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Comparing Acceptance Sampling Standards, Part 2


a

Dean V. Neubauer & Stephen Luko


a

Corning Incorporated, Corning, New York

United Technologies Aerospace Systems, Terryville, Connecticut


Version of record first published: 27 Feb 2013.

To cite this article: Dean V. Neubauer & Stephen Luko (2013): Comparing Acceptance Sampling Standards, Part 2, Quality
Engineering, 25:2, 181-187
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08982112.2013.758557

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Quality Engineering, 25:181187, 2013


Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0898-2112 print=1532-4222 online
DOI: 10.1080/08982112.2013.758557

Comparing Acceptance Sampling


Standards, Part 2
Dean V. Neubauer1,
Stephen Luko2
1

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Corning Incorporated, Corning,


New York
2
United Technologies Aerospace
Systems, Terryville, Connecticut

ABSTRACT In Part 1 of this two-part series, common attribute sampling


standards were discussed and compared. Attribute sampling standards date
back to the 1930s and the original work of Harold F. Dodge and others at
Bell Labs. Todays attribute standards (ANSI=ASQ Z1.4, ASTM E2234, ISO
2859) find their common heritage in the older Military Standard 105 series.
In this article, the discussion will shift to the development of variables
sampling standards which find their linkage to a military standard as well
Military Standard 414. Like MIL-STD-105, MIL-STD-414 has derivative
standards as well which are in use today. This article will serve to discuss
and compare these derivative standards in the manner in which attributes
standards were covered in Part 1. Once again we find that sampling schemes
are not restricted to attributes. They may be composed of variables plans as
well. Thus, it was that Military Standard 414 (MIL-STD-414) was issued on
June 11, 1957. It has since become a classic companion standard to MILSTD-105 and has been used throughout the world. The protection afforded
by this standard is roughly matched to MIL-STD-105A. However, modifications in the tables incorporated in the MIL-STD-105D version upset the
match somewhat. Commander Gascoigne of the British Navy showed
how to restore the balance and his simple method has been incorporated
into civilian sampling systems. The MIL-STD-414 sampling system will be
discussed in depth here as an example of a classic variables system, and
its relation to other systems, including MIL-STD-105E, will be indicated.
KEYWORDS ASTM E2762-10, ANSI/ASQ Z1.9, ISO 3951, MIL-STD-414,
normal distribution, range, sampling system, variability known, variables
sampling plans, variability unknown

INTRODUCTION
Edited by Stephen N. Luko, United
Technologies Aerospace Systems,
Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Address correspondence to Dean V.
Neubauer, 15 Stoneybrook Road,
Horseheads, NY 14845-1168. E-mail:
neubauerdv@corning.com

In Part 1 of this two-part series, common attribute sampling standards


were discussed and compared. Attribute sampling standards date back to
the 1930s and the original work of Harold F. Dodge and others at Bell Labs.
Todays attribute standards (ANSI=ASQ Z1.4 (2008), ASTM E2234 (2009), ISO
2859 (1974)) find their common heritage in the older Military Standard
105 series. In Part 2, the discussion will shift to the development of variables sampling standards that find their linkage to a military standard as
181

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wellMilitary Standard 414. Like MIL-STD-105,


MIL-STD-414 has derivative standards as well that
are in use today. This article will serve to discuss
and compare these derivative standards in the manner in which attributes standards were covered in
Part 1.
Sampling schemes are not restricted to attributes.
They may be composed of variable plans as well.
Thus it was that Military Standard 414 (MIL-STD414) was issued on June 11, 1957. It has since
become a classic companion standard to MIL-STD105 and has been used throughout the world. The
protection afforded by this standard is roughly
matched to MIL-STD-105A. However, modifications
in the tables incorporated in the MIL-STD-105D version upset the match somewhat. Commander Gascoigne of the British Navy showed how to restore
the balance, and his simple method has been incorporated into civilian sampling systems. The MIL-STD414 sampling system will be discussed in-depth here
as an example of a classic variables system, and its
relation to other systems, including MIL-STD-105E,
will be indicated.

