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The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance

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Capability test
ttemple   1/26/2015 11:10:41 AM

It doesn't apply well to all products, but in my world we use statistical capability testing a lot.  Put the product through enough test cycles and do some statistical analysis of the results of the tests.  This will expose the "Capability" of the item under test.

I realize that this isn't what marketing people do, but if you really want to know what to expect out of a system, a statistical analysis will give you a very accurate idea.  It is also useful to determine whether changes are improving or hurting the system.  The statistics usually don't lie.  I like to put numbers to things, do enough trials to provide statistical significance, and trust what the data is telling me.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Capability test
Nancy Golden   1/26/2015 12:00:33 PM
I absolutely agree with you on the value of statisical data, ttemple - that is an excellent observation. As a test engineer we have protocols in place before releasing a test set where we run Gage R&R and often utilize guardbanding to guarantee a bad part doesn't get through. However, in the world of outsourced products and parts distribution, not everyone is concerned about using statistical tools since it is more costly (short term anyway) to do so. As you mentioned - this isn't what marketing people do, and sales often has a much different set of priorities than engineering.

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