Thursday, August 20, 2015

Definition of Quality

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What is Quality ? 

Quality is the measure of excellence or state of being free from defects, deficiencies, and significant variations.

It can be defined as “The totality of all features and Characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs.”

The word quality has multiple meanings. Two of those meanings are critical, namely, product performance and freedom from deficiencies '.

Product performance: Product Satisfaction:-

In the sense of performance, quality refers to the performance features of a product. Such features are decisive as to product performance and as to product satisfaction. Such features compete with each other in the market place. External customers, especially ultimate users, compare the competing performances. Their comparisons then become a factor in deciding whose product will be bought. Because of the competition in the market place, a primary goal for product performance is to be equal or superior to the quality of competing products.

Freedom from deficiencies: Product Dissatisfaction:-

The word quality also refers to freedom from deficiencies, which take many forms as late deliveries, customer claims and returns, high rate of rework and even cancellation of sales. These collectively are forms of product dissatisfaction.
Some deficiencies impact external customers and hence are a threat to future sales as well as a source of higher costs. Other deficiency impact internal customers only and hence are mainly a source of higher costs.
For quality in the sense of freedom from deficiencies, the long-range goal is perfection.

Quality characteristics

1. Technological -Hardness, fittings, thickness, chemical  impact on use etc.
2. Psychological -Beauty, taste, status etc.
3. Time oriented -Delivery time, durability, reliability, maintainability etc.
4. Contractual -Guarantee provision, after sales service etc.
5. Ethical         -Courtesy of sales personnel, honesty of service shops. Etc.

Parameters of fitness for use

  1. Quality of design
  2. Quality conformance of raw materials and components.
  3. Abilities
  4. Field of services
  5. Reliability
  6. Maintainability etc.


1. In a contractual situation needs are specified, where as in other environment implied needs should be identified and defined.

2. In many instances, needs can change with time. This implies periodic revision of specifications.

3. Needs are usually translated into features and characteristics with specified criteria. Needs may include aspects of usability, safety, availability, reliability, maintainability, economics and environment.

4. The term “Quality” is not used to express a degree of excellence in a comparative   sense nor it is used in a qualitative    sense for technical evaluation. In these cases a qualifying adjective shall be used e.g Relative quality, qualitative level etc.

5. Product or service quality is influenced by many stages of interactive      activities       such as design, production, service, operation and maintenance.

6. Economic achievement of satisfactory quality involves all stages of the quality loop as a whole. The contributions to quality of the various stages within the quality loop are sometimes identified separately for emphasis. Two examples, Quality attributable to design, quality attributable to implementation.

7. In some reference sources quality is referred to as fitness for use or satisfying the needs and expectations of the customer. Fitness for use is determined by those features of the product which is beneficial to the users like

  1. Freshly backed taste of bread.
  2. Clear picture in TV screen.
  3. Punctuality of transport services (Bus, Train, and Plane etc).
  4. Beauty and serenity of painting, sculpture and music.
  5. Fashion elements, comfort feature and life of garments & shoes etc.

Fitness for use must be judged by user, not by the “maker” or “manufacturer”.

What are the quality characteristics? 

  • Technical- Hardness, indictany, 
  • Psychological- taste, beauty, status
  • Time oriented- reliability, maintainability
  • Contractual
  • Ethical- courtesy of sales personnel honesty of service shops.

Quality function: 

The quality function is the entire collection of activities of separate deeds or actions in logical progressions through which we achieve fitness for use. The activities are

  • Research
  • Development
  • Design
  • Specification
  • Planning for manufacture
  • Purchase
  • Instrumentation
  • Production
  • Process control
  • Inspection.

Quality starts from progressive and forward looking research and guarded down to inspection stage.

*In industrial terminology the quality of a product during manufacturing may be defined as the degree in which succession of production item falls within the specified limit of tolerance in respect of acceptability.

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