,

Tang's (1988a) economic model for using correlated

variables, and statistical models for using correlated

variables. A literature review of single screening pro

cedures is given in the following section. Then, two

special screening procedures, burn-in and group test

ing, are discussed. Finally, special topics on inspec

tion planning, production process design, and selec

tive assembly are discussed. The organization of the

paper is shown in Figure 2.

Note that when the inspection is based on the per

formance variable, screening will identif all the non-

Journal of Quality Technology

21 2 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

conforming items in the inspected population if in

spection is error-free. However, if the distribution

parameters are unknown, one may be interested in

various statistical inferences on the population prior

to screening, either for planning purposes or for de

termining whether screening should be performed.

Much is written on this issue, including such topics

as confdence intervals for mean and variance, tol

erance intervals for a proportion of the population,

and so forth. The unknown parameter case when

correlated variables are used a screening variables

is more complicated because the screening limits are

typically functions of the sample means, variances,

and correlation coefcient of both the performance

and correlated variables. These statistical inference

issues on univariate and bivariate normal distribu

tions are not covered in this paper. Readers are re

ferred to the reviews and references given by Hahn

Basic Models

Single Screening

Additional Models

Burn-In

Special Screening Methods

Group Testing

(1970a, 1970b), Odeh and Owen (1980), Hutchinson

and Lai (1990), Fountain and Chou (1991). More

over, the collection of the equations for integrals of

functions of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate

normal density functions given by Owen (1980) is

very useful in evaluation and optimization of screen

ing models.

Basic Models for Single Screening

In a typical single screening procedure all the out

going items are subject to acceptance inspection. If

an item fails to meet the predetermined screening

specifcations, the item is rejected and subject to

corrective actions. In this section the formulation

methods and solutions of four basic models for single

screening procedures are discussed. These models

Deming's All-or-None Rule

Taguchi's Tolerance Design

Economic Models Using

Correlated Variables

Statistical Models Using

Correlated Variables

Statistical Models

Univariate Economic Models

Multiple Performance Variables

Multiple Correlated Variables

Inspection Errors

Selection of Screening Variables

Inspection Efort Allocation

Special Topics

Selection of Process Parameters

Selective Assembly

FIGURE 2. Organization of the Paper.

Journal of Qualify Technology Vol. 26, No. 3, July J 994

DESI GN OF SCREENI NG PROCEDURES: A REVIEW 213

provide the basis for understanding and discussing

more specialized and more complex models.

Deming's All-or-None Rules

Deming (1986) showed that partial inspection to

remove nonconforming items is not economical for a

stable process (this is known as the all-or-none rules).

Suppose a lot of N items produced by a stable pro

cess is subject to attribute inspection. If an item is

inspected and found to be nonconforming, it costs r

to rework or replace the item, and an unfound non

conforming item will result in an acceptance cost of a.

Inspection is assumed to be error-free. Let s denote

the cost of inspecting an item and f the proportion

of the items that are inspected. Then the expected

total cost for this lot is

ETC = Nsf + rNpf + aNp(l- f)

where p is the lot proportion nonconforming. The

objective is to determine the value f* that minimizes

ETC. One can express ETC as

ETC = N (pa -f [(a -r)p -s])

where pa is the expected cost of accepting an item

without inspection, and (a - r)p - s is the per-item

expected payof of inspecting an item. Consequently,

f

*

=

{OO% ifp>s/(a-r)

otherwise.

This well-known result and its applications were dis

cussed in detail by Deming (1986) and Papadakis

(1985).

Taguchi's Model for Tolerance Design

Consider a screening procedure where each outgo

ing item is subject to inspection on the performance

variable. Let Y denote an N-type performance vari

able with the target (ideal) value 7 and f(y) the

probability density function (pdf) of Y. Taguchi

(1984) suggested that the cost associated with an

item with Y = y be determined by the following

quadratic function

where k is a positive constant. For the purpose of

screening let [7 -8, 7 + 8] be the acceptance region,

and if the value y is outside this region, the item is

rejected and excluded from shipment. Let r denote

the cost associated with the disposition of a rejected

item and Sy the per-item cost of inspection. Then

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

the per-item expected total cost associated with the

screening procedure is

+Sy

where the frst and second terms are, respectively,

the per-item expected costs of acceptance and rejec

tion. The value 8

*

that minimizes ETCy is equal

to . (Tang (1988a)), which is the point where

(y,7) is equal to r. This is intuitive since it is eco

nomical to reject an item when the acceptance cost

is higher than the rejection cost. Furthermore, 8*

is independent of f(y). These results can be eas

ily extended for the S-type and L-type performance

variables (Taguchi, Elsayed, and Hsiang (1989)).

Economic Models Using Correlated Variables

Let the relationship between X and Y be described

by a joint pdf, h(x, y), and [Lx, Ux] be the acceptance

region for X, so that an item is rejected if its observed

value x falls outside the acceptance region. Let the

per-item cost of measuring X be s x and m( x) be the

marginal pdf of X. Then the per-item expected total

cost is

Ux 0

ETCx = J J (y, 7)h(x, y)dydx

Lx -e

where the frst and the second terms are the per

item expected costs of acceptance and rejection, re

spectively. Tang (1988b) gave the optimal screening

limits L and U; when (y,7) is a step, linear, or

quadratic function; and h(x, y) is a bivariate normal

pdf with known parameters. The case of an L-type

performance variable was discussed by Tang (1987).

