Measurement systems analysis

What is it?

Measurement systems analysis (MSA) is a method for determining if a measurement system is capable of measuring differences among the units produced by a process.

A measurement systems analysis (MSA) study is a type of experimental design. It consists of a series of measurements made of the same product, using the same equipment, by different testers. An MSA study is a way of analyzing a measurement system to see if it is sensitive enough to sort process output into at least five statistically different groups.

Measurement systems analysis is sometimes referred to as R&R, which stands for repeatability and reproducibility. Repeatability is the error in measurement when all the factors that affect measurement theoretically are kept constant. Reproducibility is the comparison of all the measurements made by each appraiser to see if one (or more) of the appraisers is measuring the object larger or smaller than the other appraisers.

Why is it important?

Most organizations have systems in place to calibrate measurement equipment on a routine basis. Just because a measurement system is calibrated does not mean that the results are going to be accurate. Other potential causes of measurement variation exist, and these are often more significant than an out-of-calibration piece of equipment.

An MSA study will reveal sources of variation in your measurement system so that you can correct them and gain confidence in the data that you are using to evaluate your process.

How can PQ help?

Gage calibration management software maintains a database of measurement devices and tracks the events associated with the devices. Events such as when a gage was last calibrated can help with traceability. PQ provides gage calibration management software to help ease gage management.

Download a FREE MSA white paper

Download the free measurement systems analysis white paper "Warning: Calibration isn't enough (How to identify measurement problems)" from PQ SystemsThis white paper will reveal how to uncover hidden problems in your measurement system by using bias, inconsistency, and other MSA charts.

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Measurement systems analysis