MIL-STD-414 Sampling Procedure and


Tables for Inspection by Variables for
Percentage Defective
Unlike MIL-STD-105E, MIL-STD-414 is a sampling
system utilizing variable inspection. It was devised
by the military, as a consumer, to be used to assess
the percentage defective beyond contractual limits.
Because it is a sampling system, it incorporates
switching rules to move from normal to tightened
or reduced inspection and return to achieve consumer protection. These switching rules must be
used if the standard is to be properly applied. The
switching rules differ somewhat from those used in
MIL-STD-105E. The standard assumes underlying
normality of the distribution of the measurements
to which it is applied and is intended to be used with
a steady stream of lots.
MIL-STD-414 allows for the use of three alternative
measures of variability: known standard deviation
(r), estimated standard deviation (s), or average
range of subsamples of five (R). If the variability of
the process producing the product is known and
stable, it is profitable to use r. The choice between
s and R when r is unknown is an economic one.
D. V. Neubauer and S. Luko

The range requires larger sample sizes but is easier


to compute and understand. Operating characteristic
(OC) curves given in the standard are based on the
use of s, where the r and R plans have been matched
as closely as possible to those using s.
The basic statistic to be calculated in applying
MIL-STD-414 may be considered to be the standardized distance from the sample mean to the specification limit. For an upper specification limit U,
when r is known, the statistic tU U  X=r is
used. When r is unknown, tU U  X=s or
tU U  X=R is substituted depending on the
measure of variability chosen. A comparison of tU
to the acceptance constant k will show whether the
sample mean is or is not in the region of acceptance.
MIL-STD-414 offers an alternate procedure to
using the acceptance constant kthe M method.
This involves using a statistic similar to those above
to estimate proportion defective in the lot and is
referred to in the standard as Form 2. The k method,
involving a simple comparison of t to k to determine
the acceptability, is called Form 1. Form 2 is the preferred procedure because the switching rules cannot
be applied unless the fraction defective p^ of each lot
is estimated from the sample.
MIL-STD-414 is complex. It consists of sections
indexed by measure of variability, type of specification (single or double), and form number of the
acceptance procedure. Only Form 2 is officially available for the case of double specification limits. The
standards structure is shown in Figure 1.
Application of MIL-STD-414 follows the pattern of
MIL-STD-105E. Note that MIL-STD-414 and MIL-STD105E plans are not matched. The classification of
defects used in MIL-STD-414 is the same as that used
in MIL-STD-105E: critical, major, and minor. Sample
sizes are determined from lot size and acceptable
quality level (AQL) and, after choosing the measure
of variability to be used and the form of acceptance
procedure, appropriate acceptance constants are
obtained from the standard. MIL-STD-414 has a liberal supply of excellent examples. The reader should
refer to the standard for detailed numerical examples
of its application.
The necessary assumption of a known, stable
underlying normal distribution of individual measurements is inherent in the MIL-STD-414 variables
plans, and this is a limitation in its application. The
use of MIL-STD-414 plans without investigating the
182

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FIGURE 1 Content of MIL-STD-414.  Indicates tables for estimating p and criteria for tightened and reduced inspection (Schilling and
Neubauer 2009).

true nature of the underlying distribution is not


recommended, because the results can be seriously
in error. Sensible evaluation of the normality of
the underlying distribution and implementation of
prudent procedures to insure stability over time does
provide sufficient justification for use of MIL-STD414. Because any sampling plan in this standard
depends on variability, when using a historical
estimate of the standard deviation, or average range,
one needs to evaluate whether the estimate holds up
over time. This is particularly true for in-process and
final inspection at the source where the distribution
of the process producing the product is not beyond
the control or investigation of those applying the
plan. The rewards for painstaking, thorough analysis
are great in terms of sample size and worthwhile
information on the process involved.
A detailed discussion of the operation, selection of
plans, and measures of these plans can be found in
Schilling and Neubauer (2009, ch. 12). An excellent
description of the theory behind MIL-STD-414 has
been given by Lieberman and Resnikoff (1955) in
the Journal of the American Statistical Association.
Much of this material was later presented in a
detailed technical report on MIL-STD-414 published
by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (United States
Department of Defense 1958). These works give
a detailed technical description of the background
of the standard. A classic review of MIL-STD-414
was undertaken by Kao (1971) and appeared in the
183