Statistical Models Using Correlated Var

'

iables

A common objective of statistical models when

using correlated variables is to determine screening

limits that raise the conforming rate from the pre

screening value 7 to a larger value A. Let p denote

the correlation coefcient between X and Y. Since

most studies dealt with the L-type performance vari

able and assumed a positive p, the discussion in the

remainder of this paper is for that situation unless

it is specifed otherwise. Note that the screening

Journal of Quality Technology

214 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

procedures for other situations (i.e., the S-type and

N-type variables and/or a negative p) can be eaily

obtained by simple transformations when h(x, y) is

symmetrical.

Suppose an item is conforming if its Y value is

in the interval n. If the parameters of h(x, y) are

known, the objective is to fnd the lower screening

limit Lx for X, so that the conforming rate of the

accepted items is at least >, that is

Pr [Y E nix 2 Lx] 2 >.

Owen, McIntire, and Seymour (1975) developed ta

bles for fnding Lx when h(x, y) is a bivariate normal

pdf with known parameters.

If the distribution parameters are unknown, Lx is

a function of the sample means and variances of X

and Y and their sample correlation coefcient. As a

result

Pr [Y E nix 2 Lx]

becomes a random variable. In that cae the objec

tive is to fnd Lx so that

Pr {Pr [Y E nix 2 Lx] 2 >} 2 1 - a (1)

where 1 - a is the confdence level. This problem

is difcult because it involves fve unknown param

eters. There have been several diferent approaches

to address this problem. A literature review is given

in the next section.

Additional Models for Single Screening

In addition to the basic models discussed in the

lat section, more specialized models have been de

veloped baed on these baic models.

Statistical Models Using Correlated Variables

Owen and Boddie (1976) considered the situa

tion where the distribution parameters are partially

known. In addition to equation (1), they also con

sidered the expected tolerance interval suggested by

Wilks (1941), which satisfes

E {Pr [Y E nix 2 Lx]} =>.

Owen and Su (1977) studied several situations where

p and/or 'are unknown, which were not considered

by Owen and Boddie (1976).

When all the distribution parameters are un

known, the standardized conditional distribution of

Y given the sample t-statistic of X is called the nor

mal conditioned on t-distribution (Owen and Hass

Joural of Quality Technology

(1978) and Owen and Ju (1977)). Li and Owen

(1979) considered the N-type performance variable

and assumed all the distribution parameters are un

known. Their method uses> and the lower tolerance

limits of p and ' as the parameters of the normal

conditioned on t-distribution to fnd the standard

ized lower screening limit. Odeh and Owen (1980,

p. 12) gave the same method for the L-type perfor

mance variable. A brief review of the above methods

wa also given by Owen (1988).

Owen, Li, and Chou (1981) (OLC) studied a sit

uation where items are inspected using correlated

variable until a specifed number n of items are ac

cepted. The screening limit is determined so that at

least lout of the n items are conforming with a speci

fed confdence level. Both the known-parameter and

unknown-parameter cases were included in their dis

cussion. Note that the procedures proposed by Owen

and his co-authors use the non-central t-distribution

and the normal conditioned on t-distribution. These

distributions and related references were discussed in

detail by Odeh and Owen (1980).

Madsen (1982) proposed a selection procedure

with a slightly diferent objective; that is, to de

termine the largest subset of accepted items from a

fnite inspection lot so that the conforming rate of

the subset meets a pre-specifed level with a given

probability. Wong, Meeker, and Selwyn (1985) used

a noninformative prior in a Bayesian model for the

OLC procedure and showed, by a simulation study,

that the screening limits obtained using their method

were closer to the accurate values than those given

by OLC. Mee (1990) provided a more efcient but

less stringent method by directly approximating the

conditional probability

Pr {Pr [Y E nix 2 Lx] 2 '} .

Using simulation, the method was shown to yield

fewer rejected items than the methods in Odeh and

Owen (1980).

Boys and Dunsmore (1986) considered a predic

tive probability function approach using a prior dis

tribution and a sampling distribution to fnd screen

ing limits so that the probability an accepted item

is conforming reaches a satisfactory level. Boys and

Dunsmore (1987) tried to simplify the problem struc

ture for the unknown parameter case by transforming

the performance variable into an indicator variable

T = 0 or 1. Two approaches were discussed. The

frst one is the diagnostic paradigm (Aitchison and

Vol. 26, No. 3, July J 994

DESIGN OF SCREENI NG PROCEDURES: A REVIEW 215

Dunsmore (1975)), which is based on the predictive

probability function of T given X, and the second

one is the sampling paradigm, which is based on the

conditional distribution function of X given T.

Tsai and Moskowitz (1986) introduced the concept

of individual unit misclassifcation error (IME) and

developed a one-sided screening procedure to con

trol both the IME and the outgoing conforming rate.

They assumed bivariate normality with known pa

rameters.

