Quality Glossary - M


Maintainability: The probability that a given maintenance action for an item under given usage conditions can be performed within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions using stated procedures and resources.

Maintainability has two categories: serviceability (the ease of conducting scheduled inspections and servicing) and repairability (the ease of restoring service after a failure).

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA): An award established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. companies that have implemented successful quality management systems. Awards can be given annually in six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, healthcare and nonprofit. The award is named after the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, a proponent of quality management. The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the award, and ASQ administers it.

Management review: A periodic management meeting to review the status and effectiveness of the organization’s quality management system.

Manager: An individual charged with managing resources and processes.

Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II): Material requirements planning (see listing), plus capacity planning and finance, interface to translate operational planning into financial terms and into a simulation tool to assess alternative production plans.

Mapping symbols or icons: An easy, effective way to communicate the flow of materials and information through a plant. The symbol type doesn’t matter, as long as the use is consistent from map to map. Mapping the flow helps identify constraints and potential improvement opportunities.

Master Black Belt (MBB): Six Sigma or quality expert responsible for strategic implementations in an organization. An MBB is qualified to teach other Six Sigma facilitators the methods, tools and applications in all functions and levels of the company and is a resource for using statistical process control in processes.

Material handling: Methods, equipment and systems for conveying materials to various machines and processing areas and for transferring finished parts to assembly, packaging and shipping areas.

Material requirements planning (MRP): A computerized system typically used to determine the quantity and timing requirements for production and delivery of items to both customers and suppliers. Using MRP to schedule production at various processes will result in push production because any predetermined schedule is an estimate only of what the next process will actually need.

Matrix: A planning tool for displaying the relationships among various data sets.

Mean: A measure of central tendency; the arithmetic average of all measurements in a data set.

Mean time between failures (MTBF): The average time interval between failures for repairable product for a defined unit of measure; for example, operating hours, cycles and miles.

Measure: The criteria, metric or means to which a comparison is made with output.

Measurement: The act or process of quantitatively comparing results with requirements.

Measurement system: All operations, procedures, devices and other equipment or personnel used to assign a value to the characteristic being measured.

Measurement uncertainty: The result of random effects and imperfect correction of systemic effects in obtaining a measurement value that results in variation from the actual true value; also known as measurement error.

Median: The middle number or center value of a set of data in which all the data are arranged in sequence.

Metric: A standard for measurement.

Metrology: The science of weights and measures or of measurement; a system of weights and measures.

MIL-Q-9858A: A military standard that describes quality program requirements.

MIL-STD-45662A: A military standard that describes the requirements for creating and maintaining a calibration system for measurement and test equipment.

MIL-STD-105E: A military standard that describes the sampling procedures and tables for inspection by attributes.

Mission: An organization’s purpose.

Mistake proofing: Use of production or design features to prevent the manufacture or passing downstream a nonconforming product; also known as “error proofing.”

Mode: The value occurring most frequently in a data set.

Monument: Any design, scheduling or production technology with scale requirements that call for designs, orders and products to be brought to the machine to wait in line for processing. The opposite of a right sized (see listing) machine.

Muda: Japanese for waste; any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer.

Multivariate control chart: A control chart for evaluating the stability of a process in terms of the levels of two or more variables or characteristics.

Mutual recognition agreement (MRA): A formal agreement providing reciprocal recognition of the validity of other organizations’ deliverables, typically found in voluntary standards and conformity assessment groups.

Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI): A method and instrument for identifying an individual’s personality type based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality preferences.

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Basic Concepts