Journal of Quality Technology. In a two-part series,


Duncan (1975) and Bender (1975) described the history and matching of MIL-STD-414 to other national
and international standards including MIL-STD-105D.

Match Between MIL-STD-414 and


MIL-STD-105E
In 1976, the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI) Committee Z-1 on Quality Assurance recommended that a revision of the ANSI version of
MIL-STD-414 be made incorporating some of the
suggestions made by Gascoigne (1976) resulting
from his work on British Defense Standard (05-30=
1) and with the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO). Principal among these was
a method for adjusting the code letter of the ANSI
version of MIL-STD-414 to make its OC curves
roughly match those of the ANSI version of MIL-STD105D (ANSI Z1.4) at the adjusted code letter and
AQL. Revision of the ANSI version of MIL-STD-414
(ANSI Z1.9) was accomplished by the American
Society for Quality Control Standards Group and it
now appears as ANSI Z1.9 (2008). Table 1 shows
the match between the revised ANSI Z1.9 (2008)
code letter, the MIL-STD-414 code letter, and the
corresponding code letter of MIL-STD-105D. (A
comparison with MIL-STD-105E would be identical.)
Plans with these code letters are roughly matched
and will allow switching between variables and
Comparing Acceptance Sampling Standards, Part 2

TABLE 1 Matching the Lettersa


MIL-STD-105D
(ANSI=ASQ Z1.4
(2008)) code letter

MIL-STD-414
(1957) code letter

ANSI=ASQ Z1.9
(2008) code letter

B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
K
M
N
O
P
Q

B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
P

B
C
D
E
F
G
H
H
J
K
L
M
N
P

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Delete MIL-STD-414 AQLs: 0.04, 0.065, 15.00.

attribute plans within the code letters shown at


a given AQL. To preserve the match, MIL-STD-414
AQLs 0.04, 0.065, and 15.00 should not be used
and were dropped from ANSI Z1.9. For example,
MIL-STD-105D, Code J, 1.5 AQL is roughly matched
to MIL-STD-414, Code K, 1.5 AQL, which matches
ANSI Z1.9, Code J, 1.5 AQL.
Other changes in ANSI Z1.9 (2008) from the earlier
version identical to MIL-STD-414 included an update
of terminology and changes in the switching rules,
inspection levels, and other features to match MILSTD-105E (1989). Standards Z1.4 and Z1.9 may be
obtained from the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Schilling and Sheesley (1984) have addressed scheme
properties of the variables standard ANSI=ASQ Z1.9.
MIL-STD-414 was issued on June 11, 1957, and has
not undergone any major changes since. However,
this classic standard was the precursor of several
derivative standards, most notably ASTM E2762
(2010), ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 (2008), and ISO 3951-1,
which will be discussed in the following sections.

provide a source for use in conjunction with ASTM


and other standards that directly reference MIL-STD414. It is best used in a testing or laboratory environment
and with methodology in support of other standards.

ANSI/ASQ Z1.9 Sampling Procedures


and Tables for Inspection by Variables
for Percentage Nonconforming
A United States national standard, ANSI=ASQ Z1.9
(2008) represents an effort to unify variables and attributes sampling systems by providing a reasonable
match between a modified MIL-STD-414 and MILSTD-105. This was done using the Gascoigne technique. Other changes included making the inspection
levels coincide between the two standards and adopting the switching rules and lot size ranges of MIL-STD105. Other editorial changes were made as appropriate.
ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 (2008), then, is a companion standard
to the ANSI=ASQ Z1.4 (2008) attributes standard. Given
the lot size and AQL, it is possible to move between the
two standards with the same code letter and AQL.
The procedures and structure of ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 are
essentially the same as for MIL-STD-414. The excellent
set of examples in MIL-STD-414 has been retained
and will lead the user through application of the Z1.9
standard. The ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 standard is an excellent
vehicle for in-house use and stands as the national
standard to be employed internally to the United States.