Univariate Economic Models

Menzefricke (1984) introduced a cost structure for

the OLe screening procedure. Three costs were con

sidered: cost of inspection, cost of not having l con

forming items, and cost of accepting nonconforming

items. Both known and unknown parameter cases

were discussed. Boys and Dunsmore (1986) intro

duced a cost structure for considering the losses in

curred by screening out conforming items and retain

ing nonconforming items. Moskowitz, Plante, and

Tsai (1991) combined economic factors, IME, and

average outgoing nonconforming rate as a basis for

selecting a screening procedure. Bai, Kim, and Riew

(1990) studied one-sided and two-sided procedures

for the situations where all the parameters are known

and where some of the parameters are known. Baed

on the same cost structure, Kim and Bai (1992a)

studied the case where all the parameters are un

known. Kim and Bai (1992b) also considered screen

ing procedures in which the performance variable is a

dichotomous variable (similar to Boys and Dunsmore

(1987)), and its relation with the correlated variable

is described by the logistic model or normal model.

To reduce the possible screening errors caused by

the imperfect relationship between the performance

variable and the correlated variable, Tang (1988c)

proposed a two-stage procedure where each item is

inspected using a correlated variable at the frst stage

and inspected using the performance variable only

when the result at the frst stage is inconclusive. Hui

(1991) assumed the process mean (the mean of the

performance variable) may shift to another value (the

out-of-control state). A model was developed to de

rive the screening limits as well as the control limits

for monitoring the process. The performance vari

able is used a the screening variable, and the control

limits are based only on the current (single) observa

tion.

Tang (1989) considered a situation where the out

going items are sorted into one of two grades or

Vol. 26, No. 3, July J 994

scrapped. The two product grades have diferent

specifcations and, thus, prices. A loss is incurred

to the producer when an item is classifed into a

grade where quality does not meet the consumer's

requirement for that grade. On the other hand, a

loss in selling price is incurred when an item is clas

sifed into a lower product grade while it can meet the

consumer's requirement for a higher grade. Models

based on the performance variable and a correlated

variable were developed. Bai and Hong (1992) devel

oped a similar model for multiple markets and also

discussed situations where some distribution param

eters are unknown. Kim, Tang, and Peters (1992)

extended the two-stage model of Tang (1988c) to a

model with two product grades.

Park, Peters, and Tang (1991) proposed a sequen

tial procedure for screening a lot with unknown non

conforming rate. A decision is to be made after in

specting each item on whether to inspect another

item or to reject the remainder of the lot. An opti

mal stopping rule wa developed using a Bayesian ap

proach to maximize the expected diference between

the payof of fnding conforming items and inspection

cost.

Multiple Performance Variables

Tang and Tang (1989b) considered a product with

several performance variables and formulated eco

nomic models for two screening procedures. In the

frst procedure all the outgoing items are subjected

to acceptance (attribute) inspection using all the per

formance variables, and the disposition of each item

is determined by whether this item conforms to the

screening specifcations of the variables. In the sec

ond procedure the exact values of all the item's vari

ables are obtained for making a decision on this item.

A joint decision rule based on an aggregation of the

variables is developed. Lo and Tang (1990) extended

this model to a product with two product grades. A

bivariate model was discussed by Hui (1990), where

acceptance cost is a linear combination of functions of

two individual variables', either quadratic functions

or absolute values of the quality deviations from the

target values. The efects of inspection error were

also discussed.

Tang (1990) considered a product with multiple

performance variables produced by a serial produc

tion system, where a performance variable is deter

mined at each stage of the system. If an unacceptable

item is rejected and excluded from production in an

early stage, the production and inspection costs that

Journal of Quality Technology

216 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

would be invested on this item in the later stages can

be saved. Therefore, the screening rule at any stage

should be based on the quality of the product, the

total investment already on the item, and the invest

ment and the expected quality cost that would be

incurred in the later stages.

Butler and Lieberman (1984) considered a prod

uct (system) with several components. The product

fails if one or more components fails. When an item

fails, its components are sequentially tested until a

failed component is found. A heuristic procedure for

sequencing the order of inspecting the components

was proposed to identify a failed component after

the product (system) fails.

Multiple Correlated Variables

Owen, McIntire, and Seymour (1975) suggested

two decision rules that use two correlated variables

in a screening procedure. The frst method uses

a screening rule that requires an accepted item to

conform to the individual screening specifcations of

the two correlated variables. The second screening

rule is based on a linear combination of correlated

variables. Thomas, Owen, and Gunst (1977) pro

vided tables and procedures for using two correlated

variables based on the trivariate normal distribution.

They also obtained a linear combination of the two

correlated variables that maximizes the chance of ob

taining conforming items.

Moskowitz and Tsai (1988) extended their previ

ous work (Tsai and Moskowitz (1986)) based on the

IME to a double (twostage) screening procedure us

ing two correlated variables. At the frst stage an

item is inspected using a correlated variable. When

a decision cannot be reached at the frst stage, the

item is inspected using a second correlated variable.

Recently, Moskowitz, Plante, and Tsai (1993) pro

posed a multistage (sequential) screening procedure

that controls the maximum and average misclasif

cation errors for detecting hypertension in a series

of blood pressure measurements. Tang and Tang

(1989a) developed a cost model on the basis of the

second method suggested by Owen, McIntire, and

Seymour (1975). Tang and Tang also showed that

the optimal linear combination of the correlated vari

ables should have the maximum correlation coef

cient with the performance variable.

