Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Stewart, James R. (James Robert), 1939-

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Technology


Automobile supplies industry--North America--Standards; System analysis; Automobiles--Parts--North America--Testing--Standards


This research study is concerned with the automotive Supplier Quality Requirements QS-9000, paragraph 4.11.4, and the implementation of measurement systems analysis. The 1995 standard requires appropriate statistical studies to analyze variation in measuring and test equipment. Suppliers meeting 1997 compliance deadlines should use analytical methods that conform to the 1995 Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) Reference Manual. QS-9000 allows other methods if approved by the customer. A survey instrument was used to measure awareness, use, and effectiveness of 11 MSA methods and acceptance criteria among two North American populations: tier-one automotive suppliers seeking QS-9000 registration, and third-party assessors evaluating compliance. The extent these criteria are shared will impact registration success. Failure to use appropriate MSA methods can inhibit problem-solving effectiveness and disable QS-9000 goals. Fundamentally, these goals will succeed or fail based on data determined by measurement systems. The survey failed to secure a minimum response from QS- 9000 assessors. Conclusions about the hypothesis and research questions could not be drawn'from analysis of the experimental data. However, the overall research experience did contribute substantial knowledge to understanding the present state of MSA. The research process identified three reason for the low response rate. Assessors were too busy with compliance audits, lacked the knowledge of measurement systems analysis to respond, or avoided the survey and any role to evaluate effectiveness. There is evidence that assessors may not recognize or understand the methods submitted for compliance. The research experience concludes that measurement systems analysis and the automotive reference manual are in serious trouble from lack of awareness, education, and training. Limited experience and past practice incline suppliers to use inappropriate or obsolete MSA methods. Many suppliers fail to understand the role of MSA for process control and perform MSA principally to satisfy a customer requirement and pass the registration test. Suppliers have not embraced the 1995 Reference Manual, nor do assessors see their role to require it. To meet the goals of QS-9000, the automotive industry must close the education gap and provide training opportunities for MSA. In addition, assessors must broaden their education and working experience with MSA.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [78]-80)


vi, 99 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type