Conversion of MIL-STD-414 to ANSI/


ASQ Z1.9 (Gascoigne Technique)
By following the method of Commander
Gascoigne, the tables of MIL-STD-414 are easily
converted into the tables of ANSI=ASQ Z1.9. The
procedure is as follows:

ASTM E2762-10: Standard Practice for


Sampling a Stream of Product by
Variables Indexed by AQL

1. Eliminate the MIL-STD-414 rows corresponding to


Codes J and K and reletter the remaining code letters so that MIL-STD-414 code letters K, M, N, O,
P, and Q become J, K, L, M, N, and P.
2. Eliminate the columns corresponding to AQLs
0.04, 0.065, and 15.00.
3. Use the resulting table with the ANSI=ASQ Z1.4
switching rules.

An ASTM standard that maintains the MIL-STD414 content as closely as possible was created by
the ASTM E11 Committee in 2009. It is intended to

This is the original procedure used to produce the


ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 tables in 1980. It should be noted

D. V. Neubauer and S. Luko

184

TABLE 2 Conversion of Table B-1 in MIL-STD-414 to Create the Corresponding Table in ANSI/ASQ Z1.9 (2008)
Acceptable quality levels (normal inspection)

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Sample size
code letter Sample size
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
J
L
K
L
M
N
P

3
4
5
7
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
50
75
100
150
200

0.04
k

0.065
k

0.10
k

+
+
+
+
+
2.64
2.69
2.72
2.73
2.77
2.77
2.83
2.90
2.92
2.96
2.97
0.065

+
+
+
+
+
2.53
2.58
2.61
2.61
2.65
2.66
2.71
2.77
2.80
2.84
2.85
0.10

+
+
+
+
+
2.42
2.47
2.50
2.51
2.54
2.55
2.60
2.66
2.69
2.73
2.73
0.15

0.15
k

0.25
K

0.40
k

+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
2.00 1.88
2.24 2.11 1.98
2.32 2.20 2.06
2.36 2.24 2.11
2.40 2.26 2.14
2.41 2.28 2.15
2.45 2.31 2.18
2.44 2.31 2.18
2.50 2.35 2.22
2.55 2.41 2.27
2.58 2.43 2.29
2.61 2.47 2.33
2.62 2.47 2.33
0.25 0.40 0.65
Acceptable quality

0.65
k
+
+
1.65
1.75
1.84
1.91
1.96
1.98
2.00
2.03
2.03
2.08
2.12
2.14
2.18
2.18
1.00
levels

1.00
k

1.50
k

2.50
k

4.00
k

6.50
k

10.00
k

15.00
k

+
+
1.12 0.958
0.765
0.566
1.45 1.34 1.17 1.01
0.814
0.617
1.53 1.40 1.24 1.07
0.874
0.675
1.62 1.50 1.33 1.15
0.955
0.755
1.72 1.58 1.41 1.23
1.03
0.828
1.79 1.65 1.47 1.30
1.09
0.886
1.82 1.69 1.51 1.33
1.12
0.917
1.85 1.72 1.53 1.35
1.14
0.936
1.86 1.73 1.55 1.36
1.15
0.946
1.89 1.76 1.57 1.39
1.18
0.969
1.89 1.76 1.58 1.39
1.18
0.971
1.93 1.80 1.61 1.42
1.21
1.00
1.98 1.84 1.65 1.46
1.24
1.03
2.00 1.86 1.67 1.48
1.26
1.05
2.03 1.89 1.70 1.51
1.29
1.07
2.04 1.89 1.70 1.51
1.29
1.07
1.50 2.50 4.00 6.50
10.00
15.00
(tightened inspection)

0.341
0.393
0.455
0.536
0.611
0.664
0.695
0.712
0.723
0.745
0.746
0.774
0.804
0.819
0.841
0.845

All AQL and table values are in percentage defective.


