Here's the nightmare: You arrive at work to find your best customer has just returned $10,000 worth of precision ceramic parts. They are all neatly boxed and sitting on the inspection room floor with a nasty note saying that they are all out of tolerance. You stand to lose one of your best contracts, not to mention your job, unless you get to the bottom of the problem right away.
The need for control over manufacturing processes has never been higher than in today's
environment. As this need has increased, so too has the requirement for better management of the equipment used to measure and control manufacturing processes. Fundamental to managing this equipment properly is ensuring that it's correctly calibrated and maintained.
During the last 30 years, giant steps have been taken to repair the damage done to the environment by industry. In the United States and elsewhere, rivers that were once dead and filled with toxic pollutants now support fish and are being used for recreation. Humankind’s attitude toward and relationship with nature has drastically changed.
Three basic evaluation methods exist for any work activity: inspection, compliance auditing and management auditing. The first method, inspection, measures a process's output against certain characteristics. These characteristics, generally identified as form, fit and function, are specified, and the process output either possesses those characteristics or it doesn't. As a result, an inspection's outcome is always binary: pass or fail.