Acceptance sampling

Acceptance sampling uses statistical sampling to determine whether to accept or reject a production lot of material. It has been a common quality control technique used in industry.

It is usually done as products leave the factory, or in some cases even within the factory. Most often a producer supplies a consumer with several items and a decision to accept or reject the items is made by determining the number of defective items in a sample from the lot. The lot is accepted if the number of defects falls below where the acceptance number or otherwise the lot is rejected.[1]

In general, acceptance sampling is employed when one or several of the following hold:[2]

  • testing is destructive;
  • the cost of 100% inspection is very high; and
  • 100% inspection takes too long.

A wide variety of acceptance sampling plans is available. For example, multiple sampling plans use more than two samples to reach a conclusion. A shorter examination period and smaller sample sizes are features of this type of plan. Although the samples are taken at random, the sampling procedure is still reliable.[3]

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