+ Use first sampling plan below arrow; that is, both sample size as well as k value. When sample size equals or exceeds lot size, every item in the lot must
be inspected.

that a few of the values are slightly off as the result of


recomputation over the years, but they are so slight
as to be of little consequence in practical application.
The match with MIL-STD-105E is quite good, as
can be seen in the tables of differences contained
in Section E of the ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 tables. Table 2
demonstrates this change.

ISO 3951-1 Sampling Procedures for


Inspection by VariablesPart 1:
Specification for Single Sampling
Plans Indexed by Acceptance Quality
Limit (AQL) for Lot-By-lot Inspection
for a Single Quality Characteristic
and a Single AQL
Part 1 of a set of five variables standards, ISO
3951-1 is the international version of MIL-STD-414.
Early versions were close to ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 (2008).
In 2005, the standard underwent a major revision,
including adjustment of the tables to produce plans
more closely matched to the plans of ISO 2859-1.
At that time, the range method was eliminated from
185

the standard. This standard is unique in its approach


to variable plans in that it includes graphical acceptance curves. The axes of the curves are converted to
(X, s) and the inspector simply plots X and s on the
curve to determine whether it is in the region of
acceptance or rejection. Given point a on the x axis
and point b on the y axis, the transformations are
s a(U  L) and X bU  L L
A comparison of the procedure for ANSI=ASQ
Z1.9 with ISO 3951-1 is shown in Table 3. Note that
ISO 3951-1 does not carry the M method used in
ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 and uses the k method essentially
for single specification limits and the graphical
technique for double specification limits. ISO 3951-1
is best used in international trade.
ISO has also developed a series of schemes in support of the AQL system in ISO 3951-1 and patterned
after the ISO 2859 series. These include the following:
.

ISO 3951-1 Specification for single sampling plans


indexed by acceptance quality limit (AQL) for
lot-by-lot inspection of a single quality characteristic and a single AQL. This is the ISO version of
MIL-STD-414 and ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 and provides
Comparing Acceptance Sampling Standards, Part 2

D. V. Neubauer and S. Luko

186

Form 1

Form 2

Single
specification
Double
specification
Accept if pU pL < M
Accept if zU > k
and zL > k and s
<MSD or R <MAR


U  X c
QU

 R 
X  L c
QL   
R X v
U
QU
r

X  L v
QL
r
Enter table with n and
QU or QL to get pU or
pL
Accept if zU > k or Accept if pU < M or
zL > k
pL < M

U  X
zU 
R
Section C (R)
X  L
zL 
U R X
zU
r
Section D (r)
X  L
zL
r

Obtain M and n from


Obtain k and n
from appropriate appropriate tables
tables
U  X
U  X
QU
zU
s
s
Section B (s)
X  L
X  L
zL
QL
s
s

Section

c scale
factor.
p
n
v n1
.

Not official procedure.

Special procedure is used for sample size 3 or 4.

Action

Estimation

Determine
criteria

Preparatory

Step

ANSI=ASQ Z1.9 (MIL-STD-414)

TABLE 3 Procedure and Application of ANSI/ASQ Z1.9 and ISO 3951-1

Double
specification

Single
specification

Section 16

Section 15

Section 14

Section

Separate AQLs

ISO 3951-1
Combined AQL

Accept only if QU > k Separate AQLs:


or QL > k
Accept only if
XL  X  XU

Accept if X  XU or
X  XL
Accept if QU > k or
QL > k

Compare X to
XU U  kU r
XL L kL r



Plot s; X and
compare
XU U  kU s
to 
XL L kL s

U  X
r
X  L
QL
r

QU

QU

U  X
s
X  L
QL
s

Accept if point
plotted is inside
diagram

Use separate AQL


procedure

diagram

Reject if s>MSDf(U 
L) Otherwise, plot


s
XL
UL ; UL on

Obtain k and n from Obtain k and n from Obtain appropriate


appropriate tables
appropriate tables
acceptance curve

Single specification

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the basic tables and subsidiary matter for the


