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Inspection Process

AQL table definition and role

All buyers should clearly have the AQL table definition in their mind while purchasing in China and all over Asia. Even though it is mentioned in purchase orders and used during product inspections, the AQL table definition and role remain very often unclear. A deeper understanding ensures better quality control of the goods and, consequently, safer sourcing.

AQL table definition and history

In order to make sure the ammunition of the US army were working as expected without proceeding on a 100% control, statisticians in the early 30’s worked on statistics tables for defining sampling size in a way to accurately predict the behavior of all of the untested material.

This first standard was called MIL 105-D. Later these tables were republished by other organizations under the name of BS 6001 (UK), ANSI/ASQ Z1.4 (USA) or ISO 2859 (international).

What is the AQL table for?

AQL or Acceptance quality limit tables is used for insuring that the acceptance quality limits are being met. These standards are used for inspections of incoming goods or finished lots of products. Originally it was made for controlling continuous mass production of several batches on sampling size.

Contrary to the general definition that most of us have, the AQL is an insurance method, which is different from process control to prevent non-conformance. The more batches are inspected using AQL table the more accurate will be the result: more representative of the overall quality of your goods, especially for continuous productions.

The AQL table goal is to provide a way to judge the quality of each lot. However, the supplier should continuously look for improvement activities independently of the AQL result.

And you: do you have other details to add about the AQL table definition and role?


AQF Quality team

We ensure service quality and reliability by improving the performance of our processes. We follow up and train inspectors and supervisors to enhance their skills and meet the latest regulations and standards. In the Quality Control Blog we write about the industry changes and provide solutions for a better Quality Control management in Asia. For more information.

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