Measurement System Analysis, MSA.
Measurement System Analysis (MSA), is a specially designed experiment that seeks to identify the components of variation in the measurement. it evaluates the test method, measuring instruments, and the entire process of obtaining measurements.

Measurement System Analysis (MSA), is a specially designed experiment that seeks to identify the components of variation in the measurement.
Just as processes that produce a product may vary, the process of obtaining measurements and data may have variation and produce defects. The Measurement System Analisis is a core tool from ISO/TS 16949 and Six Sigma


A Measurement Systems Analysis evaluates the test method, measuring instruments, and the entire process of obtaining measurements to ensure the integrity of data used for quality analysis and to understand the implications of measurement error for decisions made about a product or process.

MSA Process

If measurements are used to guide decisions, then it follows logically that the more error there is in the measurements, the more error there will be in the decisions based on those measurements.

The purpose of Measurement System Analysis is to qualify a measurement system for use by quantifying its accuracy, precision, and stability.

A Measurement Systems Analysis considers the following:

  • Selecting the correct measurement and approach
  • Assessing the measuring device
  • Assessing procedures & operators
  • Assessing any measurement interactions
  • Calculating the measurement uncertainty of individual measurement devices and/or measurement systems

Efforts to improve measurement system quality are aimed at improving both accuracy and precision.



A measurement system can be characterized, or described, in five ways:

1- Location (Average Measurement Value vs. Actual Value):

Stability refers to the capacity of a measurement system to produce the same values over time when measuring the same sample. As with statistical process control charts, stability means the absence of "Special Cause Variation", leaving only "Common Cause Variation".

Bias, also referred to as Accuracy, is a measure of the distance between the average value of the measurements and the "True" or "Actual" value of the sample or part.

Linearity is a measure of the consistency of Bias over the range of the measurement device.

2- Variation (Spread of Measurement Values - Precision):

Repeatability assesses whether the same appraiser can measure the same part/sample multiple times with the same measurement device and get the same value.

Reproducibility assesses whether different appraisers can measure the same part/sample with the same measurement device and get the same value.

Repeatability and Reproducibility Assessment (Gage R&R)

The gage R&R study is the standard tool in the Six Sigma process improvement methodology to evaluate the adequacy of a measurement system with regard to measurement variability. It is well established and widely used in the discrete manufacturing industry.

It is less useful in process industries where the nature of measurements is different, necessitating a different approach to the assessment of measurement systems in these industries.

A measurement system, as defined in a gage R&R, consists of a number of operators using a number of gages to measure parts in accordance with some defined procedure.

A gage R&R partitions the total measurement variation into the following categories:

  • Gage-to-gage
  • Operator-to-operator
  • Replicate-to-replicate
  • Part-to-part

Related Reports and Documentation:


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