Inspection Error

It is well known that most inspection processes

have inherent variability due to various factors such

Journal of Qualify Technology

as variations in testing materials and inspecton.. For

attribute inspection there are two types of errors

(Case, Benett, and Schmidt (1975)). A Type I er

ror occurs when a conforming item is classifed as

nonconforming, and a Type II error occurs when a

nonconforming item is classifed as conforming. For

variable inspection, inspection error is characterized

in terms of bias and imprecision. Bia is the difer

ence between the true value of the performance vari

able of an item and the average of a large number

of repeated measurements of the same item, and im

precision is the dispersion among the meaurements

of the same item (Mei, Cae, and Schmidt (1975)).

When inspection error is present, losses are in

curred by rejecting conforming items and accepting

nonconforming items. Raz and Thomas (1983) dis

cussed sequencing several inspectors with diferent

inspection precision levels to meet a predetermined

outgoing conforming rate at minimum cost. Drury,

Karwan, and Vanderwarker (1986) examined the per

formance of diferent methods of combining two in

spectors for making inspection decisions.

Raouf, Jain, and Sathe (1983) considered a prod

uct with multiple performance variables and assumed

that failure to meet the specifcations of any one of

the variables results in rejection of the product. Be

cause of inspection errors, it may be necessary (or

economical) to inspect an item on the same perfor

mance variable more than once. A mathematical

model is formulated to determine the optimal se

quence of measuring the performance variables and

the optimal number of inspections to be performed

on each item in order to minimize the total ex

pected cost per accepted item. Dufuaa and Raouf

(1990) provided the mathematical proof of the opti

mal sequencing rule given in Raouf, Jain, and Sathe

(1983). Lee (1988) developed a simplifed version of

the Raouf, Jain, and Sathe (1983) model and derived

an efcient solution procedure for fnding the optimal

number of inspections. Jaraiedi, Kochhar, and Jais

ingh (1987) considered a similar problem and devel

oped a method to determine the minimum number of

inspections that must be performed on a lot to meet

a desired lot outgoing conformance rate.

Tang and Schneider (1987) discussed how to de

termine screening limits when inspection error is

present, and they investigated the economic efects

of inspection imprecision on a screening procedure.

It is assumed that the rejected items are reworked,

and two rework conditions were considered. In the

frst situation the rejected items can be reworked so

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

DESIGN OF SCREENING PROCEDURES: A REVIEW 217

that the performance variable is exactly equal to the

target value. In the second situation rework is baed

on the frst inspection result; therefore, the value of

the performance variable of the reworked items may

not be exactly equal to the target value.

Tang and Schneider (1990) showed that when in

spection error is present, the observed value of the

performance variable can be treated as a correlated

variable. Consequently, all the results asociated

with using correlated variables in screening are ap

plicable to the inspection error situation.

The inspection precision level may actually be a

decision variable in some situations. For example,

the inspection precision can be improved by using

the result of multiple tests on the same item. This

practice ha been used to test IC chips in the com

puter industry. Tang and Schneider (1988) discussed

a method of determining the optimal inspection pre

cision level baed on the tradeof of inspection cost

and the costs incurred by inspection errors.

Raz and Thoma (1990) collected several related

papers on human factors (errors) in inspection, in

cluding a review paper by Raz (1986) and another

one by Dorris and Foote (1978) on statistical quality

control methods.

Selection of Screening Variables

Searle (1965) used applications in genetics to study

the efectiveness of using an indirect selection method

baed on a correlated variable. A meaure of the

relative selection efciency for an indirect selection

method relative to a direct selection method wa in

troduced, and the sample standard error of this mea

sure wa derived. Then, conditions were given under

which an indirect selection method should be used.

Menzefricke (1984) used the screening procedure sug

gested by Owen, Li, and Chou (1981) to illustrate a

method for deciding whether a correlated variable

should be used in lieu of the performance variable.

The baic tradeof of using a correlated variable is

between the saving in inspection cost and the loss

caused by accepting nonconforming items and not

having enough conforming items. Both known and

unknown parameter cases were discussed.

Tang and Schneider (1990) showed that the ben

eft of using a correlated variable as the screening

variable is dependent on the correlation between the

correlated variable and the performance variable. In

spection error may "dilute" the correlation between

the two variables, which, consequently, reduces the

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

efectiveness of using the correlated variable. How

ever, in practice it is often possible to fnd a corre

lated variable that requires a less complicated mea

suring process, so that the inspection error of using

a correlated variable is relatively lower than that of

using the performance variable. This may further

support the use of a correlated variable. Tang and

Schneider (1990) illustrated both theoretically and

empirically when a correlated variable should be used

as the screening variable.

Special Screening Procedures

In this section two special screening procedures are

discussed. The frst is burn-in, which is used to re

duce early product failure by testing (operating) all

the outgoing items under a normal or stress condi

tion for a fxed amount of time before shipping to

customers. The second is group testing, which is

used when it is possible to use a single test to verif

whether a group of items is free of nonconforming

items.