sampling system.
ISO 3951-2 General specification for single
sampling plans indexed by acceptance quality
limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot inspection of independent
quality characteristics. This is a complex standard
containing univariate and multivariate procedures
addressing circumstances not covered by ISO
3951-1 for both the variability known and
unknown. The multivariate methods presented
are for independent quality characteristics.
ISO 3951-3 Double sampling schemes indexed by
acceptance quality limit (AQL) for lot-by-lot
inspection. This standard is complementary to the
double sampling plans of ISO 2859-1 and
addresses circumstances not covered there. It is
quite complicated and includes both univariate
and multivariate methods for independent quality
characteristics.
ISO 3951-4 Procedures for assessment of declared
quality levels. The plans presented in this standard have been matched to those of ISO
2859-4. It is the variables analog of that standard.
Note that this is a single test and does not involve
a sampling system as do the other parts of ISO
3951.
ISO 3951-5 Sequential sampling plans indexed by
acceptance quality limit (AQL) for inspection by
variables (known standard deviation). This standard presents variable sequential sampling plans
matched to the attributes sequential plans of the
ISO 2859-5 standard. It takes full advantage of
the economics of sequential variables plans in
terms of minimal sample size.

As in the attributes plans, with the exception of


ISO 3951-4, the ISO 3951 series is primarily intended
to be used with a continuing series of lots, utilizing
the switching rules as prescribed. The assumptions
of variable sampling should be carefully considered
in any application of variables plans.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Dean Neubauer is an engineering fellow with
Corning Incorporated in Corning, New York, and
is currently the chair of ASTM Committee E11 on

187

Quality and Statistics. He is a fellow of ASTM


International, a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society,
and a fellow of the American Society for Quality
(ASQ).
Stephen Luko is an industrial statistician with
United Technologies Aerospace Systems in Windsor
Locks, Connecticut, and is a past chair of Committee
E11. He is a fellow of ASTM International and a senior
member of ASQ. He is the editor of this column.

REFERENCES
ANSI=ASQ Z1.4. (2008). Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection
by Attributes. Milwaukee, WI: American Society for Quality (ASQ).
ANSI=ASQ Z1.9. (2008). Sampling Procedures and Tables for Inspection
by Variables for Percent Nonconforming. Milwaukee, WI: American
Society for Quality.
Bender, A. (1975). Sampling by variables to control the fraction defective:
Part II. Journal of Quality Technology, 7(3):139143.
Duncan, A. J. (1975). Sampling by variables to control the fraction
defective: Part I. Journal of Quality Technology, 7(1):3442.
E2234-09. (2009). Standard Practice for Sampling a Stream of Product by
Attributes Indexed by AQL. West Conshohocken, PA: American
Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM).
E2762-10. (2010). Standard Practice for Sampling a Stream of Product by
Variables Indexed by AQL. West Conshohocken, PA: American
Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM E11 Committee on Quality
and Statistics.
Gascoigne, J. C. (1976). Future International Standards on Sampling by
Variables. American Society for Quality Control Technical Conference
Transactions, Toronto, ON, Milwaukee, WI: American Society for
Quality (ASQ).
ISO 2859-1. (1974). Sampling Procedures for Inspection by Attributes
Part 1: Sampling Schemes Indexed by Acceptance Quality Limit
(AQL) for Lot-by-Lot Inspection. Geneva, Switzerland: International
Organization for Standardization (ISO).
ISO 3951-1. (2011). Sampling Procedures for Inspection by Variables
Part 1: Specification for Single Sampling Plans Indexed by Acceptance
Quality Limit (AQL) for Lot-by-Lot Inspection for a Single Quality
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Comparing Acceptance Sampling Standards, Part 2