Burn-In

Many industrial products have high failure rates in

their early lives. "Burn-in" is a procedure that oper

ates all the outgoing items for a fxed period under

normal or stress conditions to reduce early failures

before shipping a product to consumers. Recently,

Tusin (1990) reported an interesting development

and success in using environmental stress screening

(burn-in under special stress conditions) to improve

electronics reliability.

For many products there are three phases in their

product life cycle. The early stage (with relatively

high but decreasing failure rate) is called the infant

mortality phase, the stage with a constant failure

rate is called the normal phase, and the last stage

(with an increasing failure rate) is called the wear-out

phase. The point that separates the infant-mortality

and normal phaes is called the change-point.

A common practice is to test the product until it

reaches its change-point. If the burn-in period is too

long, then stress conditions are used to accelerate the

"aging" process. In order to estimate the change

point, several product life distributions have been

used, including Wei bull , gamma, lognormal, non

homogeneous Poisson, mixed Wei bull-exponential ,

empirical distributions, and others (Kuo and Kuo

(1983), Boukai (1987), and Hjorth (1980)). A sur

vey of change-point estimation was given by Zacks

(1983). Since then, Yao (1986) has studied the prop-

Journal of Quality Technology

218 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

erties of maximum likelihood estimation and Boukai

(1987) proposed a Bayes sequential estimation pro

cedure. Note that these studies asumed that all the

distribution parameters except the change-point are

known. If all the distribution parameters are un

known, it is a classical statistical estimation prob

lem. However, since stress conditions are often used,

the problem becomes much more complicated. This

is known as the area of accelerated life testing. First,

there should be a known relationship between the ac

tual product life and the life under stress conditions.

A well-known example is the Arrhenius model (Nel

son (1971)), which describes degradation over time

as a function of the operating temperature. Further

more, the stress conditions may be applied in difer

ent manners, such as step-stress (Nelson (1980)) and

progressive stress (Allen (1958) and Yin and Sheng

(1987)). Wadsworth, Stephens, and Godfrey (1986,

Chap. 18) provided a good introduction on how to

design an accelerated life test, a well a useful ref

erences, such as Nelson and Meeker (1978), Nelson

(1980, 1982), and Mann, Schafer, and Singpurwalla

(1974).

The cost structure of designing a burn-in pro

cedure is very similar to the basic model in Tang

(1987). However, burn-in models are usually compli

cated because the burn-in (inspection) costs and the

product life distribution afer burn-in are functions

of burn-in time. Moreover, the cost asociated with

failed items after burn-in may be difcult to calcu

late. Some examples of cost models are a follows.

Stewart and John (1972) developed a Bayesian

model for determining the burn-in time and replace

ment schedule for non-repairable products. The cost

components considered in the model are burn-in cost,

manufacturing cost, and costs incurred by sched

uled and unscheduled replacements. Canfeld (1975)

studied a similar problem with a known product life

distribution. Plesser and Field (1975) considered a

repairable product with the number of failures fol

lowing a Poisson process. It wa asumed that the

product failure rate remained unchanged after repair.

The optimal burn-in time is determined by minimiz

ing the expected total cost of operating an item in

both burn-in period and service periods. Cozzolino

(1970) considered how long to continue the burn-in

process for repairable products. Weiss and Dishon

(1971) studied two situations where a specifc num

ber of items are required at the end of the burn-in

process. In the frst situation, failed items in the pro

cess are repaired, and in the second situation, failed

Journal of Quality Technology

items are not repaired and the shortage at the end

of the burn-in period is made up by new items with

zero burn-in time. Nguyen and Murthy (1982) for

mulated a model for determining the burn-in time for

a product sold with a warranty. Two types of war

ranty polices are considered. The frst is the failure

free policy, where all the failed items are repaired

or replaced in the warranty period. The second is a

rebate policy, where the customer is refunded some

portion of the sales price if the product fails during

the warranty period. Chou and Tang (1992) consid

ered Nguyen and Murthy's model for the failure-free

policy, but used the Wei bull-exponential mixed dis

tribution to describe the infant-mortality and normal

phases. They also studied the situation where the

change-point is unknown.

Much is written in the literature on burn-in pro

cedures. Readers are referred to Leemis and Beneke

(1990) and Kuo and Kuo (1983) for more detailed

reviews of burn-in models.

Group Testing

Group testing is used when all the nonconforming

items have to be removed from a population and it

is possible that a (group) test on a pool of items

can be used to detect whether the items in the pool

are all conforming. The beneft of group testing is

the savings in the cost of testing individual items

when all the items are conforming. If the group test

indicates that the items are not all conforming, the

items are retested individually, and nonconforming

items are identifed and removed from the lot. This

inspection procedure is called the two-stage group

testing procedure.

A well-known example is the blood-testing prob

lem considered by Dorfman (1964) where a large

number of blood samples are to be tested for con

tamination. Portions of blood samples can be tested

together. These samples are tested individually only

when the group test is positive. Additional examples

are leakage tests, fow tests (Sobel and Groll (1959)

and Hwang (1984)), and group factor screening in

experimental design (Watson (1961), Li (1962), and

Gurnow (1965)).

Designing a group testing procedure consists of se

lecting an appropriate group size to minimize the to

tal inspection efort. Using a large group size re

duces the frequency of group tests but increases the

chance of retests. It is evident that the distribution

of the number of nonconforming items is an impor-

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

DESIGN OF SCREENI NG PROCEDURES: A REVIEW 219

tant factor in making this decision. A common goal

of group testing models is to minimize the expected

total number of group and individual tests. An im

plicit asumption is that the costs of performing a

group test and an individual test are the same. If the

number of nonconforming items follows a binomial

distribution, the per-item expected number of tests

in Dorfman's problem is given by l/k + 1 - (1 _ p)

k

,

where k is the group size, and p is a known non

conforming rate. Samuels (1978) gave an eay way

to fnd the exact optimal group size. Many other

researchers; including Nebenzahl and Sobel (1973),

Nebenzahl (1975), Hwang (1972, 1975, 1978, 1980),

Lin (1974), Kumar and Sobel (1971), and Hwang,

Song, and Du (1981); studied the same problem un

der diferent distributional asumptions. Graf and

Roelofe (1972) incorporated inspection errors into

Dorfman's model.

There are many other forms of group testing. Ster

rett (1957) suggested a procedure to sequentially test

the items in a group that failed the group test. Indi

vidual testing is done until the frst nonconforming

item is found. Then the remaining items are again

tested in a group, and the procedure is repeated un

til all the nonconforming items are found. The ef

ciency of this method wa studied by Sobel and Groll

(1959). Gill and Gottlieb (1974) proposed a proce

dure to divide the group that wa found to contain

nonconforming items into two sub-groups, and this

procedure is applied recursively to the sub-groups

that fail the group test. Sobel and Groll (1959) con

sidered a procedure that divides the group that failed

the group test into successively smaller sub-groups.

Recursion equations were developed to determine the

sizes of the sub-groups. A detailed discussion of this

procedure wa given by Mundel (1984), and tables

for using this procedure were provided by Snyder

and Larson (1969). Mundel (1985) developed a cost

model which asumes that the costs of the group test

and individual test are diferent. The optimal group

size is found by minimizing the total expected test

cost. Li (1962) proposed a multi-cycle procedure for

screening experimental factors in which the whole

group of factors is divided into sub-groups at each

cycle, and all the sub-groups that fail the group test

(at leat one factor is signifcant) are pooled into the

group for the next cycle. Kumar (1965) considered

a multiple-grade situation where three possible in

spection outcomes are considered: good, mediocre,

and defective. Sobel and Groll (1959) discussed the

situation where a limited number of tests (group or

individual) can be performed on an individual item.

Vol. 26, No. 3, July J 994

Sobel (1960) discussed the restriction that a group

test can be applied only to adjacent items, not to

any arbitrary subset of items.

When p is unknown, Sobel and Groll (1966) devel

oped a Bayesian model using a beta prior distribu

tion. They compared it with the procedure asuming

p is known and another procedure baed on contin

ually updating estimates of p. They also discussed a

diferent type of procedure that allows "mixing" the

groups found to contain nonconforming items and

the uninspected items in order to form a new group

for further testing. Hwang (1984) proposed a robust

procedure for the cae where only the mean noncon

forming rate is available (the form of the distribu

tion is unknown). Schneider and Tang (1990) for

mulated a cost model using the Bayesian approach

for the two-stage procedure and showed that using

variable group sizes baed on simple updating proce

dure (Bayes' rule) can substantially reduce the total

inspection efort.

An interesting issue related to group testing is to

minimize the number of tests required to fnd one

nonconforming item fom a population. However,

the objective is not to screen all the nonconform

ing items from the population. This issue wa dis

cussed by Kumar and Sobel (1971), Hwang (1974),

and Garey and Hwang (1974). Kotz and Johnson

(1982) provided methods to compute the outgoing

conforming rates and the expected total number of

tests for group testing with inspection error.

Inspection Planning and Selection

of Process Parameters

In this section three special topics are discussed.

The frst is how to allocate screening eforts in a

multi-stage manufacturing system, the second is how

to design the process paraeters to optimize the

proft/cost, and the third is product variation reduc

tion by selective asembly.

Inspection Efort Allocation

In a multiple-stage manufacturing system "where

to inspect" and "how many to inspect" are important

decisions for controlling manufacturing costs. The

"topology" of manufacturing systems makes these

two decisions difcult. Two types of manufactur

ing systems have been studied. The frst one is a

serial system, where each stage or operation (except

for the beginning one) ha only one immediate prede

cessor. The second type is a non-serial system, where

Journal of Quality Technology

220 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

some stages may have multiple predecessors. In ad

dition, various dispositions of nonconforming items

found in the manufacturing process, such a repair

and replacement need to be considered.

There have been several heuristic rules concern

ing inspection location (Moore (1973) and Peters and

Williams (1984)). Some of these are:

1. Inspect afer operations that are likely to produce

nonconforming items

2. Inspect before costly operations

3. Inspect before operations where nonconforming

items may damage or jam machines

4. Inspect before operations that cover up noncon

forming items

5. Inspect before asembly operations where rework

is very costly.

The issue of inspection locations has been inves

tigated using mathematical programming methods.

For example, White (1966) considered a serial man

ufacturing system with m stages. A conforming item

becomes nonconforming at each stage in the system

with a known probability. A lot may be inspected

partially or completely prior to entering any stage,

and if a nonconforming item is found, it is replaced

by a conforming item. The cost of inspection may be

diferent in diferent stages, and the cost of replacing

a nonconforming item increases as the item moves

further through the system. The tradeof is whether

to inspect an item to avoid further wasteful invest

ments in a nonconforming item. The cost structure

at each stage is similar to that of Deming's model

(1986). However, the decisions at all the stages are

related. In particular, the decisions at earlier stages

should consider the cost and probabilistic structure

in the later stages, and the decisions made at earlier

stages will afect entering nonconforming rates at the

later stages.

A mathematical model is formulated to fnd the

optimal inspection proportions I, h, . . . , and 1m in

an m-stage manufacturing system. Note that if

Ii

is greater than 0, the ith stage becomes an inspec

tion location. White (1966) showed that the op

timal inspection proportions should be either 0 or

100%, which enables the model to be solved by sim

ple dynamic programming or integer programming

methods. Britney (1972) considered non-serial sys

tems and found that the all-or-none rules also ap

ply. In fact, most of the researchers have either

proved that a 0 or 100% inspection plan is optimal

or have assumed it based on previous research re

sults (Rabinowitz (1988)). Chakravarty and Shtub

Joural of Quality Technology

(1987) extended White's (1966) model to a multi

product situation where additional costs, setup, and

inventory carrying costs are considered. Ballou and

Pazer (1982) discussed the inspection allocation is

sue for a serial production system when inspection

errors are present. Two detailed reviews on this is

sue were recently prepared by Raz (1986) and Rabi

nowitz (1988).

Selection of Process Parameters

In some manufacturing situations, such a a bot

tling process, material (production) cost is a function

of the performance variable, and lower and/or upper

product specifcation limits are specifed. The pro

cess mean afects both the production cost and the

chance of producing nonconforming items. If inspec

tion is not destructive, nonconforming items can be

identifed by screening. Depending on the sales and

production situations, nonconforming items may be

scrapped, reworked, or sold at reduced prices. Con

sequently, the decision on setting a process mean

should be baed on the tradeofs among material

cost, payof of conforming items, and the costs in

curred due to nonconforming items. Baed on the

process condition, the studies in this area can be

classifed into two categories. In the frst, the pro

cess mean is asumed to be stable over time, and

in the second, the process mean decreaes/increaes

over time (or with the number of items produced).

The latter category is known a the "tool wearing

process".

Stable Prcess. Springer (1951) considered a man

ufacturing situation where upper and lower specif

cation limits are both present and the performance

variable follows a gamma distribution. The per-item

cost associated with nonconforming items above the

upper specifcation limit (overflled items) can be dif

ferent from those below the lower specifcation limit

(underflled items). However, these costs are as

sumed to be constants (independent of the value of

the performance variable). The process mean that

minimizes the total cost asociated with nonconform

ing items is obtained. Nelson (1979) gave a nomo

graph for Springer's solution. Bettes (1962) studied

a similar situation with a given lower specifcation

limit and an arbitrary upper limit. Underflled and

overflled items are reprocessed at a fxed cost. The

optimal process mean and upper specifcation limit

are determined simultaneously.

Hunter and Kartha (1977) discussed the situation

where underfilled items can be sold at a (constant)

Vol. 26, No.3, July J 994

DESI GN OF SCREENI NG PROCEDURES: A REVIEW 221

reduced price and a penalty (give-away cost) is in

curred by conforming items with excess quality (the

diference of the performance variable and the lower

limit). They derived a procedure for calculating the

optimal process mean. Nelson (1978) also provided

approximate solutions to this problem. Bisgaard,

Hunter, and Pallesen (1984) modifed Hunter and

Kartha's model by assuming that the selling price of

nonconforming items is a linear function of the per

formance variable. Carlsson (1984) discussed a more

general sales situation where the selling prices of the

conforming and nonconforming items are linear func

tions of excess ( "give-away") quality and "defcit in

quality" , respectively.

Golhar (1987) assumed that only the regular mar

ket (fxed selling price) is available for the conforming

items and that the underflled items are reprocessed

and sold in the regular market. Golhar and Pol

lock (1988) extended this model to include an upper

limit to reduce the cost associated with excess qual

ity by reprocessing the items above this limit. Solu

tion procedures for the optimal process mean and

the upper limit were also given in Golhar (1988).

Carlsson (1989) discussed a situation in which the

lots produced by a production process are subjected

to lot-by-lot acceptance sampling by variables, and

Boucher and Jafari (1991) studied the same problem

except that an attributes sampling plan is used to

decide whether a lot is accepted.

An implicit assumption in Golhar and Pollock's

model is that the process has an unlimited capacity

that can be used to reprocess items above the up

per limit. Schmidt and Pfeifer (1991) considered the

situation where the process capacity is fxed. Mel

loy (1991) considered products that are subject to

regulatory auditing (compliance tests) schemes. The

performance variable is the weight of the package,

which is determined by the weights of the product

and the tare (e.g., boxes). The process mean and

two-sided screening limits are used to minimize the

"give-away" product weight, subject to an acceptable

level of risk of failing the compliance tests. Tang and

Lo (1993) developed a model for jointly determining

the optimal process mean and screening limits when

a correlated variable is used in inspection. Note that

since a correlated variable is not perfectly correlated

with the quality characteristic, acceptance cost may

be incurred by accepting nonconforming items for

shipment.

Tool Wearing Process. A tool wearing process is

a production process that exhibits decreasing (or in-

Vol. 26, No.3, July 1994

creaing) patterns in the process mean and/or vari

ance during the course of production. Typical ex

amples are machining, stamping, and molding oper

ations (Gibra (1967)). To control the loss incurred

by nonconforming items, it may be necessary to peri

odically stop the process in order to reset the process

by, for example, changing the tools or cleaning the

molds. If the process mean has a decreaing pat

tern, then setting a higher initial process mean can

reduce the frequency of resetting and, thus, the loss

of production time. Nevertheless, it can also result

in a higher production cost. Consequently, the initial

process condition and the run size (time for resetting)

are jointly determined to minimize the total related

cost.

Gibra (1967) considered a process where the pro

cess mean decreases constantly (linearly) over time

and the process variance remains constant. The op

timal process mean and run size are obtained by

minimizing the sum of resetting cost and the loss

due to nonconforming items. Arcelus, Banerjee, and

Chandra (1982) considered a situation with both

upper and lower specifcation limits and where the

process mean and variance increase linearly or non

linearly over time. Optimal solutions that mini

mize the average production cost per conforming

item were obtained for both infnite (continuous)

and fnite horizon production situation. Arcelus and

Banerjee (1985) incorporated the proft/cost struc

ture given by Bisgaard, Hunter, and Pallesen (1984)

into Gibra's model. Schneider, O'Cinneide, and

Tang (1988) used an AOQL constraint and a more

general asumption about tool wearing that allows

the deterioration (decreae) in the process mean to

be a random variable. The economic model for

this problem was developed by Schneider, Tang, and

O'Cinneide (1990). Note that screening was ex

plicitly assumed by Arcelus, Banerjee, and Chandra

(1982) but not by Gibra (1967) and Schneider, Tang,

and O'Cinneide (1990).

Selective Assembly. The quality variation of a

product is afected by the variations of its compo

nents and the assembly method. Random assembly

is a method in which components are chosen ran

domly for assembly. Suppose that weight is the per

formance variable, and it is determined by the sum

of the weights of two components. Using random a

sembly, the variance of the performance variable is

equal to the sum of the variances of the two compo

nents.

In contrast, selective assembly matches compo

nents according to certain rules. For example, the

Journal of Qualit Technology

222 KWEI TANG AND JEN TANG

units of each component can be frst sorted (screen

ing) into several groups, and then the units in a group

are assembled only with the units in a selected group

of another component. Using this approach, non

conforming rate and product variation are reduced.

Malmquist (1990) reviewed the literature and dis

cussed various approaches to reduce product varia

tion and nonconforming rate by using selective as

sembly.

Discussion

In this paper, we reviewed the literature in the area

of screening. The structure of the area of screening

is provided by the four basic models: Deming's all

or-none rules, Taguchi's model for tolerance design,

Tang's economic model for using correlated variables,

and statistical models for using correlated variables.

Then, various more detailed models based on these

four models were presented for diferent inspection

and manufacturing environments.

Most of the existing studies assume a stable pro

cess or a deteriorating process with a known pattern.

However, little has been done on using screening data

(especially on correlated variables) in process control

and improvement. Furthermore, in practice, pro

duction decisions and the design of a quality con

trol/ assurance system should be considered jointly.

For example, it wa shown that a vendor decision

may be changed due to implementing a screening

procedure (Tang (1988d)). Shih (1980) modifed the

simple inventory economic lot sizing (EOQ) model

by asuming that all the orders are screened. Kalro

and Gohil (1982) considered a lot size model with

backlogging where the number of items received may

be diferent from the order quantity. The diference

is described by a normal random variable. Lee and

Rosenblatt (1985) derived optimal order quantities

under two inspection policies. In the frst policy, a

lot is accepted without inspection, and is partially

inspected before it is sold to customers. In the sec

ond policy, all the items are screened before purchase,

and thus are free of nonconforming items. Porteus

(1986) considered the production-lot sizing problem

when there is a possibility that the production pro

cess may be out of control.

It should be pointed out again that a manufac

turer has to use process control and improvement

programs to improve product quality. This will, in

turn, enhance ones ability to survive in this compet

itive business world. Screening should be considered

Joural of Quality Technology

only as a short-term method to remove nonconform

ing items from a population, and dependence on in

spection to solve quality problems is inefective and

costly.

Acknowledgments

Dr. Kwei Tang's research was supported in part

by National Science Foundation Grant #DDM-

8857557 and Southern Scrap Material Company, Ba

ton Rouge, LA.

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Key Words: Bur-In, Economic Design, Grup Test

ing, Multi-Stage Manufacturing System, Screening.

Vol. 26, No. 3, July 1994

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